Former Texas Gov. Ann Richards, and a sample of a Texas barbecue rib. Photo by Elecro-Fish Media (Austin, Texas)
Ann Richards died yesterday. It’s sad for me to think what might have been, had she been able to hold off one more charge by the Texas Republicans, had she defeated George Bush in her second campaign for governor of Texas.
Gov. Richards was a gracious and graceful woman who was simply fun to know — while quietly and forcefully inspiring others to do good deeds. In a former time, a candidate who defeated someone like Richards would have the good sense to keep her in government in some capacity, just for her wisdom and experience. It will be a tribute to Richards when civility is returned to politics.
Ann Richards was a public school teacher, clearly of the highest caliber. We can only hope there are more like her teaching in Texas schools today.
Update, September 17, 2006: Molly Ivins, perhaps America’s best political columnist, was a close friend of Ann Richards. Her column well reflects the special qualities of Richards, why we will miss her so badly, and why we should worry that there are so few like her around today.