Thank You Ann Richards

I thought Ann Richards was too tough to die.

She raised four kids; stared down alcoholism in 1980, osteoporosis in 1996 and esophageal cancer since March of this year; celebrated her 60th birthday by getting her motorcycle driver's license; got the Lone Star State to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment; and was one of the first to laugh at George H.W. Bush ("Poor George, he can't help it. He was born with a silver foot in his mouth."). During her four too-short years as the first female governor of Texas elected in her own right, she oversaw the hiring of the first black and female Texas Rangers; appointed the first black University of Texas regent; put the first teacher in charge of the State Board of Education; reformed the state prison system and state-wide education. At the end of her term, her popularity polled higher than 60%. The only thing she couldn't do was beat George W. Bush, who unexpectedly defeated her in the race for governor in 1994, the last year any Democrat has held a statewide office in Texas.

She was a female politician who championed politics and feminism but refused to take herself too seriously. "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.'" During her keynote speech at the 1988 Democratic National Convention she illustrated how far women had come in terms of equal rights with her analogy that Ginger Rogers had to do everything Fred Astaire did, "only backwards and in high heels."

Rest in peace, Ann. Thanks for showing us how to go from homemaker to muckracker to grandmother, 73 years spent laughing and giving 'em hell all the way.

By Leslie Morgan Steiner |  September 15, 2006; 7:50 AM ET  | Category:  Moms in the News
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I wish there were more like her.

Posted by: MD | September 15, 2006 8:25 AM

What a great role model, it's sad that she died at the age of 73.

In the words of my two year old "she was awesome." Her comment about Bush had me laughing for weeks.

This post today also makes wonder, how do some women achieve and do so much? It kind of makes me feel like I don't do enough.

Posted by: scarry | September 15, 2006 8:48 AM

"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.'"

I wish everyone would think about their eulogy/tombstone when they live their lives. Ann R was lucky to accomplish that before she died; what would your tombstone say?

Posted by: tlawrenceva | September 15, 2006 8:49 AM

Good work Ann, just a life well-lived; job well done. And nobody cared a whit about the state of your house!

Posted by: SEL | September 15, 2006 9:05 AM

Hear, hear on today's tribute. Achieving balance on her own terms and being a great smart-aleck: two very worthwhile accomplishments!

Posted by: theoriginalmomof2 | September 15, 2006 9:07 AM

"100 years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, what sort of house I lived in or what kind of car I drove, but the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child."

Who is going to remember Ann Richards 100 years from now?

Posted by: Anon for Today | September 15, 2006 9:09 AM

To Anon for today:

She doesn't need to be personally remembered to have made a lasting impact on the world.

Posted by: Tara | September 15, 2006 9:15 AM

Anon for Today must be forgetting Ann Richards' mother! I hope I make a difference in the lives of my children, but I want to make a difference also. I believe it's possible to do both.

Posted by: The long term | September 15, 2006 9:16 AM

While I always liked and admired Ann for her real achievements in Texas, it's a shame that the Bush quip makes one of the top memories. It's a quip that Nixon could have made about JFK, and it made her appear much smaller and pettier than she in fact was. While history may not be kind to Bush, JR it is very likely that Bush, SR will be treated fairly as an effective stateman [who probably did more for world security and collaboration within the UN than anyone before or since].

Remember Ann for all of the people's lives that she made better -- not for a petty insult against a decent man regardless of humor value.

Posted by: FWIW | September 15, 2006 9:22 AM

What an outstanding and classy lady who unfortunately left us all too soon.

Ann, you did us proud and we thank you for your service and gift for telling them like it is.

We will truly miss you!

Posted by: GA. | September 15, 2006 9:24 AM

An old man on CNN one time said that Bush Jr. was so dumb and couldn't do anything right that he thought if he threw himself on the floor he'd miss. Funny!

Way to go Ann thanks for making good decisions and making fun of people who shouldn't be making any decisions.


Posted by: another good one about Bush | September 15, 2006 9:32 AM

As I blogged yesterday ...

http://punditmom1.blogspot.com/2006/09/woman-of-substance.html

Posted by: PunditMom | September 15, 2006 9:34 AM

I was so sad to read of Ann Richards death yesterday. I was in law school in Texas during her campaign against Clayton Williams for governor, and Williams was just incredibly patronizing (the kind of guy who'd refer to his wife as the "little woman"). I couldn't believe his basic lack of any kind of professional respect for his opponent -- it absolutely drove me nuts. And yet she handled it with grace and humor (and an appropriately smart mouth). I was proud to be able to vote for her, and I don't know that I've ever been so happy (politically speaking) as the day she won. I'm kinda with Leslie: I guess I always just figured she was too damn stubborn to die until she was good and finished with everything she wanted to do here.

Posted by: Laura | September 15, 2006 9:41 AM

As a native texan, this was a dark day when I heard the news. That woman was great.

Posted by: Will | September 15, 2006 9:45 AM

To Anon for Today,
If everyone only concentrates on their children, and their children only concentrate on their children, then who will actually make a difference in the world.

Teaching your children that they need to sacrifice only to raise other children is very limiting to their talents.

And, since you are Anon for today, nobody will remember you in 100 years because you don't have the guts to state your real name.

Posted by: LC | September 15, 2006 9:51 AM

This is a great tie into to the guest blog this week. Ann Richards also chose to stay home for a few years in her days of early motherhood. And clearly was able to have an incredible career after the time off. During this time she volunteered in politics.

Sandra Day O'Connor also chose this. It seems to be a great way to balance career and motherhood for some people. Take a few years off when you personally feel it makes sense, stay invovled and jump back in. Clearly not for everyone but a good way to balance for others.

Posted by: Raising One of Each | September 15, 2006 9:53 AM

Laura,

Laura,

It never surprises me how many men in politics feel they can patronize their opponents when they are women. It happened in a Maryland governors race when a certain now governor continually called his opponent Mrs. instead of her whole name. He clearly did it on purpose and it was nerve racking to watch and I'm sure it was nerve racking and insulting to her.

We need women like Ann and to be honest, men like her too, who aren't afraid to get out their and change this country for the better like she did.

Posted by: scarry | September 15, 2006 9:54 AM

http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/news/texassouthwest/stories/091506dntexrichardsstories.3277c4a.html

Posted by: Anonymous | September 15, 2006 9:56 AM

She would have made a far better President than the "man" who took her job as Governor of Texas.

Posted by: Henry | September 15, 2006 9:59 AM

Just a slight correction: Democrat Dan Morales was re-elected as Attorney General of Texas in 1994 and served in that capacity through 1998, when he declined to seek re-election and was replaced by Republican John Cornyn. Morales was the only Democratic statewide officeholder to survive the GOP sweep that knocked out Ann Richards.

Posted by: Bruce Griffiths | September 15, 2006 10:31 AM

About 10 years ago I read or heard this, (possibly on 60 minutes) but it has stuck with me for a long time. During her reelection campaign for Texas governor against George W. Bush, they were debating and Ann Richards said she something to the effect of wanting to train women for work and careers, and Bush's response was that HE wanted to "train women to be wives and mothers". I found this so offensive, I've never forgotten it. How dare anyone, especially any man direct me or any other woman to do whatever she damn well pleases with her life and career.
Besides, by crime statistics, the responses of married women to most polls and lots of post to this forum, it's the men who need to be "trained" to be husbands and fathers.

Ann Richards believed that women were not second class citizens put on this earth to be ONLY beasts of burden for men. Women owe her a lot, and anyone like Anonymous thinks otherwise is a woman-hating fool.

Posted by: Grateful | September 15, 2006 10:33 AM

I absolutely loved Ann Richards and am very sad that she is gone. She not only was intelligent, but so witty and still such a lady! Too bad Texans don't seem to know what's good for them. Oilmen KNOW Bush is; but he's not good for anyone else!

Posted by: Sue | September 15, 2006 10:48 AM

Sorry, typed too fast - that should read "how dare anyone, especially a man direct a woman to do anything OTHER than whatever she damn well pleases".

That's how mad GWB makes me - he's just another man trying to control women's behavior to suit his own comfort, ideology and outdated social structure. Let's let him know how WE feel in November.

Posted by: Grateful | September 15, 2006 10:53 AM

I'm with you grateful, but I have to say that I feel sorry for the democrat who has to clean up his mess.

Posted by: scarry | September 15, 2006 10:57 AM

Way to use the opportunity to express our thanks to a lady, who we can all agree, did wonders for women, to slam the president.

Where are your priorities?? You sound bitter.

Who hates women by the way. I don't know any such person.

Posted by: To grateful and others | September 15, 2006 11:02 AM

What a great feisty lady! I was born and raised in Texas and have not lived there in 40 years, and I have to say she makes me proud, not ashamed, to be a former Texan.

Posted by: Melissa | September 15, 2006 11:12 AM


The "silver spoon in his mouth" comment was directed at Bush Sr. -- not Bush Jr. -- and was pretty much a petty personal insult. The unfortunate aspect of it was that many folks did recognize it as such, and it likely contributed to her loss to Bush Jr.

Posted by: FWIW | September 15, 2006 11:16 AM

""100 years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, what sort of house I lived in or what kind of car I drove, but the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child."

Who is going to remember Ann Richards 100 years from now?"

No kidding. Look at George Washington. Guy didn't have any kids and hardly anyone knows who he is today.

Posted by: Lizzie | September 15, 2006 11:18 AM

I have long been an admirer of Ann Richards. Gotta love a woman with the guts to say what other people are thinking. I found it sad that the obituaries said her political involvement put a strain on her marriage and it ended in divorce. So often women have to pay a price that a man would not.

Posted by: Suzy | September 15, 2006 11:22 AM

""100 years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, what sort of house I lived in or what kind of car I drove, but the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child."

This quote is an attack on materialism (notice it doesn't say anything about activities, just things) not an attack on people who do more than parent. And if we are looking for non-parents who will be remembered may I suggest Mother Teresa.

Posted by: Divorced Mom of 1 | September 15, 2006 11:24 AM

Bowing to the reality of the pro-death penalty Texas Legislature, Ann Richards was not a vocal critic of the Texas death penalty law while Governor. While campaigning for Governor, she was asked if she supported or opposed the death penalty. She said, "I will uphold the laws of the State of Texas." The reporter then asked, "But what would you do if the Legislature passed a bill repealing the death penalty?" to which she replied, "I would faint." Her stance disappointed various human rights groups including Amnesty International.

Posted by: Anti-Death | September 15, 2006 11:28 AM

"I have long been an admirer of Ann Richards. Gotta love a woman with the guts to say what other people are thinking. I found it sad that the obituaries said her political involvement put a strain on her marriage and it ended in divorce. So often women have to pay a price that a man would not."

Maybe her boozing had something to do with it too?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 15, 2006 11:30 AM

"Maybe her boozing had something to do with it too?"

Since she went into rehab many many years before she was elected Governor, I doubt it.

Posted by: Lizzie | September 15, 2006 11:30 AM

Um, Ann Richards had 4 kids -- so if the only people that remember her in 100 years are her offspring she should be ok.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 15, 2006 11:36 AM

"Maybe her boozing had something to do with it too?"

Cheap shot and unnecessary putdown.

She readily acknowledged her alcoholism and sought treatment for it. She reached out to other people struggling with the same illness. Being a recovering alcoholic was part of who she was, and she accepted that.

Contrasted with GWB's 20-year-long, dry-drunk denial, Richards's straightforward honesty about who she was and how she came to be that person was really quite inspiring.

Posted by: pittypat | September 15, 2006 11:42 AM

"Maybe her boozing had something to do with it too?"

Cheap shot and unnecessary putdown.

But her silver spoon remark to former president bush was perfectly OK, right? Am guessing if she could give it out, she could take it too. Unless that tough texas image was just an act. Either way, may she rest in peace.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 15, 2006 11:44 AM

I've seen her popularity was supposed to be 60% when she lost to GWB. With a 60% approval rating, how did she manage to lose? Were voters staying home or was someone stuffing the ballot box?

Question from a Minnesotan who knows very well we have occasional unexplainables in our Governor's Mansion.

Posted by: Emilie | September 15, 2006 11:46 AM

Re "I've seen her popularity was supposed to be 60% when she lost to GWB. With a 60% approval rating, how did she manage to lose?"

Well, remember that GWB didn't win the popular vote in 2000, either. But he still got appointed president.

Posted by: pittypat | September 15, 2006 11:50 AM

Re "But her silver spoon remark to former president bush was perfectly OK, right?"

She didn't make the remark TO him; she made it ABOUT him at the Democratic National Convention. She was the keynote speaker, as I recall, and it was her job to rally the faithful by stabbing at the opposition.

So, yeah. Perfectly OK.

Posted by: pittypat | September 15, 2006 11:52 AM

There is a great (better?) discussion of Ann Richards going on in Domestic Disturbances - Judith Warner's NYT column. http://warner.blogs.nytimes.com/

Perhaps the best so far - one of Ann's earlier quotes: "Remember Ann Richards's comments to-I think it was some Girl Scouts-about getting an education? She told them, go ahead and dream of marrying Prince Charming, but when the Prince is middle aged with a pot belly and a wandering eye, you'll be glad you have a degree and can support yourself if you have to."

Posted by: The Original Just A Thought | September 15, 2006 11:55 AM

I always thought she was a bit of a nutburger. She carried that ball-busting wise-cracker a little too far -- all one liners and quips, not much substance to her. I always wanted to tell her to give it a rest. Now I suppose she will.

Posted by: Childless by Choice | September 15, 2006 11:55 AM

She didn't make the remark TO him; she made it ABOUT him at the Democratic National Convention. She was the keynote speaker, as I recall, and it was her job to rally the faithful by stabbing at the opposition.

So, yeah. Perfectly OK.

Oh, I see. That makes it OK. Thanks for the clarification!


Posted by: Anonymous | September 15, 2006 11:57 AM

wow, i never knew how great Ann Richards was. i just kind of knew that she had been defeated by W (BOOOO) back in 1994 and that she was governor of Texas but i didn't realize how fabulous and trailblazing she was.

Thank you all for giving me more information about this amazing woman. i now have another strong woman to look up to. :)

Posted by: lucy | September 15, 2006 11:57 AM

"I always wanted to tell her to give it a rest. Now I suppose she will."

HA! I suppose that is true!

Posted by: good one | September 15, 2006 11:58 AM

Ann Richards comments on Bush Jr cemented her defeat. She called him "shrub" and "that little jerk." Even if you don't like Bush I think you will agree that these comments won't win you points when you are running for Governor. Her 4 year term ended 40 years of Democratic rule in Texas and it has been in the Republican's hands ever since.

I'll give her credit for raising 4 kids and defeating alcoholism. Didn't think much of her as a Governor.

Posted by: cmac | September 15, 2006 12:19 PM

ann richards, barbara jordon. they don't make 'em like that any more

Posted by: quark | September 15, 2006 12:38 PM

Re "She called him 'shrub' and 'that little jerk.'"

She called it like she saw it. He WAS a little jerk. Still is. She just pointed it out in advance.

Posted by: pittypat | September 15, 2006 12:47 PM

Ann was our last real govenor. I would see her on the hike and bike trail at times and she was always beaming. She was a woman who loved life and people. She will be missed. Unfortunately, Texas has been saddled with bush and "brokeback" Rick Perry since she left...what a sad state Texas is and has been since she left office.

Posted by: Angry Texan | September 15, 2006 12:48 PM

pittypat you are on a role today.

Posted by: scarry | September 15, 2006 12:57 PM

scarry --

It's generally better if I don't start talking about GWB -- at least not too early in the day. I just get too wound up.

Luckily, I work in an office full of like-minded people, so when someone starts ranting, no one gets upset. :>)

Posted by: pittypat | September 15, 2006 1:02 PM

Back in the 1980's, my mother worked in the Texas capitol building. I remember her telling me that Ann Richards was one of the few politicians that actually looked at you as a person, instead of looking through you.

Posted by: Big D | September 15, 2006 1:04 PM

From what I've read she had a great personality, but how qualified was she as governor? Other than, as stated by Leslie, by making some appointments to diversify the powers-that-be in Texas? (And of course, this is only a good thing if they were qualified and did a good job. Thurgood Marshall wasn't thrilled with the man that H.W. appointed to replace him.) Leslie says she "reformed the state prison system and state-wide education." Was this good or bad? Any opinions from anyone who knows how she reformed them?

I honestly don't know. I liked what I saw of her. I have vague memories of enjoying her keynote address at the Democratic National Convention (and let's face it, many of those speeches aren't enjoyable). But I wonder whether the ability of someone to make great quips is enough for them to be considered great. Yes, it's inspiring that she was a mother who became such a national figure. I don't want to take that away from her. But how much discussion has there really been about whether she in fact did a good job? Is the mere existsence of a woman who had a high-profile career after being a homemaker enough to be an inspiration? Because she also makes humorous put-downs?

I saw one comment on this blog from someone who said they weren't impressed with her as a governor, and a comment from another that she made him/her proud to be a former Texan (much like W probably does, haha), but not much else.

But I guess a blog on a paper based on D.C. wouldn't have many Texans looking at it anyway.

Posted by: Sam | September 15, 2006 1:14 PM

What's the deal with the public schools in Texas?

My husband and I both have relatives who were transferred to Texas within the last 6 years.

Their kids, who were B and C students in New York State public schools, become A+ students overnight in Texas public schools. Two of the kids were "put ahead" of their classmates.

The neighborhoods of both states are roughly similar; there are no language or socio-economic issues. How did these kids get so smart in Texas?


Posted by: Sylvia | September 15, 2006 1:15 PM

As a real Texan born and raised in the state unlike Dubya, i can say that Ann Richards had a great impact on our state. When she was Gov we had clean air, no Cronyism and a care free state. I lived in Florida in the mid to late 90's and when i returned to Texas i got an apartment that showed the skyline of Dallas. Unfortunetely the laws Dubya passed made it hard for me to view our great skyline because of all the polution. And i also found that Texans had lost their way with Dubya and his buddy Rick Perry. So rest in peace Ann, this Texan will miss you sorely.

Posted by: Mourning Texan | September 15, 2006 1:18 PM

To FWTW: "Silver foot" was perhaps petty, but recall how often Bush senior misrepresented our country with malaprops and mishaps as often as he did (vomiting in the lap of the Japanese prime minister; "Don't cry for me Argentina" at the end of the 1992 campaign trail, by which time he was in breakdown, a textbook case of logorrhea, reminding us that the acorn seldom falls far from the tree). He certainly earned the joke. Petty, perhaps, but did it even come close in viciousness to the rumors that Bush Jr. and Rove spread about Richards during the gubernatorial campaign? I don't think so.

Note to the rare conservative reading this -- why do so very many Republicans both claim virtue and practice vicious politics? Does the amorality of such hypocrisy ever bother YOU when you go into the voting booth? Do you suppose Bush Jr. will ever apologize to anybody for the uniformly ugly ways he has run his campaigns? A justly fearful Lee Atwater apologized on his deathbed for the Bush senior campaign. Will we ever hear such from Rove? I don't think so.

Posted by: D | September 15, 2006 1:21 PM

Sylvia, the reason our schools are great is because of the changes Ann Richards made to enhance education in this state. There was no "No child left behind" b.s with here. She actually did not leave any child behind.

Posted by: Mourning Texan | September 15, 2006 1:23 PM

It never surprises me how many men in politics feel they can patronize their opponents when they are women. It happened in a Maryland governors race when a certain now governor continually called his opponent Mrs. instead of her whole name. He clearly did it on purpose and it was nerve racking to watch and I'm sure it was nerve racking and insulting to her.

Posted by: scarry | September 15, 2006 09:54 AM

=====

scarry--I think this was politics and not sexism (even veiled). Kathleen Kennedy Townsend purposely kept her maiden name in order to ride on the coat-tails of her family name, the vaunted Kennedy clan. She tried to use that for all it was worth politically including arguably buying her and Glendenning's election the first time around. A very large portion of Kennedy money went into that campaign significantly tipping the scales in their favor advertising-wise. During her gubernatorial race, not only did she contribute a lot of Kennedy money (again), but also a large majority of her campaign support money came in from out-of-state. She wasn't very popular in-state (nor was Glendenning, he was just much more popular than the poor choice of Sauerbrey).

Ehrlich's references to Mrs. Townsend was to try to eliminate the Kennedy clan name from her name. It was a political move and not a sexist move. If you want true sexism in the Maryland political scene, just look at our out-going Democratic comptroller. That's about the worst case of bigotry I've seen in a while.

Posted by: DadWannaBe | September 15, 2006 1:26 PM

Pittypat: Like I said, I don't care what you think about GWB - I merely pointed out that Ann Richards lost the election in part to her big mouth. You may like that in a candidate but apparently lots of people did not in Texas. It is not wise to call the opposition silly name in a Governor's race.

Funny - you can't say one thing about GWB on this site without the haters getting all frothy at the mouth. Well, I guess it is not so funny - it is the Washington Post - always got to keep that in mind.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 15, 2006 1:30 PM

pittypat,

I'm with ya all the way. I am an Irish Catholic Democrat, I'd vote for a yellow against Bush.

Posted by: scarry | September 15, 2006 1:34 PM

Curious -- those of you who think Ann Richards' "silver foot" quip was petty, can you explain why? I found it to be a hilarious, insightful comment about GHWB, a man whose fundamental problem was that he was so wealthy he was out-of-touch with average Americans' concerns.

Posted by: Leslie | September 15, 2006 1:37 PM

Sam, fair points, but one thing that bothers me is that society tends to demand more of a woman's "qualifications" and performance than a man's. When Ann Richards was running for governor, her opponent was a businessman who made his money in oil, who had never served in political office before, and who pretty much had no academic or public service credentials -- just a whole lotta money. Kinda like the guy who beat her 4 years later. So are you going to compare her to some standard of "acceptable" credentials, or to the people she was running against? Because if it's the latter, in terms of qualifications, she kicked their butts.

I moved out of state after she was elected, so I don't know first-hand what she did once she got into office. But look at all of the cronyism and ethical concerns happening through the state now -- problems with faked school performance numbers, indicted politicians, etc. The kinds of things that make you lose faith (presuming you had any left) that your government is anything other than by the rich, for the rich. The one thing that impressed me the most about Ann Richards was that she was a total straight-shooter -- what you saw was what you got. I just can't imagine that kind of under-the-table, behind-closed-doors approach to politics in her administration. Could be wrong, but sure seems like a lot of this stuff started after she left office.

The other thing is that Texas has a fairly long history of being run by the good ol' boy network. So frankly, the mere fact that she opened up politics to other kinds of people is in itself a significant accomplishment in my eyes. It is supposed to be a "representative" democracy, after all, not a plutocracy.

Posted by: Laura | September 15, 2006 1:38 PM

Sylvia, I always noticed that my peers at UM who graduated from New York state schools were particularly well-prepared for college. I disagree with Mourning Texan. I think the fact that your relatives went from being B/C students to A+ students speaks poorly of Texan public schools.

Note: This is not a comment on the NCLB laws or on who is responsible for the state of Texas state schools. By the way, I'm a teacher.

Posted by: hch | September 15, 2006 1:39 PM

Dadwannabe- great synopsis on the Kathleen Kennedy-Townsend campaign and race.

Posted by: cmac | September 15, 2006 1:41 PM

To unnamed in your recent response to Pittypat: But I guess it's okay for a candidate to hire advisors who hire flunkies to spread vicious rumors about his opponent, as he long as he never says the things himself? This from someone whose admirers like him because he says what he thinks, of which admirers I'd guess, by your words, you are one. I bet you also like Barbara Bush, and I bet you like her for the same big mouth you decried in Ann Richards. Right?

Posted by: D | September 15, 2006 1:41 PM

AR was both public and private. We know her public persona. I hope her family has the privacy they need, but also the appreciation of many who see AR as an authentic and brave person.

ALERT: Non political humor, with reference to family, children, grandchildren, and rabbits.

ALERT: Personal regret about divorce

From a CNN transcript of a Larry King Live interview (guest hose Hugh Downs). January 2001
http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0101/23/lkl.00.html

DOWNS: Do you have a biggest disappointment or regret that you remember?

RICHARDS: You know, I really don't. I've had such a lucky good life, I think about should I change things or wished I changed thing -- probably I could say the fact that I divorced after 30 years of marriage. That was a really tough thing. But I couldn't do anything about that. I couldn't save that marriage, and it probably wasn't worth it at that point, to be saved.

DOWNS: But you've got quite a family now. You've got seven grandchildren.

RICHARDS: I have seven grandchildren, and I have four wonderful children who all married wonderful people. And they love me and I love them. So who could ask for anything more?

DOWNS: You're way ahead of me. I only have two grandchildren.

RICHARDS: Well, listen, once they figure out what causes it, they multiply like rabbits.

(LAUGHTER)

Posted by: College Parkian | September 15, 2006 1:48 PM

I have been away from the column for awhile, but thought I'd drop in on this topic, as I am also a native Texan, and have voted in every election since 1981.

They say praise from your adversary is the highest form. I am a conswervative in politics, almost libertarian in many instincts. With that I say that Ann Richards is the last Dem I voted for in a statewide election.

The governor of Texas doesn't really do very much. The Lt. Governor (who heads the Senate) is the one with most of true powers in this State. Among the Governor's biggest jobs here is to represent the State well in public, and to help bring businesses into the State (along with appointments to boards, and a few Executive branch functions). In this public and recruitment function I felt Ann excelled--and I voted for her over W in 1994 for that reason. I admit I was rather surprised when she lost.

And cheap jab or not, I thought her line about Bush the Eldar was pretty funny myself. Her wit most will be missed.

Goodbye Ann, you tough old broad...
(She'd have liked that as an epitaph)

Posted by: TexasDadof2 | September 15, 2006 1:50 PM

To hch
NY v. Texas public schools

I think you've hit the nail on the head concerning the irony of the overnight improvement of the grades of my relatives' kids.

Posted by: Sylvia | September 15, 2006 1:51 PM

dadwannabe,

It doesn't matter what her name is, if it's her name that's what he should call her. On the money issue, she should be able to use whatever money is available to her, the republicans do. Did Ehrlich not use the money that was available to him?

Also, I find it very funny that you think the only reason that she would keep her name is because it is the name Kennedy. Many women, myself included keep their maiden name.

"I think this was politics and not sexism (even veiled). Kathleen Kennedy Townsend purposely kept her maiden name in order to ride on the coat-tails of her family name, the vaunted Kennedy clan."

There are many reasons why women keep their names, I think her reason might have a little to with her affection for her deceased father and uncle and her pride in all her family has achieved and contributed to the country, not just as a way to gain political clout.

As a side note, I walked my as**off for her all over Maryland, and I can tell you that a lot of the other volunteers I talked to thought it was sexist as well. However, you are allowed to have your opinion too.


Posted by: scarry | September 15, 2006 1:52 PM

RE: NY v. Texas schools
Texas ranks at the very bottom when it comes to funding our schools. We pay football coaches more than actual classroom teachers. If you keep the voting populace uneducated and throw wedge issues like gay marriage at them, they will almost always vote republican. Why do you think Perry is still around?

Posted by: Angry Texan | September 15, 2006 1:55 PM

Sorry - that was my response to pittypat - forgot to sign.

Your message was poorly worded so I couldn't really decipher what you meant. I believe you are getting into political campaign shenanigans - for which both sides have lots of dirt. I just pointed out that even the mere mention of GWB brings out claws. If I mentioned Clinton and his obvious drawbacks there would be 100 people sending me hate mail on this forum. This forum is just biased and your inarticulate rant is proof.

I do like Barbara Bush, but she never ran for office. I liked John's Kerry's wife in a strange/weird kinda way - she didn't care what she said either - but she was not the candidate. Maybe Ann R. should have been an entertainer or political pundit - she was pretty witty - but she was inappropriate for a candidate. That's my opinion - which I think I can still express on the board - even though I am beginning to doubt it.

Posted by: cmac | September 15, 2006 1:57 PM

I think your comment about Kathleen Kennedy is sexist. The only reason she kept her name was for political ambitions?

How about when the Bush twins grow up and keep their name, I suppose that will be okay. I usually like your posts, but not this one. You should have watched your wording.

Posted by: todadwannabe | September 15, 2006 1:58 PM

To Angry Texan (and others): What would "more funding" do?

Politicians frequently promise "more funding" to public schools. And what are we to do with that money? The systemic problems in our public schools are more societal than financial.

Posted by: hch | September 15, 2006 2:02 PM

cmac, you can say whatever you want. We should all be able to disagree in a nice way. I actually love president clinton, I met him at a book signing and he was wonderful.

On the other hand, I can't stand Bush, but I like Laura okay. I think she is a good role model and I actually didn't like some of the working mom comments that got thrown her way in the election.

Posted by: scarry | September 15, 2006 2:04 PM

I used to like Barbara Bush a lot. Then she said that really stupid thing to Katrina survivors and I realized that she
just doesn't get it and she never will.

It's annoying when people you admire mess up big time. Americans don't like to be disappointed.

Posted by: June | September 15, 2006 2:09 PM

Sorry for my ignorance - what did Barbara Bush say to Katrina victims?

Posted by: to June | September 15, 2006 2:09 PM

"They're underprivileged anyway, so this is working very well for them" ... former first lady Barbara Bush and former president George Bush visit hurricane evacuees in Houston on Monday.
Photo: AP"

Here you go,I couldn't remember it myself.

Posted by: scarry | September 15, 2006 2:13 PM

I don't think it is a secret that this forum leans left - so I am putting lyself out there when I post - this I know. I am disagreeing in a nice way - I am not the one that started the political pot shots at Bush, I merely mentioned what AR said about him in the campaign.

Not sure how meeting Clinton at a book signing can cement your opinion of him. I have met Oliver North and Dan Quayle at book signings and both were wonderful, but I don't think I would get anything but snipes if I posted that.

Posted by: cmac | September 15, 2006 2:15 PM

Re: "Well, I guess it is not so funny - it is the Washington Post - always got to keep that in mind." --

Yes, you do. Perhaps you should be blogging on the Washington Times? You might feel more comfortable there. :>)

Posted by: pittypat | September 15, 2006 2:20 PM

Ann Richards "Silver Foot" quip was not sarcastic. In Texas we call that talking the truth. Something alot of this country seems to be unable to do.

Posted by: Mourning Texan | September 15, 2006 2:21 PM

cmac,

I liked president Clinton before the book signing, but when I met him at the book signing he just really acted like he cared about people, which made me like him even more. Sometimes this blog is too liberal for me and I am one, so don't take it to heart. Say what you want, I like your posts.

Posted by: scarry | September 15, 2006 2:21 PM

"Dadwannabe- great synopsis on the Kathleen Kennedy-Townsend campaign and race."

Eh . . . not so much.

Kennedy-Townsend retained her maiden name when she married -- which was eons before she decided to aspire to state politics. (Remember, she was the one her family dubbed "the nun" -- her good works tended to be done quietly.) And, far from helping her, it probably doomed her, because there were so many rabid Kennedy-haters in the mix who couldn't separate her rather homespun values from the more progressive positions of others in her family.

So, no, it wasn't all political. And to say that she kept her maiden name to travel on the Kennedy coattails is just ridiculous.

Posted by: pittypat | September 15, 2006 2:23 PM

scarry--considering that from the time she married in 1973, including her 1986 failed congressional run, she was Kathleen Townsend. It wasn't until the 1994 gubernatorial race with Glendenning that she started running as Kathleen Kennedy Townsend. Yes, I'd say the use of her maiden name was political.

I agree that many women choose various reasons for choosing to keep their maiden name, but in this case, she didn't "keep" her maiden name. She reverted to using her maiden name for a political run. That's politics.

After her failed 1986 campaign for Congress, she spent 8 years in public service for the state of Maryland under the name Kathleen Townsend. She held several positions where Ehrlich may have encountered her including asst attoney general, state board of education, and 1992 presidental elector. It is possible that Ehrlich had met her during that time as Mrs. Townsend. Many people forget to change the way they address a person who has changed name. I don't think it is fair to necessarily assume that he was doing it to be sexist when she spent 20 years including 9 years in politics under that name (she started campaigning for Congress in 1985 as Townsend).

Posted by: DadWannaBe | September 15, 2006 2:24 PM

Thanks Scarry. Yeah, that was pretty rough...

In my opinion, this is the insensitive comment of the year, uttered by a prominent civil rights leader (Andrew Young) hired to help Walmart's image. He is speaking of small shop owners:

"But you see, those are the people who have been overcharging us selling us stale bread and bad meat and wilted vegetables. And they sold out and moved to Florida. I think they've ripped off our communities enough. First it was Jews, then it was Koreans and now it's Arabs; very few black people own these stores."

Incredibly, Andrew Young was defended my many news organizations, including The Post.

Posted by: yikes | September 15, 2006 2:26 PM

To 'todadwannabe':

I am talking about one specific instance, not women in general. Women have many good reasons for keeping their name, merging their names, changing to their husband's name and changing it entirely.

KKT *DID* change her name for political reasons. See my last message to scarry. I called her on this one instance, not women in general.

Posted by: DadWannaBe | September 15, 2006 2:29 PM

Sheesh. The 'silver foot' comment was a joke, people. Lighten up already.

And compared to what the Republican speakers were saying at their 1992 convention, it was downright nice. Anybody care to dredge up the hate speech that Republican convention speaker Pat Buchanan used, denigrating gays, women, and everyone else he could think of?

And at least it was a funny line. Buchanan was just downright mean-spirited.

I'll take a joke over hatred anyday.

Posted by: Hillman | September 15, 2006 2:43 PM

clarification

"I called her on this one instance, not women in general."

This her should be referring to KKT but with the intervening sentence it is incorrectly referring to scarry. Make that:

"KKT *DID* change her name for political reasons. See my last message to scarry. I called Kennedy Townsend on this one instance, not women in general."

Posted by: DadWannaBe | September 15, 2006 2:44 PM

I often go in and out of married and maiden name for various reasons. However, I expect people to refer to me as I am referring to myself. If I say hi I am blank scarry, I don't like it when they say hi Mrs. X. As far as her political aspirations, I seriously doubt if she ever dropped the Kennedy name. She may have chosen to not go by Kennedy at various points in her life, but to assume that her using Kennedy for the benefit of politics only, is reaching. Everyone knows who she is anyway and being a Kennedy didn't help Mark Shiver either. Then again, you are entitled to your opinion.

nother reason why I think Ehrlich is sexist is because he didn't say anything in the meeting when an aid was told to walk back out of the room and back again after she brought controller Schaefer a cup of tea (yes I know he is a democrat and he sucks but it doesn't excuse Ehrlich for not saying anything) He should have said something right then and there, but he didn't, so my girl Kathleen isn't the only basis for how I feel about Ehrlich.

Besides dadwannabe talking to me about the Kennedy's is like talking to a brick wall they are the only democrats that I think are flawless (and I know they are not, but just won't admit it) I think it is in my blood to adore them! :)

Posted by: scarry | September 15, 2006 2:46 PM

>>So, no, it wasn't all political. And to say that she kept her maiden name to travel on the Kennedy coattails is just ridiculous.>>

Can it be ridiculous without being sexist? I hate to see my guy DWB being slammed like this. He can be wrong (not saying he is) without being anti-female.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 15, 2006 2:49 PM

Pittypat- you really have a bug up your nose today about me - don't you? Maybe I think this forum needs a little balance, how exciting would it be if you all agreed on everything?

I truly hate it when people try to stifle opinions by "suggesting" they post elsewhere. Maybe you should post on the Wash Times website and see how it feels to be openly ridiculed for being a liberal - it is not very fun.

BTW: Dadwannabe is right, Kennedy-Townsend did change her name for politics. I guess if I cared that much I'd be googling that Gov's race and find the articles discussing it as a factor during the election.

Posted by: cmac | September 15, 2006 2:53 PM

yikes,

That was an awful comment. I'm glad he stepped down. Geez, I sometimes don't think before I say things, but I'm not in charge.

Posted by: scarry | September 15, 2006 2:54 PM

Sorry trying to do too much at once. A yellow dog. I am a yellow dog democrat. Although I have my moments when I am disgusted by them all. Sorry if everyone thought that meant something else.

Posted by: scarry | September 15, 2006 2:55 PM

"I'm with ya all the way. I am an Irish Catholic Democrat, I'd vote for a yellow against Bush."

Scarry--what's this mean? What's "a yellow"?

Sorry if I am ignorant.

Posted by: question | September 15, 2006 2:56 PM

That's fine. I don't have a problem with Kennedy Townsend, whatever she goes by. However, I think it is rather one-sided to say that Ehrlich only referred to her as Mrs. Townsend for sexist reasons.

I have many friends who have changed their names. Although most of the time I remember what their current name is, there are times that I forget and call them by their former name. It's a slip of the tongue and an accident. I'm not saying that was the case with Ehrlich. I'm saying that there are other reasons beside sexism that might be attributed to him calling her that. Recently while slightly distracted, I referred to a friend by her maiden name...which she hasn't used in close to 10 years. I stopped and realized what I had said, but it happens.

Posted by: DadWannaBe | September 15, 2006 2:57 PM

Laura Bush looks and talks like she is on some heavy duty medication. No,it's not the accent; I've seen this behavior in people under treatment.

She should come clean or she'll continue to have zero credibility with a lot of people.

Posted by: June | September 15, 2006 3:00 PM

It really irks me when women are criticized for keeping their names (for political reasons, business reasons, whatever the reason might be makes no difference to me). Men don't have to worry about keeping their names or changing them when they marry. The idea that women need any kind of reason to keep their names is offensive. We are born with a name, and all of a sudden, just because we marry, we are expected to change our name our husbands? What a crock. We are people, not dogs. Any women who chooses to keep her name is entitled to it. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend is a Kennedy. She was born to it. It is her legacy and her right to keep the name she was born with. Criticizing her for keeping it is sexist crap.

Posted by: Rockville | September 15, 2006 3:02 PM

Well, I would like to reiterate what the first person wrote about the late Ann Richards. She was a woman in own right, never shying down from a challenge. Have we all not said something that we regret on a daily if not weekly basis? Ann was just that, she knew her strengths and she acknowledged here weaknesses. She admitted that politics was the cause of her divorce, and that she embattled alcholism, she really showed us what it was like to be human. Remember Betty Ford did this years ago when she admitted to the same disease, she too showed us that we are human beings with faults. Ann you were an All American Woman and for that you are going to be missed. Sad that those who have written in the latter part of the day forgot this was about a great lady, a great Texan, and one saucy lady. God Bless you Ms. Ann and your family too.

Posted by: Mark | September 15, 2006 3:06 PM

June - that is a strange observation about Laura Bush. What is she supposed to come clean on - illegal or legal drug use?

Posted by: cmac | September 15, 2006 3:06 PM

"DWB"

What does this mean. I really hope it doesn't mean dead wife's brother.

Posted by: scarry | September 15, 2006 3:06 PM

Laura Bush looks and talks like she is on some heavy duty medication. No,it's not the accent; I've seen this behavior in people under treatment.
She should come clean or she'll continue to have zero credibility with a lot of people.

She is probably self-medicating in order to be able to put up with her marriage.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 15, 2006 3:09 PM

Rockville--whoa there. My comments about Kennedy-Townsend changing her name for political reasons was based on scarry's accusations that Ehrlich's reference to her as Mrs. Townsend was a sexist stab. I said that there were political reasons that he might have called her that (or a possible slip of the tongue).

I haven't critizied her for whatever she calls herself. I just identified that she did it for political reasons. And she is also married and has used the name Mrs. Townsend for years. Calling Ehrlich a sexist for calling her by that name I think is uncalled for.

Posted by: DadWannaBe | September 15, 2006 3:09 PM

DadWannaBe - yeah. Sorry. Kind of a hot button issue with me. I see your point.

Posted by: Rockville | September 15, 2006 3:11 PM

scarry--I think that DWB is meant to be me. Someone seems to be trying to defend me from the suggestion that I'm a sexist for attributing Kennedy Townsend's name-change for purely political reasons.

To anonymous 2:49--thank you, but don't worry. I personally don't think I am sexist (nor does anyone else I know) and my ego will neither be hurt not bothered by the zingers on an anonymous blog.

Posted by: DadWannaBe | September 15, 2006 3:14 PM

I think Laura Bush seems like a normal person - not medicated in the least. I don't think she likes the public scrutiny - but who would?

Wonder what Hillary takes to put up with her marriage? She seems a little irritated once in awhile;)

Posted by: cmac | September 15, 2006 3:14 PM

also said there are other reasons why I think that besides the "Kennedy" issue too. Continuing to hold a press conference or meeting whatever it was while a young female aid is being harassed is actually the main reason I have those feelings toward him.

Posted by: scarry | September 15, 2006 3:14 PM

thank god dadwannabe I was starting to think the governer had a dead sister or something. I don't think you are sexist either. I see your point of view even if I don't agree with it. What I do find strange however is that a Pittsburgh boy seems to lean a little right. :)

Posted by: scarry | September 15, 2006 3:22 PM

Heh! As a moderate conservative, I am the most liberal of my family. My siblings are both good ol' Texans (since the early 80's). My parents live in Florida. And not only them, but most of their friends are solid conservatives. I'm the "ultra liberal" black sheep (politically speaking) of my family. Then I come back to DC and I'm the token conservative friend for most of my friends. :-) But Pittsburgh was very diverse back then. I know that there were relatively few moderates in the 50's-80's. Most people were solidly entrenched one way or the other. And somehow in that mess, I came out a moderate.

Have fun folks, I'm heading out of town for a long weekend. I'll be back on Tuesday to get picked on by the liberals again (unless I find a wi-fi hotspot in LAX airport on Monday).

Posted by: DadWannaBe | September 15, 2006 3:29 PM

DWB = Dadwannabe.

I have no opinion on his wife's brother.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 15, 2006 3:38 PM

>>>Kathleen Kennedy Townsend is a Kennedy. She was born to it. It is her legacy and her right to keep the name she was born with. Criticizing her for keeping it is sexist crap>>>

Roll call. Raise your hand if you criticized KKT for keeping her maiden name.

Posted by: Random Guy | September 15, 2006 3:40 PM

"Roll call. Raise your hand if you criticized KKT for keeping her maiden name."

Can't raise my hand since I did the same thing and so did my daughter.

Posted by: June | September 15, 2006 3:40 PM

CMAC, your point is well taken about my quickly written response to your post to Pittypat. Nevertheless, the George Bushes, elder and younger, have made a practice of hiring political assassins to work at third hand through innuendo, slander, and lying. All the while, the Bushes act as if their hands are clean. At least George senior never pretended to virtues he didn't have (the "vision thing," etc.: he pretended to pork rinds instead). George junior has added a layer of pretense to virtue and morality that stinks of rot.

They all do it, Republicans and Democrats? No. In presidential campaigns, I think you'll find that the Democrats have too often failed for not successfully answering the slanders that have become customary from Republicans in the modern era since Nixon beat Jerry Voorhees for his House seat; nor have the Democrats often engaged in the same, whether to start or in kind. (Young George's draft status is about the closest you'll get to rumors coming out of Democratic organizations, and it was probably founded in substance, even though the evidence is pretty shaky.) Political slander, however, has become endemic to the Republican Party. It makes me very sad because I was born and raised a Republican.

Posted by: D | September 15, 2006 3:43 PM

There's something rotten in the state of Texas.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 15, 2006 3:51 PM

D - If you think the Clinton campaign was clean then I have some swampland in Arizona to sell you. James Carville is the biggest snake in politics. How about the JFK campaign? I seem to recall Joe Kennedy buying votes in a number of states and a lot of dead people voting in Chicago and Detroit. You haven't really substantiated your arguement with anything, just using innuendo such as "political assasin." Nixon's house campaign isn't really a modern example since it was probably in 1950.

As for the way the Democrats react to Republican "slander" - well, they cry like babies most of the time. They all do the same thing - to think that one party is innocent (D) and one is rife with Assasin's (R) is naive.

Also, I usually find it suspicious when people claim they "were raised _______" then disagree with that philosophy because of X, Y and Z. Talk radio for years has been encountering callers that say "I voted for Bush twice but now I think he is worse that Osama Bin Laden" as a clear give away that they are in fact a political operative.

Posted by: CMAC | September 15, 2006 4:15 PM

Also, I usually find it suspicious when people claim they "were raised _______" then disagree with that philosophy because of X, Y and Z. Talk radio for years has been encountering callers that say "I voted for Bush twice but now I think he is worse that Osama Bin Laden" as a clear give away that they are in fact a political operative.

Whatever. It is possible to become disenchanted with your political party or candidate of choice. People get tired of the same old politics of usual and cross party lines all the time. Didn't Jeffords from Vermont withdraw from the Republican Party and become an independent? I would hardly call him a political operative.

Posted by: Rockville | September 15, 2006 4:25 PM

Man, did I come to the party late or what? I hope you all haven't gone home. I remember the uproar over AR remarks to the girl scouts. After watching my parents' marriage and so many others, I can't say I disagreed with her. The rotten thing is that even in you do get an education, if you stay home with your kids and do pta and whatever, you won't have an easy time of it getting back in to the work force. I am not knocking pta or staying home. My very educated sister is having a hellish time finding a FT professional job. She has been home for ten years. Someone told her that her degrees were now worthless. Actually, she lives in an area that does not have a great job market and her husband is unreliable about the kids. She did temp for a while, but he would be late picking up the kids from daycare, and the next day she would get the tongue lashing from the daycare police. The woman actually told her that they were still HER responsibility and that SHE should have come to get them.

Hey D--you were born and raised a Republican? It is good to see that you learned to think for yourself. It doesn't happen very often anymore. If the Democrats's acted like the Republicans when it came to campaigning, they would have won much more often. I can never forget (although I would like to) the picture of Dick Cheney looking like a rabid Nazi.

This year I am getting an absentee ballot. Go Oregon!

Posted by: parttimer | September 15, 2006 4:28 PM

"to think that one party is innocent (D) and one is rife with Assasin's (R) is naive."

AND incredibly uninformed! I can tell when someone is spewing party line propaganda. You'll have to do better than that.

Posted by: Mike | September 15, 2006 4:30 PM

You expect a snake to crawl on its belly because that's the nature of the beast. Why are you so surprised when politicans are dirty, dishonest, slanderous, mud-slinging and immoral? That, too, is the nature of the beast. I put them all in the same category as scam artists, flim-flam men and carnival side-show freaks. I like to keep them around for laughs.

The least trusted professions are: politicans, car salespeople, publicists, union leaders, real estate agents, insurance brokers, journalists, and LAWYERS. The most trusted are firefights, nurses, farmers, doctors, teachers and police officers. As Will Rogers once said, "America is a great country in spite of Congress, not because of it.'

Posted by: Childless by Choice | September 15, 2006 4:34 PM

Rockville - You are using Jim Jeffords as your example? He never voted with the Republicans anyways so it was only a loss in numbers. To all the RINO's out there - good riddance. As for disenchantment with your party - there is plenty among the rank and file right now in the Republican party. I refer to myself as a conservative - I vote republican out of lack of conservative candidates. I won't let my disenfranchisement make me do a 180 though.

Speaking of jumping ship - what about poor Joe Lieberman? Talk about ruthless, from your own party no less. One day you are the VP candidate, the next you are a traitor.

Mike - Please tell me how I am uninformed? Enlighten me. With facts, please. I don't want to read about how you think and feel like the Republican's are devils, just the facts. Just because you disagree with me doesn't make me uninformed. Once again the opinion police - it your don't agree with someone's opinion it is wrong.

Posted by: cmac | September 15, 2006 4:41 PM

"I put them all in the same category as scam artists, flim-flam men and carnival side-show freaks."

As a flim-flam man myself, I am offended by this comment. I'm way more moral than any politician.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 15, 2006 4:55 PM

Umm...I am just a little office worker here in DC, voted for Bush, and truly in my heart regret that. I'm no dem, but I am human and to say carville is a snake without any comment on "Turdblossem's" activities is not very balanced. BTW...think about it...Turdblossem..kinda sounds like GWB thinks rove has a talent form making turd smell like roses. Basically it sounds to me like he is giving us loads of $h!t expecting us to not notice that it is actually $h!t.

Posted by: disenchanted | September 15, 2006 4:55 PM

Bruce Griffith is a bit wrong on the 1994 George Bush win in Texas. While Dan Morales did win re-election as Attorney General that year, so did Lt. Governor Bob Bullock, Comptroller John Sharp, and Land Commissioner Garry Mauro -- all Democrats. Treasurer Martha Whitehead, a Richards appointee to fill the vacancy left by Kay Bailey Hutchison's elevation to the U.S. Senate, also won....on the promise to eliminate the position, which she got the Legislature to do.

Posted by: jeffro | September 15, 2006 5:01 PM

Jim Jefford's leaving the Republican party was a loss in numbers, but this loss in numbers was hardly insignificant, especially when it came to how it altered control of the Senate.

From Wikpedia:
Jefford's independent status changed the Senate composition from 50-50 (with a Republican Vice President, Dick Cheney, serving as President of the Senate to break tie votes) to 49 Republicans, 50 Democrats, and one independent. Jeffords promised to vote for Democratic control after being promised a committee chairmanship by Democratic Leader Tom Daschle, thus handing control of the Senate to the Democrats. He then handed his chairmanship of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, which he had held since 1997, to Ted Kennedy (D-MA) and was given the chairmanship of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, which would have been occupied by ranking minority member Harry Reid. Jeffords held this committee chair until the Democrats lost control of the Senate in 2003 following Congressional elections in 2002.

Posted by: Rockville | September 15, 2006 5:08 PM

CMAC: Talk radio and giveaways? I wouldn't know. I'm no operative or politico of any sort. Ordinarily I stay the hell away from blogs. I just checked in here because I heard on the news this morning a rather funny sidebar to the effect that Young George sent his condolences to the Richards family. And I haven't turned on my radio to anything in years other than the noise that goes off with my alarm in the morning, which I promptly turn off. Yes, I was indeed born and raised a Republican of midwestern Republican family. I'm not one now. The Party has become something I hardly recognize from my youth, a pustulent creature of meanness and hatreds tawdried over by cheap piety. But you? Talk radio? By your easy familiarity, I'd guess you know that heart of darkness rather well.

Posted by: D | September 15, 2006 5:17 PM

CMAC -- I embrace you, cousin! Hardly ever read this blog because all the aggressive onsidedness and shutupsmanship* gets so tiresome. I checked in because I thought Ann Richards, may she rest in peace, though a nice enough person was *just not all that.*

And I find you! I feel like I have encountered a unicorn or something.

Feel the love!

Posted by: annie | September 15, 2006 5:55 PM

Annie - We are outnumbered. Take cover now. Apparently everyone on this board was a Republican but has turned away from the evilness (or shall I say, evildoers) and is now a "hope springs eternal" Democrat. Don't listen to them, they get in your brain and eat you from the inside out.

D - your flowery nonsense had my husband and I cracking up - I am going to share your last post with my neighbors as we drink a beer to me being the unicorn!!!

"a pustulent creature of meanness and hatreds tawdried over by cheap piety. " I am still cracking up! BTW - I have no darkness in my heart, only love for my fellow man.

Take Luck my friends and have a great weekend!

Posted by: cmac | September 15, 2006 6:16 PM

Re "Pittypat- you really have a bug up your nose today about me - don't you?"

I don't even know who you are. So, I don't think I have anything up my nose in regard to you.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 15, 2006 6:20 PM

My pet peeve, and a little grammar rant

Has anyone noticed that a lot of people do not know when to use "I" versus "me" -- especially when used in conjunction with another noun or pronoun? It is really quite easy. "I" is used as a subject. "I and a Democrat." Or "My husband and I are Democrats." On the other hand, "me" is used as an object. "Don't hate me for being a Demcrat." or "Don't hate my husand and me for being Democrats."

You would never say, "Don't hate I for being a Democrat." So it is also incorrect to say, "Don't hate my husband and I for being Democrats."

So CMAC, the correct phrasing is this: "D - your flowery nonsense had my husband and ME cracking up..."

Not to pick on you exclusively, a huge number of people make the same mistake, and it really bothers me.

Posted by: Rockville | September 15, 2006 6:35 PM

I saw the typo. Kind of ironic in a grammar rant.

Posted by: Rockville | September 15, 2006 6:37 PM

How many people have received e-mails with spelling/grammar errors from their kids' teacher? While I do communicate with parents by e-mail, I try to at least proofread ONCE! This has nothing to do with today's topic, but since we always devolve into something else, like poop or namecalling, I just wanted to ask. An insurance salesman came to my door the other day, telling me that he had been doing a lot of business in my neighborhood, and that he would like to sit down with us and review our insurance needs. He was rather snotty, but we probably don't have enough, so I took his card. These weren't printed out on the computer--they were done at a print shop (I think). Anyway, there were about a DOZEN errors. Spelling, grammar, punctuation. I make plenty of mistakes, but I am not selling anything! I had to toss that one.

Have a nice weekend, everyone, and use your turn signal, no matter what your political party!

Posted by: parttimer | September 15, 2006 6:58 PM

This blog was supposed to be a tribute to Ann Richards. Instead it wound up in political wrangling. (But at least it was polite--some of the blogs or rather talk-backs I read are full of vitriol.) I wonder why no one has commented on the fact that Hillary Rodham Clinton re-adopted her maiden name a few years ago. Incidentally, I also use my maiden name plus my married name for reasons that have nothing to do with politics.

Posted by: Outsider | September 15, 2006 7:27 PM

Hey, Rockville!

Thanks for pointing out the I/me error.

As a former college English teacher, I cringe whenever I see or hear it.

I think kids in my generation (BB) were so imbued with the rule about never using "Tommy and me" that we applied it to everything -- not just the subject of a sentence. I recognize in people my age a concerted focus on never using "XXX and me" in any context, whatsoever. And they genuinely believe that their grammar is correct.

Sigh . . .

Posted by: pittypat | September 15, 2006 7:54 PM

I try to proof everything I write - so the me/I is noted. I am so glad Rockville noticed my grammar error regarding a rant - which was quite a rant if I do say so again! Should be entered into a rant contest.

Pittypat - it does not surprise me that you are a former member of Academia.

Posted by: cmac | September 15, 2006 9:28 PM

cmac --

Nah, not me. I was just a moonlighter. Never a card-carrying member.

Sorry to burst your bubble. But ya don't have me pegged.

Keep trying.

Posted by: pittypat | September 16, 2006 6:53 PM

In academic circles, "academia" connotes post-high school communities. Of course, the last college I taught at was near a section of town known as "Academia," so there's an exception to every rule. High school just isn't it.

Posted by: to: cmac | September 17, 2006 4:46 PM

Ann was a great woman. Unfortunately her hubris gave the nation and the world "W". By underestimating W, she lost the Governorship, gave it to W and we are where we are today because of that blunder of historic proportions. Who would have known what underestimating W could do?

Posted by: SD | September 18, 2006 11:08 AM

"I used to like Barbara Bush a lot. Then she said that really stupid thing to Katrina survivors and I realized that she
just doesn't get it and she never will."

BB is maniacally defensive about her family which irritates me. She gets very bitter and petty about criticism of her husband and son which is funny coming from someone who called Hillary Clinton a very nasty word on TV. BB (and Rudy Guiliani, another thin-skinned politico) needs to remember--criticism comes with the political territory. Don't like it? Get out of politics (or in her case, don't marry a politician). Constituents have not just the right but the obligation to let their elected officials--who are public servants--know their wishes.

Posted by: NYC | September 18, 2006 12:45 PM

Well, not to defend BB but Hillary is a B***H, I think everyone knows that. And what is wrong with someone being defensive about their family? I seems to recall Hillary crying like a little girl when Billy Boy was caught with his pants down - something to the affect of "Vast Right Wing Conspiracy." If I was in her marriage I would cry too.

Posted by: to NYC | September 18, 2006 4:32 PM

"The "silver spoon in his mouth" comment was directed at Bush Sr. -- not Bush Jr. -- and was pretty much a petty personal insult...."

She lost to Bush Sr, not Jr.
And the simple fact is, it WASN'T a petty insult. Personal, maybe, it part, but you're missing something.

GHWB visited a grocery store on a campaign visit and made a huge deal about the scanner. He never bothered to ask the person scanning the groceries how much they made and how they lived.

He couldn't understand what it was like to BE them and didn't think to ask.

That lack of empathy and effort to help people get training or a college degree was a huge factor in his loss to Bill Clinton.

I hope he has become more compassionate since his Tsunami tour.

Ms. Richards, thank you. Thank you for showing us that humor and mental power belong to all of us, and with it, anything can be done.

Posted by: Deana | September 18, 2006 5:15 PM

I don't think Hillary is a B**H just a tough cookie. So I guess you need to revise your definition of everyone

Posted by: to to NYC | September 18, 2006 8:42 PM

I don't think Hillary is a B**H just a tough cookie. So I guess you need to revise your definition of everyone

Posted by: to to NYC | September 18, 2006 8:42 PM

Just a tough cookie, huh? You say cookie, I say B***H. Not going to convince you - so we will have to agree to disagree.

Posted by: to nyc | September 18, 2006 8:52 PM

"During her four too-short years" oh yeah you work for the Post no need to be objective.

Posted by: JOTB | September 19, 2006 9:22 AM

My point was you said "everyone knows that" You are more than entitled to your opinion you are not entitled to assume everyone agrees with you. Thank you for acknowledging my disagreement.

Posted by: to nyc | September 19, 2006 3:02 PM

My point was you said "everyone knows that" You are more than entitled to your opinion you are not entitled to assume everyone agrees with you. Thank you for acknowledging my disagreement.

Posted by: to nyc | September 19, 2006 3:03 PM

Just on the sly - if I were to take a poll on the USA Today or even CNN website and the only question was do you think Hillary Clinton is a B***H - I think the majority would say "Yes." Heck, I even think Bill would log on a few times and vote affirmative.

All in good fun my friend.

Posted by: TO NYC | September 19, 2006 6:55 PM

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