Ann Richards has died of esophogeal cancer at age 73.
Richards made a famously feisty keynote address at the Democratic convention in 1988, telling listeners that Republican candidate George Bush was “born with a silver foot in his mouth.” She was elected governor of Texas two years later, serving from 1991-95.
The Bush family got its revenge in 1994, when George W. Bush (the younger) unseated her as governor of Texas, on his way to becoming U.S. president in 2000. Like Bush, Richards struggled with alcohol for much of her adult life until sobering up for good in the 1980s, and her blunt talk about those struggles (and about nearly everything else) was a big part of her appeal.
Her obituary from the Houston Chronicle ends with this wry exchange: “Asked once what she might have done differently had she known she was going to be a one-term governor, Richards grinned. ‘Oh, I would probably have raised more hell.'”