Media

A Dallas Morning News Columnist Explains the "'Yuck' Factor" of Wendy Davis Bio

Jim Mitchell is a voice of moderation on The Dallas Morning News' editorial board, generally sticking to the middle ground and getting major points for not being Tod Robberson.

True to form, the argument he lays out today on the DMN's opinion blog, that Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis' aggressively defensive response to her flubbed campaign biography is unwise, is perfectly reasonable.

We're wondering, then, what would compel Mitchell to insert these two paragraphs:

Whenever a mother leaves young children to purse an education, a career or a fling, the rest of us feel a level of discomfort. She's not a deadbeat mom as we would describe guys who check out, but this part of her bio has a "yuck" factor. It strikes at cultural norms of what a parent -- especially a mom -- should be.

In the 1930s, men and women left behind families to find work elsewhere -- an act that could be noble, desperate or despicable depending on the circumstances and intentions. The problem with Davis' real story is that it lacks the Depression hardship backdrop that would help "legitimize" her actions.

Wendy Davis didn't abandon her kids. Her husband took care of the kids while she attended Harvard law and was awarded custody when they divorced. Meanwhile, she went on to pursue a successful legal and political career.

A tough situation for a politician to explain away -- and that's the point Mitchell is making -- but surely there's a better, less inflammatory word than "yuck."

Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.

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Eric Nicholson
Contact: Eric Nicholson