January 23, 2014

DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Horrors for Wendy Davis campaign: Candidate’s embellishments upgraded to ‘gate’ (as in scandal) status.

A quote from a one-time Fort Worth City Council colleague of Davis’ who alleges a gender-driven double standard. Excerpt from the column, quoting former FW City Council member Becky Haskin:

“If this involved a man running for office, none of this would ever come up,” she said.

“It’s so sad. Every time I ran, somebody said I needed to be home with my kids. Nobody ever talks about men being responsible parents.”

That would be a powerful argument if it were material, or true. Just because it’s a woman charging a double standard in this matter doesn’t make it so.

The image that the Davis people are putting out was exemplified by her willingness to play along with the Today show’s Maria Shriver under the theme #DoingItAll. Shriver went to Fort Worth and did a fawning piece on Davis’ life and career as an example of a woman who worked hard and overcame odds. . . .

As for the double standard, there may be people who think Davis abandoned the kids in pursuit of career, and maybe some of those people wouldn’t be prone to criticize absent dads. That’s beside the point.

If a man campaigned on something like “family values” or a similar theme, and if he had two failed marriages in his past, and if he left two small kids with a spouse for an extended time a couple thousand miles away, and if he dumped that spouse later on, he would run into the same buzzsaw that Davis hit this week.

The public sees when a candidate is trying to have it both ways. And that has nothing to do with a man-woman double standard.

Indeed.