Wendy Davis is Bret Schundler.

...wait, who? Exactly.

Bret Schundler was once the conservative superstar of blue New Jersey, in much the same way that Wendy Davis is the MSNBC infatuation du jour. Of course, unless you follow NJ politics*, that means you haven't heard Schundler's name in the last decade.

Wendy Davis won in a GOP-leaning Fort Worth district**. Big deal -- Schundler was mayor of Jersey City, a place where Democrats routinely get over 75% of the vote.*** Not only that, he was re-elected mayor with 69% of the vote.

They both went to Harvard. Some people seem to care about that.

Unlike Wendy Davis, Bret Schundler actually accomplished things in elected office other than just talking. A May 1, 1994 Washington Post news article commented:

When Bret Schundler took over as mayor of this diverse city less than two years ago, it was on the verge of bankruptcy and crime was raging out of control. Since then, he has cut taxes, balanced the budget and made the city's streets safer.

Schundler had started his adult life as a Democrat, working a staffer for a Democrat in Congress and then working for Gary Hart's presidential campaign.

Schundler then ran for governor of New Jersey, in the Republican friendly year of 2001. George W. Bush's ratings as president were sky-high, and the Democrats fielded the weakest candidate they could find, Jim McGreevey****.

Schundler still lost by 15% to McGreevey.

And so it is with Wendy Davis. She can run for re-election. She'll very likely lose, because voters are now paying attention to how liberal she is. Or she can run for governor, where she is even more likely to lose.

But unlike Bret Schundler, maybe Wendy Davis can parlay the loss into an MSNBC gig?

* He was Chris Christie's Commissioner of Education in 2010, until Christie scapegoated him for a snafu.
** Good job, Bryan Eppstein.
*** 6% of Jersey City's population is registered currently as Republican. This hasn't changed in the intervening decade.
**** McGreevey was mired in ethics scandals when he resigned.

Posted by Evan @ 08/14/13 11:13 PM


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