Re: [prezveepsenator] Former Texas Gov. Ann Richards, 73, dies
- I'll miss her.. She was good for Texas and good for
--- Greg Cannon <gregcannon1@...> wrote:
> Former Texas Gov. Ann Richards, 73, dies
> POSTED: 11:49 p.m. EDT, September 13, 2006
> AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- Former Gov. Ann Richards, the
> witty and flamboyant Democrat who went from
> to national political celebrity, died Wednesday
> after a battle with cancer, a family spokeswoman
> She was 73.
> She died at home surrounded by her family, the
> spokeswoman said. Richards was found to have
> esophageal cancer in March and underwent
> The silver-haired, silver-tongued Richards said she
> entered politics to help others -- especially women
> and minorities who were often ignored by Texas'
> male-dominated establishment. (Watch how Richards
> the national stage -- 4:04)
> "I did not want my tombstone to read, 'She kept a
> really clean house.' I think I'd like them to
> me by saying, 'She opened government to everyone,' "
> Richards said shortly before leaving office in
> She was governor for one term, losing her
> bid to Republican George W. Bush.
> Her four adult children spent Wednesday with her,
> family spokeswoman Cathy Bonner, a longtime family
> "They're a strong group of people but they're
> brokenhearted, of course," Bonner said.
> Her family said as governor she was most proud of
> actions that probably cost her re-election. She
> legislation that would allow people to carry
> handguns, automatic weapons and "cop-killer
> She also vetoed a bill that would have allowed the
> destruction of the environment over the Edwards
> Joking on a national stage
> She grabbed the national spotlight with her keynote
> address at the 1988 Democratic National Convention
> when she was the Texas state treasurer. Richards won
> cheers from delegates when she reminded them that
> Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, "only
> backwards and in high heels."
> Richards sealed her partisan reputation with a blast
> at George H. W. Bush, a fellow Texan who was vice
> president at the time: "Poor George, he can't help
> He was born with a silver foot in his mouth."
> Four years later, she was chairwoman of the
> convention that nominated Bill Clinton for
> Richards rose to the governorship with a
> come-from-behind victory over millionaire cowboy
> Clayton Williams in 1990. She cracked a half-century
> male grip on the governor's mansion and celebrated
> holding up a T-shirt that showed the state Capitol
> read: "A woman's place is in the dome."
> In four years as governor, Richards championed what
> she called the "New Texas," appointing more women
> more minorities to state posts than any of her
> She appointed the first black University of Texas
> regent; the first crime victim to join the state
> Criminal Justice Board; the first disabled person to
> serve on the human services board; and the first
> teacher to lead the State Board of Education. Under
> Richards, the fabled Texas Rangers pinned stars on
> their first black and female officers.
> She polished Texas' image, courted movie producers,
> championed the North American Free Trade Agreement,
> oversaw an expansion of the state prison system, and
> presided over rising student achievement scores and
> plunging dropout rates.
> She took time out to celebrate her 60th birthday by
> earning her motorcycle driver's license.
> Life after the governor's mansion
> Throughout her years in office, her personal
> popularity remained high. One poll put it at more
> 60 percent the year she lost to Bush.
> "I may have lost the race," Richards said after the
> defeat. "But I don't think I lost the good feelings
> that people have about me in this state. That's
> tremendously reassuring to me."
> Richards went on to give speeches, work as a
> commentator for CNN and serve as a senior adviser in
> the New York office of Public Strategies Inc., an
> Austin-based consulting firm.
> In her last 10 years, Richards worked for many
> causes and helped develop the Ann Richards School
> Young Women Leaders, scheduled to open in Austin in
> Born in Lakeview, Texas, in 1933, Richards grew up
> near Waco, married civil rights lawyer David
> and spent her early adulthood volunteering in
> campaigns and raising four children. She often said
> the hardest job she ever had was as a public school
> teacher at Fulmore Junior High School in Austin.
> Richards served on the Travis County Commissioners
> Court in Austin for six years before jumping to a
> bigger arena in 1982. Her election as state
> made her the first woman elected statewide in nearly
> 50 years.
> But politics took a toll. It helped break up her
> marriage. And public life forced her to be
> candid about her 1980 treatment for alcoholism.
> "I had seen the very bottom of life," she once
> recalled. "I was so afraid I wouldn't be funny
> anymore. I just knew that I would lose my zaniness
> my sense of humor. But I didn't. Recovery turned out
> to be a wonderful thing."
> The 1990 election was rough. Her Democratic primary
> opponent, then-Attorney General Jim Mattox, accused
> her of using illegal drugs. Williams, an oilman,
> banker and rancher, spent millions of his own money
> the race she narrowly won.
> After her unsuccessful re-election campaign against
> Bush, Richards said she never missed being in public
> Asked once what she might have done differently had
> she known she was going to be a one-term governor,
> Richards grinned.
> "Oh, I would probably have raised more hell."
> Survivors include her children, Cecile Richards,
> Daniel Richards, Clark Richards and Ellen Richards;
> their spouses; and eight grandchildren.
- I wonder why Clinton didn't make her an ambassador after she lost the
governorship. She'd have made a great ambassador, wouldn't she?
- I know that she wanted to leave public life, so maybe
she wasn't interested.. don't really know if there
were any offers but I agree she would have been
great... I think she felt it was time to make some
money. She's a homegirl from Austin, so it was a fun
career to watch blossom.. she used to say ' you can
put lipstick on a hog and call her Monique, but it's
still a hog,'when pols tried to use smoke and mirrors.
--- Ram Lau <ramlau@...> wrote:
> I wonder why Clinton didn't make her an ambassador
> after she lost the
> governorship. She'd have made a great ambassador,
> wouldn't she?