Get Well, Ann

Ann Richards, sitting high on the hogWhile running along Town Lake last Sunday, I passed Ann Richards going the opposite direction. Other than Kirk Watson, Governor Ann is the politician that I’ve spotted most often along the hike and bike trail. She reciprocated my “luv ya Ann” with a pleasant smile, and the last 2 miles of my run were more enjoyable for it. I thought I might post something that night about how I never see any Republican pols outside enjoying Austin’s natural beauty, but it wasn’t quite compelling enough to take my lazy ass away from the Oscars.

But now the experience seems a lot more bittersweet, since Governor Richards was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. I don’t know much about throat cancer, but if there’s anyone who can beat it, it’s Ann. The treatments can’t be any less pleasant than running against Claytie Williams, can they?

Ann will certainly be with us for a good while longer, but it’s sad to note that as a politician she represents an extinct species: the ballsy Texas Democrat. The Dems have gotten so used to being whipped in this state (and beyond), nobody seems capable of speaking plain truths anymore. Her frankness ultimately might have hurt her career as much as it helped, but it also affords her a legacy of credibility that most public servants should envy.

Get well soon, Ann. We still luv ya.

[photo from the Texas State Libraries and Archives Commission]

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