I was really sad to hear that former Texas Governor Ann Richards succumbed to esophagal cancer last week at 73. She was one of the first politicians who really interested me. She was a recovering alcoholic and spoke her (quite witty) mind. She rose through Texas's frequently misogynistic political ranks from state treasurer, to keynote speaker at the 1988 Democratic National Convention, to Texas governor—only the second woman in state history to hold the office.
Her pointed, often hilarious political speeches thrust her onto the national stage. Among her more famous quotes:
On George H.W. Bush, who Richards felt was out of touch with the needs of poor and working-class Americans: "Poor George, he can't help it — he was born with a silver foot in his mouth."
On women's ability to equal men: "Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did. She just did it backwards and in high heels."
We could use more politicians like Ann Richards these days.