Thursday, September 14, 2006
Ann Richards had a lot to do with my political formation back in the late 1980s and early 1990s. She was the candidate for Governor of Texas while I was living in Dallas and attending college. I was a young Republican from New York when I arrived at SMU and remained so until I started to realize that there were elements of the GOP's extreme wing that made me totally uncomfortable. As I was undergoing that "awakening" process, Ann Richards was there to be the face of the Democratic Party. Sunny, funny, and wicked smart, she was candid in the challenges she faced in life and unwilling to be boxed in by good-old boy exclusions. Ann Richards was a force to be reckoned with.
As Governor she kicked down a lot of doors in Texas politics, and showed lots of young people (myself included) that there was honor, dignity, and yes, potentially a lot of fun, in being involved with politics and government service.
RIP Ann Richards.
Link above and picture from the Dallas Morning News.
From the USA Today: "A longtime champion of women and minorities in government who was serving at the time as Texas state treasurer, she won cheers when she reminded delegates that Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, "only backwards and in high heels."