Saturday, September 16, 2006

Goodbye Ann

Ann Richards was possibly the funniest, wittiest, smartest, erudite, and real politicians this country has ever known. No one could deflect the mean-spiritedness of conservatives better than her. Her even temper and humor gave her an air of poise and self control that could only be dreamed of by any politician today. Her willingness to listen to what people have to say created bonds of trust and empathy. I remember hearing her on the Al Franken show and finding myself laughing more at what she had to say than what Mr. Franken was saying. Her humor was her tool for creating a comfortable environment to discuss the harsh realities of life. She was more open and honest than any other politician I know of. For example: instead of hiding her past problems with alcohol she openly acknowledged that she was an alcoholic and that she was a member of Alcoholics Anonymous. Unfortunately, her political career was swiftboated not unlike many other people who have run against our current president. She was the victim of swiftboating before "swiftboat" was a verb.

Ann's life will continue to be a shining example for progressives for many years to come. She will be missed.

Here are several quotes that I feel illustrate her best:

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.

He was born on third base and thought he hit a triple.[about George Bush senior]

The regular Democratic Party and its organization was run by men who looked on women as little more than machine parts.

The public does not like you to mislead or represent yourself to be something you're not. And the other thing that the public really does like is the self-examination to say, you know, I'm not perfect. I'm just like you. They don't ask their public officials to be perfect. They just ask them to be smart, truthful, honest, and show a modicum of good sense.

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