Despite the unfortunate, played-out "Texas hair" given to State Sen. Wendy Davis for her Vogue photo shoot, being featured in the magazine's prestigious September issue deservedly introduces her to women far beyond Texas who, whether they realize it or not, are feeling the effects of her 12-hour battle cry against one of the strictest abortion bills in America.
In her in-depth feature on Davis, Heidi Mitchell quickly skims over fashion (though Davis is noted as one of the — ahem — more aesthetically pleasing politicians in the country) and gets right to the heart of the story: Her ascension from her hard-knock teenage years to Harvard Law School to the Texas State Capitol.
Undoubtedly to Democrats' delight, Davis is painted as a down-home hero, not a fussy fashionista. Below are just a few highlights from the feature on a filibuster senator who turned the national spotlight onto the heart of Texas.
On Davis' childhood dreams
The daughter of a National Cash Register salesman and a mother with a sixth-grade education, Wendy Davis (then Wendy Russell) spent her childhood years chasing her father’s dreams of becoming a stage actor.
On her teenage pregnancy
“There was nothing romantic about it,” Davis says of the tiny wedding held in her father’s dinner theater. Her mother, she recalls, “sat in the front row and audibly sobbed through the entire ceremony.”
On her political reputation
“The Republicans figured out that Wendy was a threat before we did,” says Matt Angle, director of the Texas political-action committee the Lone Star Project. “I think she makes them nervous because she has a type of political courage you don’t see in Texas. She may even be able to go all the way.”
On the plight of Texas
“The eyes of the world are on Texas, and I’m not proud of what they’re seeing — except when they see Wendy,” says Texan Paul Begala, who was a strategist for the 1992 Clinton-Gore campaign and for a major pro-Obama super PAC in 2012. “During the filibuster, the Republicans acted like bullies, and Americans hate bullies.”
On her intentions
“I’m a very competitive person,” Davis says as the sun sets behind her and she packs up. “You won’t change things unless you are prepared to fight, even if you don’t win.” She pauses. “But I do hate losing.”