News, Views, and Information about Disability

Disability News, Views, Information, and Literature

Monday, October 13, 2014

Texas Governor's Race Pits One Wheelchair Image Against Another

Wendy Davis is the Democrat running for governor of Texas. She's a nondisabled woman running against Attorney General Greg Abbott, a Republican man who uses a wheelchair. This race has been chock full of politics-as-usual and politics-as-unusual where both candidates are trying to figure out how best to use or ignore Abbott's physical disability.

Bloomberg Politics posted an article today entitled, "Everybody Hates the New Wendy Davis Ad. That doesn't mean it's a failure." It includes the ad as well as ads from the Abbott camp that focus on his disability.

Abbott has put his disability front and center in several of his ads during this race.

Davis at first tried to avoid mention of Abbott's disability, especially when lambasted for using the campaign slogan, "Stand with Wendy." Now Davis is making use Abbott's disability to point out that just because he understands what it's like to be victimized due to disability and circumstance does not necessarily mean he supports others in this situation.

There are a slew of articles on this topic! If you just can't enough of it, here are a few links:

Washington Times: Wendy Davis Defends Greg Abbott 'Wheelchair Ad'

Time Magazine: Wendy Davis Wins the Prize for Most Ill-Advised Political Ad of 2014

Fox News: Wendy Davis defends 'wheelchair' ad criticizing paralyzed opponent

The Fox article includes information about what Davis said in the face of this criticism:
The Democratic nominee, who was flanked by disability rights activists -- including two people in wheelchairs -- at a Fort Worth news conference, claimed the ad was designed to portray Abbott as someone who worked against the disabled. 
Asked by a reporter if the ad exploits Abbott’s disability, Davis said, “This ad is about one thing. And one thing only. It’s about Greg Abbott’s hypocrisy.”
View Davis's ad, as well as Abbott's ads that feature his disability, in the Bloomberg article.

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