A great broad is everlasting, a presence, a force, a woman of substance -- solid, intelligent, humorous, sexy and full of "it." Reliable, strong, confident and competent, she walks into a room and causes a stir. The air shifts and heads turn. Who's that?
At six feet, Ivins was impossible to ignore. She commanded a room just as she commanded op-ed pages for millions of readers who found pleasure and inspiration in her words.
Of late, those words had been focused primarily on the Iraq War, which she insisted had to stop. In her next-to-last column, she said she would be devoting all of her columns to ending the war. She wrote only one more, urging Americans to raise hell against the surge.
A happy enemy of the powerful, Ivins saved her sharpest barbs for President Bush, whom she dubbed "Shrub" when he ran for Texas governor against Ivins' good friend Ann Richards, who also died recently of cancer.
Despite their public animus, I suspect even George W. Bush harbored an uncertain fondness for Ivins. For one thing, enemies need each other. For another, Ivins was his type of gal -- full of spunk and vinegar, but also big-hearted and true. Even when she was wrong.
In a world short on class acts, Ivins was a star -- and the marketplace of ideas will be poorer without her.
She was one great columnist.
And one great broad.
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