The other day, Ann Richards was the guest du jour on Larry King Live. Ann is still as rambunctious and offensive as always, and anymore she looks like the mutant offspring of a bizarre cross-breeding incident involving Barbara Bush, Tammy Faye Baker, and a brick Wall. Ann still has her soothing ’60 Marlboro red cigarettes a day’ voice, and the same twangy folksy accent that makes Molly Ivins such a treat to listen to. What really is scary is just how scared she is. About EVERYTHING.
Ann Richards’ Fear of Foreign Policy:
KING: All right. Now, let’s run down some issues. The State of the Union speech made by the man who followed you in office, the — he followed you. You were governor. He was governor, and now he’s president. What did you think of it?
RICHARDS: Well, I thought the performance was great. I think he’s really improved his speaking style. I thought the speech writer should get an “A”, because it was a very well-crafted speech. The criticisms I have is, No. 1, I’m a little bit afraid of being in a war in four places at one time. When he starts telling me that we’re going to be at war in Afghanistan, or we’re going to have peacekeepers there, and then we’re going to be in Iraq and we’re going to be in Iran, and we’re going to be in Korea, that makes me a little bit nervous. …But when we start talking about expanding wars, it scares me a little bit.
Ann Richards on Kidnapping:
KING: We’re back with Governor Ann Richards. We will be including your phone calls. What do you make, Governor, of this death threat made by this group in Pakistan against — they’re holding the “Wall Street Journal” reporter and the threat against all journalists, get out in three days or you’re all going to be in — have big troubles?
RICHARDS: Of course, I think — I think kidnapping and those foreign kidnappings are the most frightening things in the world because — and I’m sure this administration feels that. It sort of damned if you do and damned if you don’t. Heaven knows how one is supposed to react to that kind of threat. It is really, really scary. And we should remember that man in our prayers. Mr. Pearl is his name, isn’t it?
Ann Richards on the Camp X-Ray detainees:
KING: What about the detainees now and their treatment?
RICHARDS: Well, I looked at those pictures in the “New York Times,” and I thought it was really scary. I never had seen prisoners that had things over their ears, and blinders over their eyes, and their hands in mittens, and their wrists bound together with metal. And they may not be hurting. You know, they may be trying to keep those people in such total isolation that they break down.
But I think that when Colin Powell raises a question about the treatment in the fashion in which that they are being treated, then I think the administration ought to listen, and I think they’re going to.
Guess what? There was one thing during this interview that did not scare Ann Richards: living conditions in Castro’s totalitarian regime next door to Camp X-Ray
But the people were energetic. They were cheerful. They were healthy-looking. They were clean-looking. I saw no people that I would describe that were at the level of destitution, sleeping in a doorway, like we see some in this country. People are not wealthy. I didn’t meet a rich person. There is a vast middle. The literacy rate is at 96 percent. They are all employed. They all have roofs over their heads. In fact, it is a human right in Cuba to have a place to live and you cannot be evicted.
Everybody together: America sucks, America sucks!
What’s Ann Richards email address?