But Bullock has the name recognition and has staked out the turf. A recent Edwards press release announced that “Chet Edwards Eyes the Lieutenant Governor’s Race.” An honest look will advise him that Bullock is going to be hard to beat. V A SHORT-LIVED news item had former Democratic Governor Dolph Briscoe positioning himself for a comeback. One young Senate staffer who overheard former Briscoe general counsel Howard Richards working the Senate said she thought Briscoe was governor “back when Eisenhower was President.” Though Briscoe in fact left office in 1978, it is quite possible that in a debate with Ann Richards or out on the rubber chicken circuit with Jim Mattox, Dolph’s vital signs might not even compare favorably to those of the late ex-President. Briscoe’s testosterone level might have increased for a few days last spring after he was trotted out by Jess Hay to endorse the Presidential candidacy of Al Gore. But as a matter of record, Briscoe never showed much life while he was in office. Austin American-Statesman political writer Dave McNeely suggests that Briscoe’s gubernatorial tenure inspired the name of the Grammy-winnning western swing band Asleep at the Wheel. McNeely quotes Howard Richards “asking a point blank question: What do you think about Gov. Briscoe running for governor?” The response, according to Richards, has been “very good:” Let’s be honest and try “ha ha.” V HERE’S A RARE opportunity to go along with the current Governor, who recently secured the resignation of State Board of Insurance member David Thornberry. Thornberry, a Mark White appointee, had served on the scandal wracked commission longer than any other member. While Clements appointee Jack employee who probably thought he was accepting a sinecure and apparently has never quite figured out what the commission is all about. Thornberry is described by many as a bright capable attorney. He was, according to several activists watching the insurance debacle, in a position to act before dozens of insurance companies went belly up. He should have known better. V IN THE LOWER Rio Grande Valley, former San Juan Mayor Juan Maldonado is already making noises about running against second-term Weslaco Democratic Rep. Renato Cuellar. Maldonado forced Cuellar into a runoff in the last Democratic primary and now seems determined to give it another go. Cuellar generally votes a progressive agenda but Wit, Women and ‘W. V “WIT is the most dangerous talent that you can possess,” said state treasurer Ann Richards, at an Ann Richards Roast held in Austin February 13. “It must be guarded with great discretion and good nature, otherwise it will create you many enemies.” Richards was reading a selection from an 18th century father’s advice to his daughters and she was reading it for laughs, yet it was hard not to spot a touch of ironic truth to the father’s bromides: as Richards took the podium at the end of the evening and proved herself wittier than her six designated roasters, one could see her potential as a dangerous woman in the political arena. And if she ends up in a political war of words with Attorney General Jim Mattox in 1990 for the Democratic nomination for governor, she might create more than a few enemies. Such was not the case, however, in the good-natured crowd of more than 1,000 that turned up for the roast, sponsored by the Texas Women’s Political Caucus. Author Liz Carpenter was the emcee for the event, which featured Lt. Gov. Bill Hobby, State Rep. Lena Guerrero, Houston City Councilman Rodney Ellis, Congressman Albert Bustamante, and columnist Molly Ivins as Richards’s Roasters. Lonesome Dove-related jokes were the order of the night, as well as a few barbs directed at Ann Richards’s hair. \(Richards later introduced as a -mystery guest” her personal hairdresser who noted that Richards’s press releases say that she has saved the state five billion dollars through more efficient accounting methods, and added, “Do you know how much hairspray Ann could buy for five billion dollars?” Ivins told several bawdy Ann Richards stories a bit too involved to go into here prefacing them with the news that she had recently been asked by members of the Ann Richards campaign committee to refrain from using off-color stories, in case they should be picked up by “some person unnamed who might use them against her in some future political race.” Said Ivins, “I took that as a challenge, of course” and she proceeded with her stories. Richards praised Ivins later as a woman with “all the charm of a train wreck,” and added that “there’s not a one of us up here that doesn’t have a reputation to think of. And this evening hasn’t done any of us any good.” But Richards said she was flattered by the attention. “In my life it has been my good fortune to have many funny friends,” she said. “And it’s a damn shame none of them were on the program tonight.” “I can’t believe you-all paid good money to hear me raked over the coals when you can hear that for free any day over at the Attorney General’s office,” Richards said. The Treasurer also said she had only one serious matter to take up with Lt. Gov. Hobby. Recent talk at the Capitol of decreasing the governor’s pay, she said, “raises serious concerns about comparable worth. You let a woman get interested in a job, and the next thing you know, they’re cutting the pay.” But she said she preferred to praise rather than insult Congressman Bustamante. you think I’m going to say anything that would offend someone from South Texas this close to 1990, you are out of your mind.” V RICHARDS also mentioned a bit of news of special interest to Observer readers. Dallas Times Herald columnist and former Observer editor Molly Ivins has recently been certified by W magazine as being “in” in 1989. \(As most readers probably know, W magazine makes it its business to compile lists of Richards speculated on what implications for fashion wear there might be in W’s approval of the sartorially idiosyncratic columnist. “Throw out your Farragamos, we’re wearing Keds from K-Mart,” she said. “If Molly is ‘in’, then so is Academy Surplus for formal wear.” Ivins herself later confided to the Observer that it is an “incredible” honor to be recognized as “in.” She is trying to maintain her perspective on it, she said, by reminding herself that one of the inevitabilities of being named “in” is that you eventually get declared “out.” Yet her ambition is, for the nonce, in overdrive: she confessed that she now hopes to get declared “in” by all singleletter magazines in America. \(This would include, at the minimum, W, M, Z, and possibly Ivins does hope to make the most of her time this year, always considering, of course, the autobiographical possibilities she envisions an account of “What I Did in the Year I Was ‘In’. THE TEXAS OBSERVER 15
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