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BOOKS & THE CULTURE She Stoops to Conquer BY JAMES CULLEN CIAYTIE AND THE LADY: Ann Richards, Gender and Politics in Texas. By Sue Tolleson-Rinehart and Jeanie R. Stanley. 190 pp. Austin: University of Texas Press. $25 cloth, $12.95 paper. IT HARDLY SEEMS like four years since Clayton Williams, the colorful rancher-businessman and Republican governor-designate, was advising us to “relax and enjoy it” and sparking debates on who gets serviced by whom in international cultural exchanges and how to avoid tax liability on your millions. As we all know, Ann Richards caught up with the cowboy in the last few days of the 1990 campaign to become a national symbol of the neoliberal New Democrats. Sue Tolleson-Rinehart, a professor of political science at Texas Tech University, and Jeanie R. Stanley, director of research and legal support in the office of the Texas Attorney General, have produced a volume on Richards, the 1990 race for governor and the effect that campaign has had on gender and politics in Texas and across the nation. Claytie and the Lady is promoted as the first in-depth look at how gender affected the 1990 governor’s race. It places the campaign in cultural and historical context and although the narrative at times is hard to follow, there is enough poll data, recapitulation of the campaign and interviews, with campaign participants and observers to gladden the hearts of political junkies, and some valuable historical insights. The authors interviewed many of the principals on both sides, although, curiously, Williams was not heard from. The book traces the state’s feminist politics back to the women’s suffrage movement in the early 1900s, an era that the authors pointedly note has gotten short shrift in some of the male-generated Texas history texts. It is useful to recall that after failing in attempts to get a two-thirds majority in the Legislature to propose a state Constitutional amendment, the suffragettes got their chance in 1917 with the impeachment of Jim Ferguson, who had been an “implacable foe” of women’s suffrage. His successor, Lieut. Gov . Bill Hobby Sr., sup ported a bill to allow women to vote in the 1918 party primaries, which required only a simple majority to accomplish. Women voters, organized as the Women’s Joint Legislative Council but dubbed the “Petticoat Lobby” by patronizing legislators, not only contributed in 1918 to the election of Hobby as governor in his own right, but also elected feminist Annie Webb Blanton as State Superintendent of Public Instruction. The new Legislature in 1919 ratified the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which made women full, voting citiA confusing Democratic primary in 1924 produced a runoff between Miriam Ferguson, whom Jim Ferguson had put up to run in his stead, and Judge Felix Robertson, a Ku Klux Klan candidate. Progressive and women’s forces held their noses and chose “Ma” as the lesser of two evils, but two years later the Petticoat Lobby contributed to the election of progressive Attorney General Dan Moody as governor in 1926 and saw a mass of progressive educational and social welfare policy through the Legislature during the next decade. The years before World War II were marked by heady progressivism, highlighted in Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal, but after the war Texas reverted to conservatism shaped by racism, oil and big money. Ann Richards, growing up in the 1950s, was influenced by the culture’s demand for perfect wives and mothers. But she also was raised to take a broad citizenship role and she engaged the political system first on the question of racial and social justice. With husband Dave Richards, a labor and civil rights lawyer, she ran a progressive house in the conservative bastion of Dallas, where she became active in progressive Democratic politics and with the United Farm Workers. In 1969, the Richardses moved to Austin, where in 1971 she was asked to manage Sarah Weddington’ s campaign for the Legislature. In 1976 she became a player, rather than a woman serving other players, when she ran for Travis County commissioner after Dave turned down the race. Friends such as Jane Hickie note that Ann Richards showed her touch for practical politics in those races. She never shirked from negative campaigning, recognizing that she would have to identify and exploit her opponent’s weakness if she were to unseat a wellknown incumbent. And despite her commitment to social justice, she remained an extremely practical and pal-directed person. She won the Travis County race and became known in state politics. Hickie also recalled that Richards was uncomfortable with feminist organizations at first, but came to identify more with women’s causes as her political career progressed. Richards’ recovery from alcoholism in the early 1980s encouraged her independence. She was asked to run for Treasurer in 1982 when Democratic incumbent, Warren Harding, was headed for indictment, and she won with 61.4 percent of the vote; to become the first woman elected statewide since Ma Ferguson’s comeback in 1932. In 1984, Ann and Dave were divorced. “By the end of the 1980s, she was uniquely prepared to make the leap into a gubernatorial campaign,” the authors state. During the campaign for governor, Richards was faced with the challenge of balancing her feminine side with the toughness demanded of a chief executive. Richards showed she was tough, although she was unprepared for the animosity in the Democratic primary. Still, she gave as good as she got, accusing Mark White of profiting from his office when he was governor and finishing off Jim Mattox, the liberal attorney general, in an especially bitter runoff. Then she started the general election campaign 24 points behind Williams and she was still double digits behind at Labor Day. But Democratic campaign consultant George Shipley said Richards drew strength from the primary bashing and her campaign concentrated on pulling Williams out from behind his commercials. Richards was criticized by some for her reluctance to emphasize’ women’s issues, but campaign strategists Kirk Adams and Mary Beth Rogers explained that was deliberate, as they did not want to preach to the choir at the expense of reaching out to other groups. In mid-September the momentum in the campaign began to change. The Richards campaign picked up on insurance reform as Williams’ ClayDesta National Bank began 20 SEPTEMBER 2, 1994