As most of us who follow politics know, former Texas governor Ann Richards died last night. Obituaries everywhere quote her Hall of Fame slam on George H.W. Bush at the 1988 Democratic convention, "Poor George. He can't help it. He was born with a silver foot in his mouth." They also note that it was just a few years later that the son exacted his father's revenge by defeating Richards and assuming the governorship just a few years later. What most don't mention is HOW George W. Bush did it by employing what would become a staple of the Rovian politics of smear.
Late in the game and foreshadowing tactics that would later destroy John McCain and John Kerry, a mysterious whisper campaign questioning Richards sexuality bubbled up and siphoned off most of the evangelical Christian support, an audience Bush targeted from the start. It was the twilight of Richards' career and the dawn of the politics of personal destruction. But George W. Bush won't have Ann Richards to kick around anymore. Godspeed, Madame Governor.
UPDATE: Bush Responds to the News of Her Death
"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."
What a faker. What a lousy, insincere faker.