September 16, 2006

(D – Texas)


Certainly, the most famous image of Ann Richards is the one taken during her keynote speech at the 1988 Democratic Convention.  That evening, Richards gained enduring fame for her quip about George Bush and his silver foot.  (Image and text at american rhetoric.)

Although not that familiar, and not at all flamboyant, I was drawn to this image on yesterday’s newswire.  The gun, the dog, the hunting jacket, the expanse of land — it’s a vernacular that has become synonymous with the “Texification” of American politics.

What makes Ann Richard’s death so resonant is that she symbolized a Democratic model of the Southern way.  Unfortunately for us, the Democrats possess few personalities — and none of substantial weight or impact — with what Ann Richards had: the charm, wit, ferocity, ruggedness and unflappability that come with the territory.

(image: Pat Sullivan/AP. September 4, 1993.  Honey Grove, Texas.  Via YahooNews)

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Michael Shaw
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