Ann Richards: Now SHE’S the Kind of “Broad” We Need Today!

ANN-0064M-OnLineMktImage-300x200There was a time when Texas wasn’t as “red” as it is now.  I know that’s hard to believe. But before Rick Perry and before George W. Bush, there was Democrat Ann Richards, the first woman elected in her own right as governor of the Lone Star State.

She famously appeared at the 1988 Democratic National Convention, while she was the state treasurer, and reminded the delegates about who then-Vice President George H.W. Bush really was:

Richards was elected as Texas governor in 1990 but was then defeated by George W. Bush in 1994, After her defeat, she remarked, “I did not want my tombstone to read, ‘She kept a really clean house.’ I think I’d like them to remember me by saying, ‘She opened government to everyone.'”

Richards always had a way of pointing out what should have been obvious about men and women, like when she remarked that Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, but backwards and in high heels. But she was  also a long-time advocate for increased representation of women and minorities in politics, and had a hand in the creation of the Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders in Austin, Texas.

So how do you pay tribute to a woman like that in a stage production? Holland Taylor is channeling Richards in a one woman Broadway show, Ann, just in time for Women’s History Month. A political woman who didn’t shy away from a good fight if it was something that mattered to her, Richards is the exact thing we are missing in politics and feminism today — someone who made it clear she was less concerned about her own success and was more focused on making things better for her constituents, and for women and girls in general.

So why should you hightail it to the comments section? Because we’ve got free Broadway tickets to this show and you know you want them!

The Broad Side is excited to be partnering with the Broadway production of Ann and we are pleased to have two tickets to give away for the Broadway performance. Leave a comment on this post and you’ll be entered to win two tickets to see the Broadway show, Ann.  Comments posted by 5 p.m. EST on April 4 will be eligible to receive the tickets.  One comment will be chosen at random to win the tickets!!

  • I had the honour of meeting Ann Richards when she was running for re-election. I remain devastated that she died before she could make a run for president. She was an amazing woman.


    • Karen, I so wish I’d had the opportunity to meet her, though I have met her equally amazing daughter, Cecile Richards, who is currently the president of Planned Parenthood. Ann would have rocked the White House — can you imagine the barbecues? 🙂

  • Cynthia Samuels

    Here is a story you will love: When I worked at the TODAY SHOW I had a deal with the DNC that they would call me first when they chose their keynote speaker so I could book them for the show before anyone else got to them. (In those days they didn’t tape all 3 but chose one.)

    They called on a Saturday and told me it was Governor Richards. I was frantic. How to get a home phone number on a weekend?

    The NBC affiliate newsrooms in Texas had no home number for her and there was no email then of course. I called AP – they claimed not to have one either. Must have tried 5-6 other places. Then someone one on one of the calls said to me “Have you tried the phone book?” Of course I hadn’t – what governor listed her number in the phone book?

    You can guess what governor did just that. I called, we had a great conversation, and she was our exclusive guest the morning of the day she was to speak. I’ve always thought that said an enormous amount about her and even her political philosophy; no ivory tower for her. She was also just lovely and I’ve always been grateful for the entire experience.

  • I adore Ann Richards. When I had the consumer publishing division of Eli Lilly as a client; I was the editor-in-chief of a consumer publication for people taking an osteoporosis drug; and Ann Richards was the spokesperson. I had an opportunity to write a story about her; and was lucky when I was able to get a few quotes from her during a phone call. She was funny, sassy and very down-to-earth. Eager to help others and spread the news about managing osteoporosis. Sadly she died from the disease years later. I’d love to see Holland Taylor perform in the show.

  • I knew Ann and as sister Texans, we had a lot in common. We were together on a Vital Voices trip in Iceland, playing cards in a bar. I told her I didn’t see any way George W. Bush could beat Al Gore, as Gore was so much smarter and Bush was an idiot. Her sage reply: “Don’t underestimate Bush. He beat me — and I was a popular governor.”

  • I remember being a sophomore at the University of Texas at Austin in 1994 and being disgusted with the campaign being waged against Richards…saying that she was anti-family and anti-Bible because she protected women’s reproductive rights. I was a NY resident but I registered to vote in Texas and voted for her…and she lost.

    Fast forward 10 years, I was in my first campaign job with EMILY’s List, and she visited my South Florida office. It was like touching history. It made the relevance of the work I was doing real. My first campaign job, the first person for whom I ever voted…I’m not sure most people have the chance to have that kind of experience.

  • Beth

    Rick Perry isn’t half the woman Ann Richards was – oh, how I miss my fellow lady Texan.

  • CarolynT

    This was perfectly cast! Thanks for the ticket offer!

  • Even though I’m on the other end of the political spectrum, I love any woman who can talk politics and be a spitfire at the same time. I have the privilege of meeting Holland Taylor and catching a live preview of her show last year at the Women in the World Summit. I know it will be fabulous!

  • Ann Callaway

    What is it in Texas that makes such strong women? Both Ann and Molly Ivins are heroes to me. I hope Holland Taylor has great success with this tribute/show!

    • Patti Carlyle

      oh my goodness, yes! add in Brene Brown, and it’s my favorite trifecta of tell-is-like-it-is [and like it should be] Texas women. the biography of Molly Ivins by Minutaglio and Smith really fleshed out the awesomeness of Ivins *and* Ann Richards.

  • I met Gov Ann Richards at Fortune magazine in New York City when she came to town as the chair of the DNC Convention in 1992. It was quite a sight to see a powerful woman, dressed in her signature white suit and surrounded by big security guys, in Fortune’s impressive conference room before all the editors and reporters in the office that day.

    The first question, as I recall, came from one of the staff economists: “Where did the Governor think the economy was headed?”

    I wondered how she’d answer. It was a classic and I loved it. She retorted with a smile, “Why, YOU’RE Fortune magazine! You tell me!”

  • I have friends who saw Ann on Thursday night and RAVED about it.

  • Ann Callaway, You’re the winner of the tickets to see Ann on Broadway! Please contact us via e-mail for details at !!

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