Thursday, September 14, 2006

Best Texan Ever

Ann Richards died Wednesday night at home in Austin Texas. The former Texas Governor (1991-1995) was 73.

I first saw Ann Richards on TV on a podium in 1988 at the Democratic National Convention in Atlanta, where she delivered the keynote speech. That speech, contained the famous Richards' barb at the older George Bush's poor speaking style. The same could be said for his son.

"Poor George. He can't help it. He was born with a silver foot in his mouth."

WOW! She was a rootin' tootin', take no prisoners, stand-up Texan with a shock of white hair, a tough commanding style, funny as hell, wise eyes, Madison Avenue dressed, and looked like she could drink all the men under the table, brush them off on the floor and make the decisions.

I always thought she would be our first female President.

Gov. Richards actually didn't start her political career until her 40's. She was married with four children. Her marriage ended in divorce. She was a drinker. Although she quit drinking in 1980, she talked about it often in public.

"I believe in recovery, and I believe that as a role model I have the responsibility to let young people know you can make a mistake and come back from it."

Ann Richards was elected to her first local Austin office in 1976, went on to Texas state treasurer and then elected governor in 1990. She never left the political scene. She could be found at every convention and on many news talk shows giving her hard hitting, common sense, quick witted views, especially about the Bush's. She was always quite a match for any moderator.

At age 60 she started riding a Harley-Davidson motorcycle because she said,
"I thought I needed to do something kind of jazzy."

Another line she often quoted summed up her view of the aspirations of women in politics:
"Ginger Rogers did everything that Fred Astaire did. She just did it backwards and in high heels."
Also one of my favorites.
"Teaching was the hardest work I had ever done, and it remains the hardest work I've done to date."

God bless her, I will miss her.


Anonymous said...

Your tribute to Ann Richards was eloquently stated. She was a quite a lady and will indeed be missed. I hope she's ridin' her motorcycle in Heaven!

Jackie said...

Me too!