Gail Collins

"Some folks look at me and see a certain swagger," the former President George W. Bush once remarked to an appreciative audience, "which, in Texas, is called 'walking.'" It's pretty clear to just about everyone that the State of Texas sees itself as a breed apart in many ways, and for many reasons; Texans, as a rule, seem to consider their home state an exceptional, singular, not-to-be-messed-with place.