POLITICS: Campaigns

In glowing profile, New York Times Magazine highlights Wendy Davis biography

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Charlie Spiering,Texas,2014 Elections,Campaigns,The New York Times,Wendy Davis,Gender Issues

"Political narratives are necessarily reductive, invariably gauzy and thus often misleading," writes the New York Times Magazine's Robert Draper in a 7,000-plus-word profile of Texas Democratic candidate for governor Wendy Davis.

Draper favorably examines the complicated biography of Davis, which the Dallas Morning News revealed is different than the one told by her campaign.

While Draper acknowledges that key facts of her biography remain disputed, he insists that "female politicians were far more constrained than men in how they recounted their stories.

"A man could break the mold of American virtue. A woman challenged stereotypes at her peril," he writes. "The archetype — an unimpeachable balance of dedicated public service and exemplary mothering — seems inescapable, even in 2014."

Citing the personal narratives of presidential biographies, he writes that "no one ever stopped Clinton, Bush or Obama in his biographical tracks to say: 'Wait. If you were out there, conquering the world, then you could not have been here, with your family'."

Will women judge her harshly because of the newly public details of her political background?

Davis admits to Draper that there will always be people who view her decisions critically.

"I would hope they would share some admiration for what I did to climb from where I was,” she explains.

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