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Mar 11th 2008

Geraldine Ferraro on Obama

Here is Geraldine Ferraro earlier this month:

“If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position,” she continued. “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.” Ferraro does not buy the notion of Obama as the great reconciler.

“I was reading an article that said young Republicans are out there campaigning for Obama because they believe he’s going to be able to put an end to partisanship,” Ferraro said, clearly annoyed. “Dear God! Anyone that has worked in the Congress knows that for over 200 years this country has had partisanship – that’s the way our country is.”

I think Ferraro is generally right that a part of Obama’s appeal is that he is black. But, I think it better helps explain his appeal to a lot of Republicans; Many are thinking, “Finally a black politician who hasn’t been creating racial controversy to drum up support.”

She was on Fox defending her comments, and I think she does a good job.


 

She explains that she wouldn’t have been the VP pick in ’84 if she wasn’t a woman. Ferraro also makes reference to the craziest op-ed of the election cycle so far: The Red Phone in Black and White, written by a Harvard sociology prof and published today in the New York Times. It alleges that there were racial undertones to Hillary’s “Red Phone” ad:

I have spent my life studying the pictures and symbols of racism and slavery, and when I saw the Clinton ad’s central image — innocent sleeping children and a mother in the middle of the night at risk of mortal danger — it brought to my mind scenes from the past. I couldn’t help but think of D. W. Griffith’s “Birth of a Nation,” the racist movie epic that helped revive the Ku Klux Klan, with its portrayal of black men lurking in the bushes around white society. The danger implicit in the phone ad — as I see it — is that the person answering the phone might be a black man, someone who could not be trusted to protect us from this threat.

What a loon.

To think that we have eight months of this to look forward too…

4 Responses to “Geraldine Ferraro on Obama”

  1. I was but a wee babe in my mother’s arms at the time she ran but that is awesome she calls it how it is.

    I heard someone mention that a while back, that Obama wouldn’t be where he is if he were white. It seems so true. Who better to say that than a woman who ran 24 years ago and says it was because she was a woman?

  2. doug

    The most refreshing thing, to me at least, is that Ferraro seems to throw aside the petty, “Oh, your advisor called me a monster! They have to resign!”…”Your surrogate made some insensitive comments, they have to be fired!” nonsense that is plaguing the Democratic campaign.

  3. One of the reasons why Barack Obama was right when he observed that the Republicans had the big ideas in the 1980’s is because Democrats had so many small-minded leaders, like Geraldine Ferraro, at the head of their party.

  4. Albert Johnson Jr

    Ms. Ferraro,

    I am terribly disappointed. Your recent suggestion that Mr. Obamas’ success happened only because he is black is especially painful. To think that being black in America is a lucky thing strikes me as being inconsiderate.

    I am a black person born the same year as Mr. Obamas’ wife 1964, and I can tell you at no time in my life was being black a lucky thing, or are you unaware of the sad and continuing legacy of American race relations. You disregard Mr. Obamas’ legitimate and laudable accomplishments by attributing them to one thing, and it’s the one thing Mr. Obama tries least to be – a man of race. Mr. Obama is a child of God, a husband, a father, a university graduate and a lawyer. Mr. Obama has been a stellar state representative of Illinois and he is currently a United States Senator, and great American. Somewhere probably in the high teens of the list of things Mr. Obama is would be black man.

    The statements you have made and defend amount to making his race his primary attribute. You are playing the race card in a manner that is insulting, and quite frankly would be more expected from the kind of reactionary people America has hopefully outgrown.

    In 1984 I was a student at the University of Southern California an institution with a traditionally conservative bent. I remember campaigning for and ardently defending a certain congressperson from New York as being more than just a woman, but a person regardless of gender worthy to potentially lead this country. I’m sorry to know now that I was wrong, and all the time any Gerard really would have sufficed.