A Storybook Tale Gets Some New Footnotes

When it comes to portraits, a gauzy look can be a welcome thing for people of a certain age. But politics takes place in an unforgiving spotlight, as Texas Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Wendy Davis discovered when the Dallas Morning News exposed discrepancies in her oft-told tale of bootstrapping her way from single motherhood in a Fort Worth trailer park to graduating from Harvard Law School. That narrative has been central to Davis' appeal as she seeks to translate the national attention from her marathon filibuster in defense of abortion rights last year into votes for her underdog candidacy.

The task got...