Straight from the Heart…what would Ann Richards have to say?

Ann Richards at a 1994 fundraiser in Houston

As I have written before,  I don’t want to get into political controversies as I see enough of that on the daily news.  In July of last year I did post a piece titled “What Would Molly Ivins Say if She Could?” 

Now that the Republicans candidates have been winnowed down and President Obama has officially set his campaign machine in motion by raising big bucks, I wonder what the late Ann Richards, former Democratic governor of Texas, would have to say.  She certainly would speak her mind on the issues of women.

Richards was state treasurer of Texas in 1988 when she delivered the keynote address at the Democratic Convention in Atlanta, Georgia and came to national attention with her dry humor at the expense of then Vice President George H.W. Bush.  She became governor of  Texas in 1991 when she defeated Clayton Williams Jr, a wealthy rancher who made a joke about the weather and rape during the campaign.  George W. Bush regained the honor of his father when he ran against her in 1996 and won to become governor of Texas.  Some say that is what propelled him into the White House.  I tend to agree.

Her life was not without controversy.  She spoke out on women and minority issues.   Her marriage to David Richards fell apart as her involvement in politics took a toil on her personal life.  She admitted a problem with alcohol when confronted by family and friends and sought and received successful treatment for it.  She and Molly Ivins were friends and enjoyed sharing a drink or two together when they both lived in Austin.  Ann Richards died of complications from esophageal cancer in September of 2006 at the age of seventy-three.

It seems ironic or perhaps appropriate that one of her daughters, Cecile Richards, has been president of Planned Parenthood since 2006 and has been drawn into politics via that organization.  I think Ann and would be cheering her on! 


I’m not afraid to shake up the system, and government needs more shaking up than any other system I know.

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

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

Jill Buckley on Ann Richards: She’s sort of the female good old boy.

I have very strong feelings about how you lead your life. You always look ahead, you never look back.

I also wrote a piece in August titled “Run for you life!”   The political scene will be hot this summer and won’t cool down until the results of November 6 are in.  Exercise your right to vote and respect the views of others.  Remain civil…after all it’s only on election!

Straight from the Heart