Ferraro still shocked, shocked! to find identity politics in play

posted at 11:05 am on March 11, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Usually, when a politician sticks a foot in her mouth, she endeavors to remove it as quickly and quietly as possible. Not Geraldine Ferraro, the first woman on a major-party presidential ticket, who rode Walter Mondale’s nomination to a big 1984 win — of one state. A week after asserting that Barack Obama would still be cooling his heels in the Senate if not for his race, she continued to sound that theme on behalf of her candidate, Hillary Clinton:

When the subject turned to Obama, Clinton’s rival for the Democratic Party nomination, Ferraro’s comments took on a decidedly bitter edge.

“I think what America feels about a woman becoming president takes a very secondary place to Obama’s campaign – to a kind of campaign that it would be hard for anyone to run against,” she said. “For one thing, you have the press, which has been uniquely hard on her. It’s been a very sexist media. Some just don’t like her. The others have gotten caught up in the Obama campaign.

“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.”

Remember this moment when Obama wins the nomination and begins to complain about the criticism from Republicans. The Democrats will accuse John McCain and the GOP of race-baiting, and of trying to stir racial animosity to defeat Obama. Ferraro’s repeated exhortations along these same lines, and Democratic silence on her tactics, will speak volumes when the same people accuse Republicans of crypto-racial attacks. There’s nothing crypto about what Ferraro is doing.

As AP pointed out last month, Ferraro has no problem assuming that Democrats have supported Obama for his race. Why doesn’t Ferraro admit that Hillary’s support comes from the same kind of identity politics? Furthermore, Hillary would not even be in the Senate if not for her being Bill Clinton’s wife. Until he left the White House, Hillary had never run for political office, and without his extensive career and considerable charisma — a quality she notably lacks on the stump — she wouldn’t have won her seat in 2000.

Ferraro and the Democrats can’t make a much better case for Hillary to be President than they can for Obama. That problem will remain with them regardless of which candidate eventually wins the nomination, and despite Ferraro’s protests, neither will win it on the strength of experience or on policy. The Democrats have gone all-in for identity politics at the expense of both, and Ferraro’s complaints ring very hollow indeed.


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“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.

Is she saying that if Obama gest the nomination, it will be because of affirmative action?

aunursa on March 11, 2008 at 11:12 AM

Remember this moment when Obama wins the nomination and begins to complain about the criticism from Republicans.

Oh, and don’t you know that it won’t take long. I’m predicting a 12:01AM accusation of racism press release from the Obama campaign once he gets the nomination wrapped up.

NeoconNews.com on March 11, 2008 at 11:14 AM

For one thing, you have the press, which has been uniquely hard on her. It’s been a very sexist media. Some just don’t like her.

BINGO!!! Hillary, no matter what shse says or does, cannot escape the fact that almost 50% of the country doesn’t like her and absolutely refuse to vote for her, no matter what!
Why don’t you think about that next time, before you decide to open your mouth, Gerri?

ToddonCapeCod on March 11, 2008 at 11:15 AM

I’m absolutely shocked, shocked! to find that anyone cares what Ferraro still thinks

AverageJoe on March 11, 2008 at 11:17 AM

“Why doesn’t Ferraro admit that Hillary’s support comes from the same kind of identity politics?”

Exactly. One thing I’ve learned in life is that people despise in others what they don’t like about themselves. you can’t complain that blacks are voting for Obama just because he’s black and then turn around and vote for Hillary just because she’s a woman and so are you. Vote because of political posistions, not because of race or gender. And THEY call US the racists and sexists!

Geraldine Ferraro … who rode Walter Mondale’s nomination to a big 1984 win — of one state.”

I value the opinion of Cipher’s Collie more than this woman’s. Go back to Obscureville, lady.

Tony737 on March 11, 2008 at 11:19 AM

I see the point you made and agree. It was well written.

I was actually disgusted by all the left leaning bloggers that made an issue of the Obama is lucky he is black line, and to read them made it look like blacks are not lucky, in fact, without whitey, they would be extinct..I am so sick and tired of this.

To the actual point of this, we can state with some amount of certainty that the left put Obama up because of the color of his skin, and Clinton, because of her gender. Neither is a good candidate, but left wanted to say, see, we promote blacks and women..what we weren’t supposed to hear is that arguement about how one of these candidates will be selected by the superdelegates.

Pam on March 11, 2008 at 11:19 AM

I’m absolutely shocked, shocked! to find that anyone cares what Ferraro still thinks.” – AverageJoe

Same here Joe, that’s why I said I care more about what another Poster’s dog thinks than this lady thinks.

Tony737 on March 11, 2008 at 11:22 AM

The irony. Going all in on identity politics means all your little factions need to get along…

To bad for Democrats someone is going up on the short end of the stick. Hopefully they run a joint ticket and combine their negatives.

Theworldisnotenough on March 11, 2008 at 11:23 AM

If Geraldine Ferraro were a man, she would never have been nominated for Vice President. What an incredible lightweight, even now.

(Unrelated to this topic, please visit my political blog, “Plumb Bob Blog: Squaring the Culture,” at http://www.plumbbobblog.com. Thanks.)

philwynk on March 11, 2008 at 11:24 AM

Does any reasonable utterance ever emit from the mouth of a geriatric hippie like Ferraro?

The woman is a complete dope and always has been. She got where she did on the back of her dope snorting, mobster of a husband, who wanted her out of the house and out of his way.

NoDonkey on March 11, 2008 at 11:25 AM

Can’t help but remember this Isaiah Thomas quote:

I think Larry [Bird] is a very, very good basketball player. He’s an exceptional talent. But I have to agree with Rodman. If he were black, he’d be just another good guy.

He took quite a bit of flak for it too. But I guess he was never connected to the DNC.

hbrooks on March 11, 2008 at 11:30 AM

She’s right. Before every state has its nominating process, the MSM and the punditry all figure out the black voter ratio. If it is high, Obama wins. If it is split, Obama might pull out a squeaker. If it is below the split, Clinton wins. If Obama was not a black candidate not running as a black candidate, his credentials would have long ago been raked over the coals.

Sue on March 11, 2008 at 11:31 AM

It’s (not) ironic that it’s the Democrats who seem to be obsessing over the race and gender of their candidates. We Republicans couldn’t care less what color a candidate’s skin is or what sort of genitalia the candidate might be sporting… the fact that they are both terrible candidates and would be wrong with this country has nothing to do with either characteristic.

D2Boston on March 11, 2008 at 11:32 AM

I value the opinion of Cipher’s Collie more than this woman’s.
Tony737 on March 11, 2008 at 11:19 AM

My collie says:

Ah yes, the 1984 Mondale campaign. Guess it’s our turn to say “Where’s the beef? (That’s a mighty big bun.)”

If Obama gets the nomination, maybe McCain can bring back “Age isn’t an issue. I refuse to exploit, for politcal purposes, the youth and inexperience of my opponent.”

CyberCipher on March 11, 2008 at 11:35 AM

Does any reasonable utterance ever emit from the mouth of a geriatric hippie like Ferraro?

Let’s put this in perspective. Ferraro is almost to the day a year older than John McCain. Apparently the Democrats put their geriatric hippies out to pasture and let them bleat away. The Republicans nominate them for high office and try to pull off Weekend at Bernie’s.

highhopes on March 11, 2008 at 11:37 AM

Ferraro said:

For one thing, you have the press, which has been uniquely hard on her.

The first time I read one of Clinton’s supporters make this claim, I had to read it twice to make sure I’d read correctly. Simply unbelievable. Do they really think the press has been hard on Mrs. Clinton?

I suspect the usual bifurcation in Democrat politics. There’s a tiny layer of clever operatives at the top who have considered the possible strategies, focus-grouped several approaches, and decided that playing for the sympathy vote actually works for Mrs. Clinton. They know perfectly well that the press has been fawning over Clinton for more than a decade.

And then there’s the Democrats’ Echo Chamber, the average Democrat in the street that will, quite literally, take any line that’s been said by the right Democrat and repeat it as unassailable fact, insisting even that it’s been established by “studies” that don’t exist.

James Carville has been quoted as saying “The reason I became a Democratic operative instead of a Republican was because there were more Democrats that didn’t have a clue than there were Republicans… I can make the Democratic voters think whatever I want them to.” I wish I had an actual citation on that; I couldn’t believe that anybody could be so cynical as to behave that way, let alone so proud of it as to say so. But I have to admit that it fits the behavior of the Democrats I know, some of which are actually pretty bright people.

(Unrelated to this topic, please visit my political blog, “Plumb Bob Blog: Squaring the Culture,” at http://www.plumbbobblog.com. Thanks.)

philwynk on March 11, 2008 at 11:38 AM

Is it just me, or is Ferraro looking more like Hal Holbrook with age?

fogw on March 11, 2008 at 11:39 AM

I used to find Ferraro mildly interesting. But in recent years she’s turned into a talking points robot. Never a thoughtful reply; always a trite talking point. Tedious, at best. And a waste of money for FNC.

Her body has outlived her brain.

petefrt on March 11, 2008 at 11:39 AM

Why doesn’t Ferraro admit that Hillary’s support comes from the same kind of identity politics?

‘Cause she wants a job in the administration.

Who else is going to come out of the woodwork this election? Last night, McGovern came on Colbert Report (changed the channel, so I don’t know if it’s related), now Ferraro (Mondale’s for Clinton too), plus before we heard from Kerry (again).

I’ve got an idea – let’s ask Dukakis think about this identity-politics thing! (And I want something more than a furlough speech.)

emailnuevo on March 11, 2008 at 11:42 AM

Skin color vs. interior genitals. Too bad they can’t both lose. Oh wait, they can. Sweet.

Vote Sauron 08 on March 11, 2008 at 11:45 AM

Pot calls kettle … well, you get the picture.

Exactly my thought when I originally saw this article!

asc85 on March 11, 2008 at 11:46 AM

Is that a picture of Ferraro ?? or Jimmy Carter ??

redrock on March 11, 2008 at 11:47 AM

The media isn’t sexist against Hillary. They are just more pro-minority than they are pro-feminine at the moment.

Grafted on March 11, 2008 at 11:49 AM

Is that a picture of Ferraro ?? or Jimmy Carter ??

redrock on March 11, 2008 at 11:47 AM

geez… i thought it was a turkey! GOBBLE GOBBLE!!!

HunnyWaggin on March 11, 2008 at 11:51 AM

a rose is a rose is a turkey

HunnyWaggin on March 11, 2008 at 11:52 AM

Geraldine needs to check In-Trade this morning. Mr O is up 1.9 to $77 and change. He is running 3-1 with the traders.

For the race/gender issue…..gotta love the plebs. The party who doesn’t give a damn about race will be the racist party between July-Nov. I’m sure Kos and crew are photoshopping like crazy getting ready for the final stretch. The gender issue is a yawner. We are going to white-guilt ourselves into bankruptcy. Go, plebs! Go!

Limerick on March 11, 2008 at 11:53 AM

Her statements remind me of Birth of a Nation !

eeyore on March 11, 2008 at 11:53 AM

I confess before heaven and all my brethren here that I was once a Democrat. Raised in a home of Democrats, I was taught the stories of Republicans and their tax cheating ways to take away food and shelter from the regular folk in order to get richer.

In my youth, I have erred against the universe and my fellow man by voting for idiots like Ferraro. Since then, it has been made painfully clear about the errors of my ways, and I spend time with the youth telling them the folly of voting for those who would tell them that they know better, and desire control of their liberties.

Hening on March 11, 2008 at 11:54 AM

I’m absolutely shocked, shocked! to find that anyone cares what Ferraro still thinks

Wasn’t mafia wife on her resume also?

peacenprosperity on March 11, 2008 at 12:17 PM

“If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position,”

It’s tempting to give credence to this assertion.

John Edwards, however, is a white man who strongly vied for President, and ran on a nearly successful ticket as VP. Edwards’ political career to that point was strikingly similar to Obama’s.

It’s too easy to explain Obama’s rise as all about race. Edwards proves, however, that the phenomenon of neophyte contenders is not about race. As the rise of both Obama and Edwards demonstrate, sometimes politicians just rise far above what their competency and/or experience warrants.

clark smith on March 11, 2008 at 12:25 PM

clark smith on March 11, 2008 at 12:25 PM

So, you’re talking about the Peter Princple then.

cjs1943 on March 11, 2008 at 12:36 PM

“For one thing, you have the press, which has been uniquely hard on her. It’s been a very sexist media.”

Ah yes, the senility has set in.

labrat on March 11, 2008 at 12:42 PM

Hillary is a woman? . . . and a white one to boot? I am shocked Who knew????

I always thought Hill was the first black co-president! Clearly, I have to get out more often!!!

USBB on March 11, 2008 at 12:44 PM

If a Republican had said those words (Geraldine’s) Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson would be suing them. Alan Colmes’s left eyebrow would have reached orbit and collided with the twin eyebrow space station that is Nancy Pelosi…the NYT would cry racism…

You get the picture.

I am so sick and tired of aggrieved, victimized liberals.

What a collection of wilted pansies they make.

Montana on March 11, 2008 at 12:46 PM

redrock on March 11, 2008 at 11:47 AM

HunnyWaggin on March 11, 2008 at 11:51 AM

fogw on March 11, 2008 at 11:39 AM

Take it easy on the comments about her looks..she has survived cancer of the blood, multiple myeloma to be exact.

Pam on March 11, 2008 at 12:56 PM

Take it easy on the comments about her looks..she has survived cancer of the blood, multiple myeloma to be exact.

Pam on March 11, 2008 at 12:56 PM

OK, then what’s Hal Holbrook’s excuse?

James on March 11, 2008 at 12:59 PM

Has anyone noticed that Bill Clinton looks more ad more like Bob Barker?

Kini on March 11, 2008 at 1:04 PM

Pam on March 11, 2008 at 12:56 PM

Ferraro stepped into the limelight and pointed her racist finger at Obama. Nobody asked her to step onto the campaign stage. She’s fair game.

Didn’t you notice that the remarks she made were directed at someone’s appearance ….. his skin color?

fogw on March 11, 2008 at 1:16 PM

redrock on March 11, 2008 at 11:47 AM
HunnyWaggin on March 11, 2008 at 11:51 AM
fogw on March 11, 2008 at 11:39 AM
Take it easy on the comments about her looks..she has survived cancer of the blood, multiple myeloma to be exact.

Pam on March 11, 2008 at 12:56 PM

no, i dont think i will. she looked & sounded like a bitch before she had those and she looks and sounds like a turkey now. I’d say its an improvement. besides…why dont the conservatives get the same respect?…any respect?. “take it easy”?…no….i dont think so.

HunnyWaggin on March 11, 2008 at 1:17 PM

Good Grief

And, when I inform my Liberal friends, they’re always telling on themselves, they don’t know what I’m talking about.

[knock - knock] anyone home?

franksalterego on March 11, 2008 at 1:32 PM

It’s the economy Cankles, stupid

Wade on March 11, 2008 at 1:35 PM

Didn’t Gloria Steinem say the same thing in an Op-Ed recently?

MayBee on March 11, 2008 at 2:18 PM

The message here is that black men aren’t quite ready for Prime Time, after all Obama wouldn’t be where he is if it wasn’t for AFFIRMATIVE ACTION programs.

He needs a little more time and ‘on-the-job-training’ before he can remove his training wheels.

LMAO, identity/group politics, what goes around comes around. I can hardly wait for the detonation.

belad on March 11, 2008 at 2:24 PM

Deconstructing Geraldine’s words to the Daily Breeze, we get the following:

1. Obama is running exactly the right campaign, and Hillary hasn’t found a way to counter it.
2. The press treats Hillary differently from Barack.
3. The press does not like Hillary.
4. The only way a person with Barack’s (non) qualifications could ever run for President is because he’s black.
5. Barack is not going to do what he says he’s going to do with regard to conciliation.

With regard to this, except for number 4, the needle on my Truthometer is all the way over to T. With respect to number 4, my Truthometer says there’s at least one other way a non-qualified person could run for President.

unclesmrgol on March 11, 2008 at 2:28 PM

Dare I say this?

That is one U G L Y Woman. Yeow!

WayWard Fundamentalist Christian on March 11, 2008 at 2:28 PM

Dare I say this?

That is one U G L Y Woman. Yeow!

WayWard Fundamentalist Christian on March 11, 2008 at 2:28 PM

HEY! shes a liberal woman with cancer!!! you cant say that! (unless she becomes a conservative…of course)

HunnyWaggin on March 11, 2008 at 2:46 PM

fogw on March 11, 2008 at 1:16 PM
HunnyWaggin on March 11, 2008 at 2:46 PM
HunnyWaggin on March 11, 2008 at 1:17 PM

Why don’t you ask Ed what his wife looked like after her transplant..Ask him what some of the side effects of the meds were..Both women are happy to be alive and neither would ever wish their bad health on another human being, no matter what political party they belong to.

Pam on March 11, 2008 at 3:44 PM

Game on.
Just last month Willie Brown gave us the following bon mot:
“I think most white politicians do not understand that the race pride we all have trumps everything else.”
Ferraro’s comment that “If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position,” can fairly be interpreted as suggesting that if Obama were just another white male candidate he would not be treated as a black messiah.
But in this wonderful world of racial hypocrisy, Ferraro’s remarks warrant that she be summarily fired according to the Obama camp. http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080311/ts_alt_afp/usvotedemocratsracism
This is going to be a fun 8 months.
And yes, Geraldine is now a dead wringer for Hal Holbrook.

Bob L on March 11, 2008 at 4:59 PM

Both women are happy to be alive and neither would ever wish their bad health on another human being, no matter what political party they belong to.

Pam on March 11, 2008 at 3:44 PM

When did I wish bad health on Ferraro, or anyone else?

You’re making up stories now, in defense of your chastising of others for expressing their opinions.

And I don’t need any lectures on the pain and suffering associated with cancer. I’ve had to deal with it, with the love of my life. It didn’t cause her, or myself, to lose our sense of humor.

Get over yourself. Ferraro does look like Holbrook. Not becaue she had cancer. Not because she was fortunate to recover from cancer. No, she looks like him ….. just because she does.

And I notied you didn’t respond to my observation about Ferraro making remarks about Obama’s appearance. I guess that’s OK in your book, because he never had cancer.

Get real.

fogw on March 11, 2008 at 4:59 PM

Keep talking, democrats…PLEASE!

SouthernGent on March 11, 2008 at 6:10 PM

pot calls kettle…what?

a woman?

urbancenturion on March 11, 2008 at 6:20 PM

why dont the conservatives get the same respect?…any respect?. “take it easy”?…no….i dont think so.

HunnyWaggin on March 11, 2008 at 1:17 PM

I’m not in a twist about commenting on a person’s appearance, but I just want to point out that having principles means that you have them regardless of whether the other guy has them. Otherwise, they’re not properly called ‘principles.’

Carry on.

baldilocks on March 11, 2008 at 6:23 PM

And GF does look like Holbrook. Always did.

baldilocks on March 11, 2008 at 6:24 PM

And GF does look like Holbrook. Always did.

baldilocks on March 11, 2008 at 6:24 PM

OMG! You are so right!

SouthernGent on March 11, 2008 at 6:30 PM

Louis Grizzard once wrote in the Atlanta Constitution that when he first heard Geraldine Ferraro’s name mentioned, he thought they were talking about Flip Wilson’s sports car. Did she just crawl out from under a rock? I can’t believe that anyone listens to anything she has to say and what idiots would hire her for political analysis!

flytier on March 11, 2008 at 7:25 PM

I want to support Fox coverage of the election but I’m enjoying MessNBC making such idiots of themselves on this issue!! 91% of blacks vote for Obama, how dare Ferraro say race is a factor! I have to appreciate Ferraro holding to her guns. The Dems are imploding!!

nemo239 on March 11, 2008 at 8:17 PM

Even lefties can’t tell the truth.
The irony here is that Obama really isn’t black, he’s half white, a mulatto, which is the n word even to Repubs, that’s why you never hear it spoken. We are all so bullied by the PC doctrine, even Geraldine, but I have no pity for a HRC shill.
After all, we could say a similar thing about Herself: she wouldn’t be running for Prez if her name wasn’t Clinton.
Both of these people are nightmares and splitting hairs is so…divisive.

Christine on March 11, 2008 at 8:53 PM

Why don’t you ask Ed what his wife looked like after her transplant..Ask him what some of the side effects of the meds were..Both women are happy to be alive and neither would ever wish their bad health on another human being, no matter what political party they belong to.

Pam on March 11, 2008 at 3:44 PM

I don’t wish to do battle with you, but with all due respect Pam- I dont know “Ed”, and i couldn’t care any more for his personal situation than he does mine. besides, he has nothing to do with this. and, i wouldn’t grant him, or Ms. Ferraro, any more or less respect than i would grant you. sick or not. Ms. Ferraro is “fair game” when she enters this nasty arena we call politics. Also, i found it offensive that you suggested i wished her ill will. give me a break! and by the way, why are you picking on ME? did you know i have ADD & DVD? yea! i have a sickness, that forces me to buy too many movies. and watching these movies makes me feel superior and act mean towards people. hey, blame it on Hollywood. I dont wish to carry on with you on this topic. its a waste of time. it was a silly turkey comment.

I’m not in a twist about commenting on a person’s appearance, but I just want to point out that having principles means that you have them regardless of whether the other guy has them. Otherwise, they’re not properly called ‘principles.’

Carry on.

baldilocks on March 11, 2008 at 6:23 PM

did i suggest that i was throwing out my principles because they don’t show me the same respect? because i didnt mean to. i would have made that comment no matter who has had cancer. i was merely making a point to Pam that i found it amazing how we conservatives seem to have a higher bar than libs because we…well…because “we claim to be so righteous”, where as the (Libs) can whore around all day and live low lives because as they say- (and im paraphrasing here) “hey, we never claimed to be good people”. Man!…i cant believe this turkey thing has legs. (no pun intended)

HunnyWaggin on March 11, 2008 at 10:06 PM

Gerri stole my words! I’ve been saying that Obama is only where he is because he’s Black for weeks, right on this site, & in my blog (click on my name & read “Obamessiah!”).

jgapinoy on March 11, 2008 at 10:09 PM

and Pam…

why dont you yell at WayWard Fundamentalist Christian?
he/she said “That is one U G L Y Woman. Yeow!” All i did was say that when i first saw the picture, i thought it was a turkey. look again!(and do that squint thing with your eyes)…see?…a turkey…right?. and btw- there are some damn cute turkeys out there.

HunnyWaggin on March 11, 2008 at 10:22 PM