Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Ferraro Flap

Signs of social progress can come in strange disguises, as the first woman to run for Vice President embarrasses Hillary Clinton with asinine remarks about Barack Obama.

Geraldine Ferraro, who, as Maureen Dowd points out, "helped Walter Mondale lose 49 states in 1984, was clearly stung at what she considered Obama’s easy rise to celebrity and electoral success.

"Last Friday, Ms. Ferraro, who is on Hillary’s national finance committee, told...a small newspaper in Torrance, Calif.: 'If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position. And if he was a woman (of any color), he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky to be who he is. And the country is caught up in the concept.'”

Sen. Clinton, of course, quickly disavowed her role model's remarks, but the heartening aspect of all this is the demonstration that old-pol foolishness has crossed the gender barrier.

Ferraro, who now labors as a lobbyist, was considered a daring choice for VP in the Democratic debacle to prevent Reagan's reelection, and she acquitted herself well in debating Bush I, even though he afterward was overheard by an open mike bragging that he had "kicked ass."

She encountered a little sexist flak when her husband balked at releasing his tax returns, a precursor of Hillary's woes over spousal behavior, which makes Ferraro's sensitivity about breaking barriers more understandable.

Now here she is, hurdling another one in forthrightly declaring her resentment over how easy it is for an African-American man to win over voters compared to those deep-rooted prejudices against women.

Geraldine Ferraro is still involved in kicking ass but, as the kicker, she may be hitting the wrong target.


Liza said...

When I think of Geraldine Ferraro all I can do is paraphrase Shania Twain: "She don't impress me much."

I guess the mainstream media is safety wired into reporting junk "news" about this campaign. They provide Hillary the means to broadcast every stupid thing that comes out of her mouth and now Ferraro.


Liza said...

Make that mainsream media "are"....

msfitz said...

Just curious; did you bother to read Ferraro's entire interview with the Torrance Daily Breeze? Her remarks add some context to the story.