I just came from the well-attended sex news conference of the attorney general and Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Dustin McDaniel, and I offer a dual lead:
1. The best thing about it was that Dustin’s wife, Bobbi, didn’t stand beside him in that cliched pose like some kind of obeisant and scorned-but-enduring fount of long-suffering forgiveness. She was there. She walked in with him. Then she took a seat to listen to Dustin talk about how wonderful she was. Good for her. This represents an advancement in political “good wife” obligation and imagery.
2. If everything McDaniel said holds true, then he will weather this matter and emerge actually stronger as the frontrunning Democrat for governor and last best chance against wholesale Hutchinson-ization.
He says he made a brief mistake, is ashamed, has owned up and asked forgiveness. He says he must re-prove himself, and will. He says there are no other women. He says there was no compromising of the attorney general’s office or the public trust or the state’s interest in this brief inappropriateness. He saye he texted this woman, Andi Davis, but isn’t much worried if any of those texts are captured by the State Police in connection with any investigation stemming from that shooting death of a man in her driveway for which no one has been charged. He says his wife forgives him and no financial backers have asked for their money back and no legislative endorser has rescinded.
It was an altogether unpleasant event, for me and a whole lot more for him. Public news events based on the rubbing of extra-marital body parts have always distressed me. But this was a vital gauntlet run.
McDaniel said all the right things. He maybe laid on the love of wife and family a bit thick, but maybe that’s just penitence and humility, both of which he needs.
The issue here is judgment and behavior. The interesting thing is whether both are now improved.