Texans from either side of the political aisle Wendy Davis and Karl Rove offer eye-opening insights on the battle for the Red States and what it means for the 2020 presidential election and beyond.
A former Texas State Senator and renowned advocate for women's rights, Davis draws on her experiences campaigning and serving in a key red state many say will become increasingly competitive in 2020.
Iconic Republican strategist and commentator Karl Rove, provides an insider's account of the future political landscape and the GOP, sharing eye-opening lessons from political campaigns throughout America's history.
Together, Davis and Rove paint a picture of how the map of the U.S. electorate is changing, the issues that resonate with Red State voters, and what it means for our political future.
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Former Texas State Senator and Founder of the non-profit, Deeds Not Words, Wendy Davis is renowned as a passionate advocate for women in social, economic and political spheres. After skyrocketing to near celebrity status through her historic 13-hour filibuster in the Texas Senate to stop a legislative effort that would have dramatically reduced women’s access to healthcare, Davis emerged as a leader in the national conversation surrounding women’s leadership and issues which threaten our individual opportunities. Through Davis’ work at Deeds Not Words, for which she earned a spot on Fast Company’s “100 Most Creative People in Business”, she is shaping the next generation of leaders and directly working to foster diversity, inclusivity, and change at the highest levels of business and government. Long before she was a Texas State Senator and Texas’ Democratic nominee for Governor in 2014, Davis struggled with the same obstacles faced by women around the country. Determined to break the cycle of poverty she’d been born into, Davis fought to juggle school, career and single motherhood and uses those experiences to connect with others in order to shape perspective.
At the podium, Davis combines the power of personal storytelling with her deep policy understanding to explain why equitable policies matter in the lives of women as well as the overall health and vibrancy of our economy, guiding organizations across industries toward a better understanding of the institutional value in creating diverse work environments, and key issues such as pay equity, family leave, and harassment policies. A living testament to the ability we each possess to rise above challenges and succeed, Davis demonstrates the power of each of our unique voices, and the value in raising them for what we believe in. Audiences are left inspired to utilize their individual strengths into meaningful contributions, and organizations are left with the tools and insights needed to advance positive change.
With decades of experience in the political arena, Karl Rove is an iconic strategist whose provocative and robust knowledge of the major issues of the day have made him one of the most sought-after commentators of our time.
Rove was described by respected author and columnist Michael Barone as “unique…no Presidential appointee has ever had such a strong influence on politics and policy, and none is likely to do so again anytime soon” and by Fred Barnes, Executive Editor of the Weekly Standard as “the greatest political mind of his generation and probably of any generation… He knows history, understands the moods of the public, and is a visionary on matters of public policy.”
From major international conferences to college campuses and intimate corporate events, Karl Rove's shrewd analysis helps him resonate with audiences. Sponsors hosting Rove have reported his remarks "were extremely insightful and very helpful to our industry leaders" (Edison Electric Institute); "stimulating and valuable" (The Fraser Institute); and "provocative, lively and thoughtful" (Nomura); with audiences "often erupting in applause" (Wabash College) and his presentations consistently praised as "one of the highest-rated" (The TriZetto Group).
Wendy Davis is the founding director of Deeds Not Words, a non-profit that seeks to empower and activate the voices of young women. She is a former Texas State Senator, 2014 Texas Democratic Gubernatorial nominee, frequent public speaker, business owner and author. Davis gained national prominence in 2013 when she held a 13-hour filibuster to protect women’s reproductive freedoms in Texas. Her fight ultimately led to a successful and landmark decision in the U.S. Supreme Court, strengthening the landscape for abortion rights throughout the country.
Raised by a single mother with a ninth-grade education, Davis began working after school at age fourteen to contribute to the family finances. By the time she was nineteen, she was living in a trailer park with a baby daughter and holding down two jobs. Yet Davis became the first person in her family to attend and graduate from college, ultimately graduating first in her class at TCU and with honors from Harvard Law School.
She clerked and litgated before starting her own practice for federal and local government affairs, real estate, and contract compliance. Davis spent nine years on the Fort Worth City Council, focusing on neighborhood economic development.
She was elected to the Texas state senate in 2008. There she sponsored bills on everything from cancer prevention to payday lending to protecting victims of sexual assault to government transparency. In 2011, she lead the fight against a state budget that underfunded public schools by $5 billion, and two years later saw most of the funding replaced. This resulted in the Republican-led house to strip her of her position on the education committee. It was not the only effort to silence her. She narrowly won her 2012 election after federal courts threw out a Republican gerrymandering plan that affected only her district.
In 2016, Davis founded Deeds Not Words to give women the tools needed to make real progress – teaching the skills necessary for legislative victory, grassroots activism, and advocacy success.
Davis is frequently invited to appear on MSNBC and CNN, and contributes regularly to publications such as Time, Cosmo, Teen Vogue, The Hill and many more. In 2014, Davis released her autobiography Forgetting to Be Afraid.
Now, as a tireless and tenacious champion for women’s rights, Davis knows no change comes without walking the walk. From her 13-hour filibuster in the Texas State Senate to her legislative efforts to support the LGBT community, Davis has pushed for progress. Again and again. And she’s still pushing.
Karl Rove, an iconic political strategist and one of the most sought-after political pundits of our time, is best known for his provocative and robust knowledge of the major political issues of the day.
Rove served as Senior Advisor to President George W. Bush from 2000–2007 and Deputy Chief of Staff from 2004–2007. At the White House he oversaw the Offices of Strategic Initiatives, Political Affairs, Public Liaison, and Intergovernmental Affairs and was Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy, coordinating the White House policy-making process.
Rove was described by author and columnist Michael Barone in U.S. News & World Report as “…unique…no Presidential appointee has ever had such a strong influence on politics and policy, and none is likely to do so again anytime soon.” Washington Post Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter David Broder wrote that Rove was a master political strategist whose “game has always been long term…and he plays it with an intensity and attention to detail that few can match.” Fred Barnes, executive editor of The Weekly Standard, called him “the greatest political mind of his generation and probably of any generation… He knows history, understands the moods of the public, and is a visionary on matters of public policy.”
Mr. Rove writes a weekly op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, appears frequently on the Fox News Channel, and is the author of the New York Times best seller, Courage and Consequence. His latest book is The Triumph of William McKinley: Why the Election of 1896 Still Matters.
A Colorado native, Rove lives in Austin, Texas, where he teaches at the University of Texas at Austin and serves on the Texas State History Museum and McDonald Observatory boards.