The Atlantic

The Woman With the Pink Tennis Shoes Is Walking a Fine Line

Like other Democrats trying to flip Republican-held districts, Wendy Davis is trying to woo moderates without alienating progressives.
Source: Eli Durst

Back in the halcyon days of February, when healing America seemed like a figure of speech and indoor gatherings of more than two maskless people weren’t considered a biohazard, Wendy Davis addressed a 75-person crowd in the clubhouse of a gated community outside San Antonio. It was the third event in as many days for Davis, who was two weeks away from winning the Democratic primary to represent Texas’s Twenty-First Congressional District, a curiously drawn slice of the state that includes downtown Austin, the suburban sprawl of San Antonio, and a rural stretch of Hill Country. Davis delivered her standard stump speech—a tight, policy-driven monologue that features the story of how she, a teen mom living in a trailer park, managed to make it to Harvard Law School, thanks to hard work, Pell Grants, and a Planned Parenthood around the corner—before fanning out to a case for stitching up the holes in today’s social safety net. (Davis’s granddaughters don’t have the same opportunities she did, she said; we owe it to them to change that.) Afterward, a woman in her late 50s with a sensible brown bob and a faint twang pulled the candidate aside. “I got an abortion, and I tell my Sunday-school class about it,” the woman began, her voice cracking. “I just don’t believe in backing down. You just don’t back down.”

Davis nodded sympathetically—she gets this a lot. In 2013, Davis went from Texas state senator to feminist folk hero to effectively close all but five abortion clinics in the state. feminism was sweeping the nation, and Sheryl Sandberg couldn’t have asked for a better standard-bearer for her gospel of sharp-elbowed female empowerment. To avoid giving her (male) Republican opponents even the flimsiest reason to disqualify her, Davis followed Senate rules to the point of. Though her effort to kill the bill ultimately failed, she traveled throughout Texas on a Planned Parenthood bus, disembarking to choruses of young women chanting: “Wendy! Wendy! Wendy!”

Stai leggendo un'anteprima, registrati per continuare a leggere.

Altro da The Atlantic

The Atlantic5 min lettiMedical
Pandemic Data Are About to Go Sideways
States are likely to report fewer coronavirus cases, but not because things are getting better.
The Atlantic6 min letti
The Beauty of Keeping Mum
All things, great and small, start out as nothing. I began to go hoarse in late summer. I would apologize when rasping unintelligibly on a call, take another slug of water, and chalk it up to a passing cold. Could it be COVID-19? I worried it might b
The Atlantic6 min lettiAmerican Government
What Jaime Harrison Wants Democrats to Do Now
The former Senate candidate from South Carolina wants to be DNC chair, and he won’t support defunding the police.