By Robert Mann
She may have been the most deceptive politician I’ve ever known. I’ll never forget the first time I met Lindy Boggs, the New Orleans Democrat who represented Louisiana’s 2nd congressional district from 1973 to 1991.
It was early in 1985, and I had just arrived in Washington to work for Sen. Russell Long. My initial impression was that she was a merely grandmotherly figure, a placeholder who’d inherited her position after the death of her husband, U.S. House Majority Leader Hale Boggs, in 1972.
It didn’t take me long, however, to realize I had misjudged her. Lindy Boggs was as strong as steel and far savvier than most members of Congress.
But my misjudgment was not entirely my fault. Her exceeding polite demeanor and profound Southern charm – as genuine as her native Pointe Coupee Parish accent – veiled her shrewdness and supreme confidence.
As a political wife for more than three decades, she had been no passive observer of events. While raising three children, she partook fully in Washington’s political and social life. And she established her own, independent relationships with political leaders of both parties, including presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson, the future House speaker, Tip O’Neill, and then-House minority leader Gerald Ford.
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- Lindy Boggs, congresswoman and civil rights crusader, dies at 97 (reuters.com)
- Lindy Boggs, Who Succeeded Husband in Congress, Dies at 97 (bloomberg.com)
- Former Rep. Lindy Boggs of Louisiana Dies (abcnews.go.com)
- Former Congresswoman and Ambassador Lindy Boggs Dies at 97 (alternativenewsalert.com)
- Ex-Rep. Lindy Boggs: Advocate For Women, Dedicated To Family (wnyc.org)