Thursday, September 14, 2006

Ann Richards (1933-2006)

After bashing the Democrats yesterday, one of the few I really liked upped and died. Damn it, Ann.

She was the REAL Texas politician - not the Connecticut Bushes who came down for the oil. I've included some of her quotes below. But to really get a sense of her in action, try this hilarious speech at the Washington Gridiron Club (transcript courtesy of the Texas State Archives), where she gets to roast George Bush and all of the Republican and Democratic presidential candidates in the 1992 election.

The Austin American-Statesman offers quite a bit of coverage, but you have to do a free subscription, to read anything, so here's an article about her from the Brits.

Ann Richards:

I am delighted to be here with you this evening because after listening to George Bush all these years, I figured you needed to know what a real Texas accent sounds like." (1988 keynote address, Democratic National Convention)

The here and now is all we have, and if we play it right it's all we'll need."

"There's something a little scary about funny women. There was a survey done one time where they asked women what they were most afraid of from men. And their response was they were most afraid of being hit or beaten or hurt from men. They asked men what they were most afraid of from women, and they said being laughed at."

"They blame the low income women for ruining the country because they are staying home with their children and not going out to work. They blame the middle income women for ruining the country because they go out to work and do not stay home to take care of their children."

"Let me tell you, sisters, seeing dried egg on a plate in the morning is a lot dirtier than anything I've had to deal with in politics."

"I have always had the feeling I could do anything and my dad told me I could. I was in college before I found out he might be wrong."

"Ginger Rogers did everything that Fred Astaire did. She just did it backwards and in high heels."

"I thought I knew Texas pretty well, but I had no notion of its size until I campaigned it."

"I've always said that in politics, your enemies can't hurt you, but your friends will kill you."

"Teaching was the hardest work I had ever done, and it remains the hardest work I have done to date."

"I have a real soft spot in my heart for librarians and people who care about books.”

Ann Richards on How to Be a Good Republican:

1. You have to believe that the nation's current 8-year prosperity was due to the work of Ronald Reagan and George Bush, but yesterday's gasoline prices are all Clinton's fault.

2. You have to believe that those privileged from birth achieve success all on their own.

3. You have to be against all government programs, but expect Social Security checks on time.

4. You have to believe that AIDS victims deserve their disease, but smokers with lung cancer and overweight individuals with heart disease don't deserve theirs.

5. You have to appreciate the power rush that comes with sporting a gun.

6. You have to believe . . . everything Rush Limbaugh says.

7. You have to believe that the agricultural, restaurant, housing and hotel industries can survive without immigrant labor.

8. You have to believe God hates homosexuality, but loves the death penalty.

9. You have to believe society is color-blind and growing up black in America doesn't diminish your opportunities, but you still won't vote for Alan Keyes.

10. You have to believe that pollution is OK as long as it makes a profit.

11. You have to believe in prayer in schools, as long as you don't pray to Allah or Buddha.

12. You have to believe Newt Gingrich and Henry Hyde were really faithful husbands.

13. You have to believe speaking a few Spanish phrases makes you instantly popular in the barrio.

14. You have to believe that only your own teenagers are still virgins.

15. You have to be against government interference in business, until your oil company, corporation or Savings and Loan is about to go broke and you beg for a government bail out.

16. You love Jesus and Jesus loves you and, by the way, Jesus shares your hatred for AIDS victims, homosexuals, and President Clinton.

17. You have to believe government has nothing to do with providing police protection, national defense, and building roads.

18. You have to believe a poor, minority student with a disciplinary history and failing grades will be admitted into an elite private school with a $1,000 voucher.

"I did not want my tombstone to read, 'She kept a really clean house.' I think I'd like them to remember me by saying, 'She opened government to everyone.'''

Take 'er easy, Ann


Liam said...

Great entry. I remember fondly her speech at the 1988 convention.

Jeff said...


When I think back on Ann Richards it occurs to me that it may be possible that the only reason "W' got into poitics at all was to get even with certain people. He was certainly uninterested enough in politics before he felt he had any provocations.

It seems to me that he ran for governor of Texas because he wanted to get even with Richards for saying that his father was "born with a silver foot in his mouth". Likewise, he ran for president because Saddam "tried to kill my dad".