Sunday, February 24, 2008

Suddenly, Texas Democrats matter!

Any article about Texas politics is bound to be interesting, but I especially like this one because it focuses on the role of women.

It talks about Sissy Farenthold, former member of the Texas House of Prepresentative. My senior year of high school, I won third place in an essay contest about reform of the United Nations. All three of us winners happened from the same high school and have the same teacher (the excellent Wendall Zartman), so we all went together to the dinner where we were awarded our scholarships (mine was $500).

As they presented us, they mentioned where we were planning on going to college. After the emcee mentioned that I would be going to Vassar, I felt a tap on my shoulder. A woman handed me a card with the name Sissy Farenthold and a phone number printed on it, with "Vassar Alumna" handwritten underneath it. "Call me if you need anything," she whispered.

I said thank you and went back to listening to the program. During the break, Mr Zartman rushed over to me and said, "Leslie, do you know who that was?!" Since the two years of Texas history I took in school ended somewhere around the turn of the 20th century, I didn't know who she was and that she was an important person to know. I took the card home and showed my parents. They encouraged me to call her up, but I was too afraid and didn't know what to say to her so I let it lie. Many years later I regret it.

Finally, there is this commentary in the NYT about the sudden importance of Texas Democrats. Here the author describes watching the New Hampshire contest:
Naturally, we were a little testy, staring at that all-white scenery, hearing state residents complain about too many town hall meetings, too much news coverage, too much attention from candidates. Enough of that. At least their votes counted. With March 4 a distant speck in the snowstorm, we knew our primary votes would never matter.

Glad to see she was wrong. But as a Texan living overseas, my vote still won't matter. I have yet to receive my early voting ballot. Oh well.

1 comment:

Carolyn said...

We have had lots of Obama supporters call us here in Houston; not one for Hillary yet. But Texas is very much in the news....and we remember Sissy on a trip that we took together with the Houston World Affairs Council. A very interesting and lovely woman, who read foreign affairs briefings on the bus as we were going from tourist area to tourist area.