President Bush’s Kind Words for Former Texas Governor Ann Richards

Today, President expressed his sadness upon hearing of the death of former Texas Governor Ann Richards:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President George W. Bush said on Thursday he was saddened by the death of one-time political rival and former Texas Gov. Ann Richards and that “Texas has lost one of its great daughters.”

Richards, a blunt, silver-haired, motorcycle rider, died on Wednesday at 73 after suffering from esophageal cancer.

“Ann loved Texas, and Texans loved her. As a public servant she earned respect and admiration,” Bush said in a statement. “Ann became a national role model, and her charm, wit, and candor brought a refreshing vitality to public life.”

Richards, who was Texas governor from 1991 to 1995, described Bush as “some jerk” during the race for governor that she lost to him in 1994.

She jumped to national prominence at the 1988 Democratic National Conventional for her jibe about Bush’s father, then-Vice President George H.W. Bush — “Poor George, he can’t help it … He was born with a silver foot in his mouth.”

White House spokesman Tony Snow did not know whether Bush would attend her funeral.

Governor Richards never seemed to have any public words of kindness or respect for President George W. Bush or former President George H.W. Bush. It says a lot about President Bush’s character that he looks past Mrs. Richards’ nastiness to express his condolences on her death in such a kind, respectful way. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if President Bush attends her funeral.

Update: A commenter at RightWingSparkle writes of Ann Richards’ refusal to bash President Bush or his family while she was a guest on Air America’s Morning Sedition talk show. I’m pleased to hear that.

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