November 8, 2014

ROSS DOUTHAT: The Wendy Davis Experiment: Notes On An Entirely Foreseeable Debacle.

But even that joke is part of the point: The Christine O’Donnell thing really did happen more or less by accident, because she happened to be in the right place at the right time to catch an anti-establishment wave and win a primary in which she was supposed to be a protest candidate. Whereas the Davis experiment was intentionally designed: She was treated to fawning press coverage, lavished with funding, had the primary field mostly cleared for her, and was touted repeatedly as part of an actual party strategy for competing in a conservative-leaning state. Of course she had a much more impressive resume than O’Donnell, with less witchcraft and real political experience, and in that sense she made a more credible candidate overall. (Though, ahem, O’Donnell actually outperformed Davis at the polls in the end …) But in terms of their signature issues and their public profiles, they were equally absurd fits for the tasks they were assigned; it’s just that in Davis’s case nobody on the left of center wanted to acknowledge it.

She resonated well with East Coast female-journo types. Those women are, in fact, poor proxies for women in general, but neither the media nor the Democratic Party political apparat (but I repeat myself) can afford to acknowledge that.

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