Richards' beehive gone, but she can still sting

October 17, 1992|By Michael Hill | Michael Hill,Staff Writer

Ann Richards, whose "Where was George?" keynote speech at the 1988 Democratic convention made her a political celebrity, brought her stem-winding, barn-burning road show to Baltimore County last night.

She delighted a crowd of several hundred that jammed the steamy Dundalk Armory for a rally on behalf of Democratic candidates.

The Texas governor was introduced by Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, who is running for re-election.

"I told Ann, They're going to love your hair in Dundalk!" the senator said, to whoops and cheers. And, though her gray beehive has lost a couple of feet off the top since 1988, Ms. Richards did not disappoint.

"I've known Barbara Mikulski for a long time," the tall Texan said hTC of the diminutive senator. "I've been her supporter since before she had a step stool. I remember when she had to get on top of an empty beer case.

Governor Richards said she and Senator Mikulski had been campaigning yesterday for Lynn Yeakel, the Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate from Pennsylvania.

"I want to send Barbara some help," the governor said.

"I don't necessarily think that women are better than men,"she said. "There are some good women and some bad ones, just like men. But in a democracy, the elected officials are supposed to represent the population, and the population is half women.

"Don't you ever forget, the rooster may crow, honey, but it's the hen that delivers the goods."

She said the vice-presidential candidates' encounter Tuesday night reminded her of how guard dogs were trained in rural Texas when she was growing up, chaining them up and throwing a piece of bad meat just out reach.

"He'd have to jerk on that chain. Make him mad, make him mean. When I saw Dan Quayle in that vice-presidential debate, I thought 'They've been training that boy for four years.' They took the chain off."

She made a strong denunciation of Bush trade policies, blaming cheap Mideast oil for the problems in the Texas energy industry.

She also spoke strongly for abortion rights: "Once you allow the federal government to tell women what they can do with their bodies, your male bodies out there are going to be next."

And while Governor Richards said of George Bush, "They can stick a fork in him, he's done," she concluded by reminding the audience that not all of the country has been paying as close attention to politics as those who come out for political rallies.

"The truth is the American public doesn't start paying attention until two weeks before the election," she said. "We are just getting to political attention time in America. You can't let up."

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