Monday, September 22, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Wendy Davis’ choices her own

navarrette column sig

By
From page A7 | January 30, 2014 |

SAN DIEGO — Being a liberal means never having to be consistent.

Take the idea that women should make their own choices about family and career and it is no one else’s business what they choose to do.

That sounds good. I just can’t believe it’s coming from liberals who have never been particularly skilled at resisting the urge to criticize women over the choices they make – if those women are conservative Republicans.

In the 1992 presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton defended her choice to pursue a high-powered legal career by taking a swipe at the June Cleaver crowd. “I suppose I could have stayed home and baked cookies and had teas,” she said. “But what I decided to do was to fulfill my profession, which I entered before my husband was in public life.”

In 2008, CNN’s John Roberts asked correspondent Dana Bash if Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin shouldn’t be spending more time at home caring for a newborn son with Down syndrome instead of running on the Republican ticket? Bash called her colleague on the carpet for asking such a sexist question, one that would never be put to a man running for office.

Then in 2012, Democratic adviser Hilary Rosen went on the attack against Ann Romney, insisting that the wife of the 2012 presidential nominee – who kept up a home and raised five boys while her husband was building companies and amassing wealth – “never worked a day in her life.” President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama both condemned those condescending remarks.

So much for respecting women’s choices.

Yet, this kind of respect is exactly what some liberals are calling for in Texas, where Democrats are now circling the wagons around embattled gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis. They hope the state senator – who last year put on her sneakers and filibustered an anti-abortion bill in the Legislature – will help turn the red state blue.

A change of hue might be good for Texas. During the five years that I wrote for The Dallas Morning News, I saw numerous examples of bad government tied to the fact that Republicans controlled the governor’s mansion, every other statewide office, and the Legislature. There has to be competition in politics, or it’s a road map to irrelevance.

Yet, Davis might not be the strongest candidate to put Texas in the Democratic column. Texans value authenticity, and Davis might not live up to her campaign literature. The narrative of her life story that her handlers peddle to reporters and campaign donors contains several inaccuracies.

The legend goes that Davis was a divorced teenage mother living in a trailer who worked her way through college and on to Harvard Law School through an inspiring combination of smarts and grit. Davis has raised millions of dollars on the strength of that biography, which she repeats in speeches.

She even got the attention of a book publisher who wants her to write her life story.

Good for her. But which version will she write?

According to a recent article in The Dallas Morning News, Davis was 21 and out of her teens when she divorced. Once she separated, she lived for a few months in a mobile home owned by her family before moving with her daughter into an apartment. As for working her way through Harvard, it was Davis’ second husband – Jeff Davis, with whom she had a second child – who footed much of the bill for tuition by, among other things, cashing in his 401(k). Her now ex-husband even took care of her two daughters in Texas while she attended law school more than 1,200 miles away.

It’s that last part that gets us back to the touchy subject of women and choices. How is this for a biography? Davis chose attending a faraway law school over raising her kids. This won’t go over well with some Texans, who just might conclude that motherhood isn’t her strong suit and that ambition got the better of her. This might make her less likable.

Davis’ daughters, 25-year-old Dru and 31-year-old Amber, are trying to counter that impression. Both wrote open letters released by the Davis campaign in which they insisted that – as Dru put it – Davis “always shared equally in the care and custody of my sister and me.” Amber called “ludicrous” any suggestions to the contrary.

No matter who is correct, Davis’ defenders insist that she had every right to make the personal decisions she did, and that her critics need to back off.

That’s good advice. Let’s hope that liberals follow it the next time they feel the urge to criticize a woman on the right for the choices that she’s made.

Ruben Navarrette is a columnist for U-T San Diego. Reach him at ruben@rubennavarrette.com.

Ruben Navarrette

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Vaca Christian hits FM airwaves

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1, 3 Comments | Gallery

 
Hazmat crew responds to Fairfield after spill Sunday

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3

 
SBDC schedules free workshop for small businesses

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

Cordelia Rotary to host Senior Center fall dinner

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
CHP offers teen drivers class

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

Golf tourney to help uninsured children

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3, 1 Comment

 
Dixon Scottish Games return to Solano

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Local governments schedule meetings

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Master Gardeners schedule annual plant exchange

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Il Fiorello Olive Oil Co. hold butchery class

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
American music makes a sweet sound Sunday

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A4

North Bay Pediatrics celebrates anniversary

By Barry Eberling | From Page: B8

 
Sutter Solano has new leader

By Barry Eberling | From Page: B8

Popeye’s seeks Fairfield site

By Barry Eberling | From Page: B8, 5 Comments | Gallery

 
.

US / World

Some California wells run dry amid drought

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 1 Comment

 
More drought forecast next year across West

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

32 structures destroyed in California wildfire

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Crews cleaning fuel spill in San Francisco Bay

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Police say rifle carried by ambush suspect found

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Gov. Brown signs clean-air vehicle legislation

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 4 Comments

Feds censure local police, yet give lethal weapons

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Melted glacier sends miles of mud down Mt. Shasta

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Sierra Leone concludes nationwide Ebola lockdown

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
2016 may loom, but Jeb Bush is focused on business

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

China, US, India push world carbon emissions up

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
New Afghan president, but vote totals kept secret

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Del. authorities: Bus overturns, at least 1 dead

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
NASA’s Maven explorer arrives at Mars after year

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

North Korea powerful temptation for some Americans

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

 
Craig Ferguson plays it loose with new game show

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

‘Maze Runner’ races past ‘Tombstones’ with $32.5M

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
.

Opinion

 
Pulse poll: Will the drought end this year?

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

 
Idealists made mess of 20th century

By Jack Batson | From Page: A8, 3 Comments

Thanks go out to Telstar Instruments

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

 
.

Living

Community Calendar: Sept. 22, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Today in History: Sept. 22, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Ned’s drinking is ruining our parents’ business, health

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B5

 
Horoscopes: Sept. 22, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B5

Horoscopes: Sept. 23, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B7

 
.

Entertainment

TVGrid Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A10

 
TVGrid Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

.

Sports

 
Giants swept by Padres; fall 4 ½ behind Dodgers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Stanton leads Cardinals past 49ers 23-14

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Donaldson’s walk-off HR powers A’s past Phillies

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Penalty nixes Raiders rally, Patriots win 16-9

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
NFL roundup: Cowboys erase 21-point deficit, beat Rams 34-31

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Armijo boys run to 2nd-place finish in Irvine

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

 
Hamilton wins in Singapore, takes F1 title lead

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Ex-Titans kicker Bironas killed in car crash

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Seahawks hold off Broncos 26-20 in overtime

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Hur pulls away for LPGA Tour win in Alabama

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9 | Gallery

 
Logano wins at New Hampshire in 2nd Chase race

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10 | Gallery

.

Business

 
Native Americans getting final settlement payments

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

5 ways to protect yourself from data breaches

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8, 1 Comment

 
.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Baldo Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Garfield Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Beetle Bailey Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Peanuts Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Sally Forth Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
For Better or Worse Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Wizard of Id Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Frank and Ernest Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Blondie Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Rose is Rose Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Get Fuzzy Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Pickles Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Baby Blues Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Zits Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Dilbert Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
B.C. Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Bridge Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Word Sleuth Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Cryptoquote Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Sudoku Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Crossword Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Beetle Bailey Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Peanuts Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Zits Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Frank and Ernest Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Pickles Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

For Better or Worse Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Rose is Rose Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Sally Forth Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Garfield Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Get Fuzzy Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Baldo Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

B.C. Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Dilbert Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Wizard of Id Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Baby Blues Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Blondie Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Word Sleuth Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Crossword Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Bridge Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Cryptoquote Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Sudoku Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7