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Geraldine Ferraro's Controversial Comment About Barack Obama

Was Geraldine Ferraro Out of Line?

It's the comment that's racing around the world as fast as its little legs can carry it: Geraldine Ferraro, former vice presidential candidate, (the first woman to be nominated on a major ticket) said this to an LA newspaper:

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.

Obama campaign aide Susan Rice responded by calling for Hillary Clinton to fire Geraldine Ferraro, saying,

That's a really outrageous and offensive comment . . . I think if Senator Clinton is serious about putting an end to statements that have racial implications, that diminish Barack Obama because he's an African-American man, then she ought to really repudiate this comment and make it clear that there's no place in her campaign for people who will say this kind of thing.

While Ferraro has a unique set of experiences in her handbag by which to make observations about the nature of this contest, was her comment in error? For context, she was speaking what she thinks has been going on in the Clinton campaign and the role of the media, which she says, "has been far larger than anything I've seen before." Check out the original article and decide for yourself.

Source

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kh61582 kh61582 7 years
Ferrero is one of the most annoying people on Earth however in this case she is 100% right. Thank God someone in politics, even someone I disagree with 99% of the time, said exactly what they thought and didn't try to sugar coat it with political BS. Obama would not be where he is today if he was white. Name one other white politican who has done so little and recieved so much attention? His career consists of next to nothing and people are actually taking him serious as a presidential candidate. If he were white no one would know his name period. That being said, had Bill Clinton never been president no one would know who Hilary Clinton is either. For all their talk, both of them are leaning on their race and gender to get extra support and some people in this country are stupid enough to fall for it.
Jude-C Jude-C 7 years
<b>"So, it's all about making history then? It doesn't matter about the qualifications? It's true that Obama being black(in skin color only, mind you) trumps Hillary being a woman? So, I guess that if Obama was white and Hillary being a white WOMAN, that would be enough for her to win the Presidency...therefore Ferraro's comments would ring true for this situation also."</b>Beautifully put.I can't admit that I'm not excited that the Democratic race happens to have such historical implications in it for women and minorities, but that won't play a role in my actual decision-making. I think it's the same for a lot of supporters of either.
Jude-C Jude-C 7 years
"So, it's all about making history then? It doesn't matter about the qualifications? It's true that Obama being black(in skin color only, mind you) trumps Hillary being a woman? So, I guess that if Obama was white and Hillary being a white WOMAN, that would be enough for her to win the Presidency...therefore Ferraro's comments would ring true for this situation also." Beautifully put. I can't admit that I'm not excited that the Democratic race happens to have such historical implications in it for women and minorities, but that won't play a role in my actual decision-making. I think it's the same for a lot of supporters of either.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 7 years
Well as I said at the beginning of my primary comment I can see why people are offended by Ms. Ferrarros comments and I agree with some of your points, Jude & indielove, I do take issue with how she expressed herself. It was tactless to say the least. However, I do not take issue with what I believe to be the context of her intent and that is what I was trying to convey. Yes, there have been many outragious rumors slandered against Sen. Obama and yes there are many people out there foolish enough to believe them. But I do not think that her statment was slander, again looking at her intent not her poor expression of it. As for my example of Sen. Clinton vs. a strong viable white male candidate. Yes, I do believe that she would fair very well because she is just as strong, just as experienced as most and yes what would put her over the top whether it's politicaly correct to say or not is the fact that the electorate is more than ready to put a strong electable minority in that position. Again no offence to the white gentlmen but if she's just as good a choice we're putting her in that position.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 7 years
Well as I said at the beginning of my primary comment I can see why people are offended by Ms. Ferrarros comments and I agree with some of your points, Jude & indielove, I do take issue with how she expressed herself. It was tactless to say the least. However, I do not take issue with what I believe to be the context of her intent and that is what I was trying to convey. Yes, there have been many outragious rumors slandered against Sen. Obama and yes there are many people out there foolish enough to believe them. But I do not think that her statment was slander, again looking at her intent not her poor expression of it. As for my example of Sen. Clinton vs. a strong viable white male candidate. Yes, I do believe that she would fair very well because she is just as strong, just as experienced as most and yes what would put her over the top whether it's politicaly correct to say or not is the fact that the electorate is more than ready to put a strong electable minority in that position. Again no offence to the white gentlmen but if she's just as good a choice we're putting her in that position.
indielove indielove 7 years
First of all, I agree with everything you said, Jude."The white man wouldn't stand a chance because she's a solid viable female candidate and oviously if there is one available the electorate will want to make history by choosing the female over the white man. No offence to the viable white man, but we want to make history."So, it's all about making history then? It doesn't matter about the qualifications? It's true that Obama being black(in skin color only, mind you) trumps Hillary being a woman? So, I guess that if Obama was white and Hillary being a white WOMAN, that would be enough for her to win the Presidency...therefore Ferraro's comments would ring true for this situation also. Ferraro might have said instead:"If Hillary was a white man, she would not be in this position. And if she was a man (of any color) she would not be in this position. She happens to be very lucky to be who she is. And the country is caught up in the concept."It's the same cycle of shortsightedness that we experience ever so often in this country. Point is they're both considered underdogs as far as history goes when it comes to Presidential candidates. It was NOT fair of Geraldine to single Obama out like that. It was petty and vile, but what else is to be expected if she's a support of Hillary's?
indielove indielove 7 years
First of all, I agree with everything you said, Jude. "The white man wouldn't stand a chance because she's a solid viable female candidate and oviously if there is one available the electorate will want to make history by choosing the female over the white man. No offence to the viable white man, but we want to make history." So, it's all about making history then? It doesn't matter about the qualifications? It's true that Obama being black(in skin color only, mind you) trumps Hillary being a woman? So, I guess that if Obama was white and Hillary being a white WOMAN, that would be enough for her to win the Presidency...therefore Ferraro's comments would ring true for this situation also. Ferraro might have said instead: "If Hillary was a white man, she would not be in this position. And if she was a man (of any color) she would not be in this position. She happens to be very lucky to be who she is. And the country is caught up in the concept." It's the same cycle of shortsightedness that we experience ever so often in this country. Point is they're both considered underdogs as far as history goes when it comes to Presidential candidates. It was NOT fair of Geraldine to single Obama out like that. It was petty and vile, but what else is to be expected if she's a support of Hillary's?
Jude-C Jude-C 7 years
hypnotic, I definitely agree that the reason this race is so tight and crazy is partly because it's a woman vs. minority race with great historical implications, but I can't agree that if Obama was a white man, he'd stand </b>less</b> of a chance than he does now. I have to say that I think if Obama was a white man, raised entirely in America, he would have a much <b>easier</b> time. Here's why:1) In the earlier stages of the campaign, rumors were circulated by the Clinton camp (not blaming Clinton, but her camp) that Obama was Muslim, had been educated in a madrassah, had taken his oath of office on a Koran, etc. Even though these rumors have been disproved completely, I still very often see the damaging effect they have already had. There are still people who don't realize those rumors have been disproven, and people who, even knowing that the rumors have been disproven, now don't trust Obama, simply because it's been insinuated that he has ties to Islam. A white man raised entirely in America would not have this problem--he would not be as vulnerable to insinuations of un-Americanism as Obama's background and nonwhite status make him.2) There already is a perception among many voters that Obama has gotten where he is because, as Geraldine Ferraro put it, he is black. This has caused resentment that distracts from his qualifications and from the issues in general. Again, a white man would not have this problem.3) Race is an issue. As good as Obama's ethnicity has been for him among the African-American community, it has also been bad for him (look at the Mississippi exit poll stats) among whites. A white man wouldn't have this problem, because African-American voters have historically not had a problem voting for white candidates, whereas white voters have shown a problem with voting for a black candidate.If Obama was white, his position would be less vulnerable.I do agree that maybe your interpretation of Ferraro's comment is correct--that may well be what she was trying to say--but it is still offensive, ignorant, and, as Obama put it, "wrongheaded."But those are just my opinions :) Feel free to disagree.
Jude-C Jude-C 7 years
hypnotic, I definitely agree that the reason this race is so tight and crazy is partly because it's a woman vs. minority race with great historical implications, but I can't agree that if Obama was a white man, he'd stand less of a chance than he does now. I have to say that I think if Obama was a white man, raised entirely in America, he would have a much easier time. Here's why: 1) In the earlier stages of the campaign, rumors were circulated by the Clinton camp (not blaming Clinton, but her camp) that Obama was Muslim, had been educated in a madrassah, had taken his oath of office on a Koran, etc. Even though these rumors have been disproved completely, I still very often see the damaging effect they have already had. There are still people who don't realize those rumors have been disproven, and people who, even knowing that the rumors have been disproven, now don't trust Obama, simply because it's been insinuated that he has ties to Islam. A white man raised entirely in America would not have this problem--he would not be as vulnerable to insinuations of un-Americanism as Obama's background and nonwhite status make him. 2) There already is a perception among many voters that Obama has gotten where he is because, as Geraldine Ferraro put it, he is black. This has caused resentment that distracts from his qualifications and from the issues in general. Again, a white man would not have this problem. 3) Race is an issue. As good as Obama's ethnicity has been for him among the African-American community, it has also been bad for him (look at the Mississippi exit poll stats) among whites. A white man wouldn't have this problem, because African-American voters have historically not had a problem voting for white candidates, whereas white voters have shown a problem with voting for a black candidate. If Obama was white, his position would be less vulnerable. I do agree that maybe your interpretation of Ferraro's comment is correct--that may well be what she was trying to say--but it is still offensive, ignorant, and, as Obama put it, "wrongheaded." But those are just my opinions :) Feel free to disagree.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 7 years
I can certainly see how people are upset by Ms. Ferraro's comments, but this needs to be looked at in a more practicle sense. If Sen. Obama were not in the picture and Sen. Clintons main adversary were a white man or another women they wouln't stand a chance against her. The white man wouldn't stand a chance because she's a solid viable female candidate and oviously if there is one available the electorate will want to make history by choosing the female over the white man. No offence to the viable white man, but we want to make history. As for an apposing female there is no other who is viewed by the public to be more appealing for the possition so there she would win again. Some horrible scandle would have to be reveiled for them to beat her. That's a fact. Now, you throw in Sen. Obama and you have two strong viable minority candidates for Prisedent both self admittedly not that much different from each other in political phylosophy. Which is why we have such a horse race going on here. This I believe is the context of Ms. Ferraro's statement that because he is a strong viable "MINORITY" candidate just like Sen. Clinton he is where he is and that is a perfectly valid point, not a racist one.
bellaressa bellaressa 7 years
So, basically I as a woman should support a woman. What about people who are Mexican and a woman... do they suppose to support the woman or the Mexican. It is about the best person you feel is for the job not based on their sex or race. I wish that people can see past this. As I said before he has the heart and balls to run and make change. Even if Hilary gets in office she will not be able to clean up the mess of Bush. The first 4 years - whoever gets in will be a slow churn and I doubt anything gets done. People who say vote for Hilary because she is a woman, say so because they have their own hidden agenda about race. They would rather have a woman than a minority in office, b/c lord forbid if the country is ran by a minority. It's so sad, he is an American just like everyone else but all you see is a Black Man. So, funny, everyone elected Bush rather he stole the election or whatever, and you picked him -what experience did he really have to be President besides Daddy, JFK, Ronald Reagan. All you want to focus on is the short comings because your too afraid to say I do not want a black man to be president.
trésjolie1 trésjolie1 7 years
I am so over the gender debate. The top reason for not voting for Senator Clinton would be just as pressing if she was Barack Obama or even Edwards. It is time to get over it.
Jillness Jillness 7 years
I would love to support Hillary, but as a candidate, she doesn't reflect the style of leadership I want in the White House. It has nothing to do with the fact that she is a woman. I feel that her instinct to fight is exactly what makes things NOT get done in Washington.
Jillness Jillness 7 years
I would love to support Hillary, but as a candidate, she doesn't reflect the style of leadership I want in the White House. It has nothing to do with the fact that she is a woman. I feel that her instinct to fight is exactly what makes things NOT get done in Washington.
mommie mommie 7 years
Ladies I have to say that its great that your all talking about this upcoming election because it is an extremely important one. I am distressed that the Dems are going at one another but I have to say that this IS a contest between race and gender and that having this dialogue is good for the DEM party and the country.This same struggle occurred in the 60's between civil rights and women's rights. Both really won back then. The difference now is that both products of that struggle are running against one another in a political contest. Only one can win.Frankly all the candidates are flawed, including McCain. McCain is old and will give us more of the same as we've had for eight years. If he gets sick in office we will be faced with whoever he chooses for VP. If he chooses from the religious right to appease that base then the country will be further in deep dodo.Obama is "green" . Lets be real here. He talks it up but in the end the job is going to be hugely difficult for anyone who wins and he will not be able to get anything done that he talks about because he will have to clean up messes that will take several years. Does he have the experience to know what to do from day one, I say "no". And, unless the Senate and the House change he nor Hillary will be able to move that juggernaut.OK, Hillary is certainly not perfect either but she is a fighter. A better fighter than Bill is or was. She knows how things work in Washington and the White House. She will know what to do from day one. Give her her due ladies, she is experienced. She has been politically active since high school and thats a fact. All you have to do is read about her from any number of books that have been written about her. Gail Sheehy's book - Hillary"s Choice" is a good one.I have volunteered for years with encouraging women to run for office and what continues to distress me greatly is how vicious women are to other women. Even on the Progressive Air America, I hear, everyday what a "B" Hillary is. I just turn it off now because I get so angry.Women will never achieve true equality until we recognize and support one another for what we can achieve as women when we get a chance.
mommie mommie 7 years
Ladies I have to say that its great that your all talking about this upcoming election because it is an extremely important one. I am distressed that the Dems are going at one another but I have to say that this IS a contest between race and gender and that having this dialogue is good for the DEM party and the country. This same struggle occurred in the 60's between civil rights and women's rights. Both really won back then. The difference now is that both products of that struggle are running against one another in a political contest. Only one can win. Frankly all the candidates are flawed, including McCain. McCain is old and will give us more of the same as we've had for eight years. If he gets sick in office we will be faced with whoever he chooses for VP. If he chooses from the religious right to appease that base then the country will be further in deep dodo. Obama is "green" . Lets be real here. He talks it up but in the end the job is going to be hugely difficult for anyone who wins and he will not be able to get anything done that he talks about because he will have to clean up messes that will take several years. Does he have the experience to know what to do from day one, I say "no". And, unless the Senate and the House change he nor Hillary will be able to move that juggernaut. OK, Hillary is certainly not perfect either but she is a fighter. A better fighter than Bill is or was. She knows how things work in Washington and the White House. She will know what to do from day one. Give her her due ladies, she is experienced. She has been politically active since high school and thats a fact. All you have to do is read about her from any number of books that have been written about her. Gail Sheehy's book - Hillary"s Choice" is a good one. I have volunteered for years with encouraging women to run for office and what continues to distress me greatly is how vicious women are to other women. Even on the Progressive Air America, I hear, everyday what a "B" Hillary is. I just turn it off now because I get so angry. Women will never achieve true equality until we recognize and support one another for what we can achieve as women when we get a chance.
indielove indielove 7 years
:rotfl: Hootie.I'm with ya 100%!All of my fellow Obama supporters replying to this blog have all said far more than I could ever articulate and I applaud all your posts. They are all eloquently written and VERY well-researched. KUDOS, ladies...I couldn't agree with you more. :)
indielove indielove 7 years
:rotfl: Hootie. I'm with ya 100%! All of my fellow Obama supporters replying to this blog have all said far more than I could ever articulate and I applaud all your posts. They are all eloquently written and VERY well-researched. KUDOS, ladies...I couldn't agree with you more. :)
trésjolie1 trésjolie1 7 years
:highfive:Me too, Hootie!
trésjolie1 trésjolie1 7 years
:highfive: Me too, Hootie!
Hootie Hootie 7 years
I reject and denounce Hillary! :pepino:
Hootie Hootie 7 years
Thank You Jude C! I came in to this late and you already said what I was thinking! "Hillary Clinton lies. She has lied since the beginning. She gets surrogates to lie for her. She gets surrogates to say the nasty things she can't say, and then she gets to distance herself from her surrogates' statements--but only after the damage has already been done, because so many people do take the things that come out of her camp at face value. I am tired of hearing that "the media is so hard on Clinton." The media has been remarkably soft on her. Plenty of regular people, in the course of doing research on the candidates, have caught her out in a multitude of lies, but the media continues to not call her out on those lies. The reason that more of her supporters find Obama untrustworthy than Obama supporters find her untrustworthy is because she has played dirty, while he has taken the high road. End of story".
laceykk23 laceykk23 7 years
"Do you agree with General McPeak that you are more qualified to be commander in chief because you don't "go on television and have crying fits?" Are you prepared to remove General McPeak from your campaign for what is viewed by many as a sexist comment? "how is that for irony? the fact that she can play the sexist card with a straight face is beyond me. how can she ask for a removal when she wont even denouce and reject what ferraro clearly meant as being racist and have her removed from her campaign? it really boggles my mind i really think they are delusional in thinking they have the upper hand in this situation. on the other hand if you want some laughs go and read the rest of the memo on huffingtonpost.
laceykk23 laceykk23 7 years
"Do you agree with General McPeak that you are more qualified to be commander in chief because you don't "go on television and have crying fits?" Are you prepared to remove General McPeak from your campaign for what is viewed by many as a sexist comment? " how is that for irony? the fact that she can play the sexist card with a straight face is beyond me. how can she ask for a removal when she wont even denouce and reject what ferraro clearly meant as being racist and have her removed from her campaign? it really boggles my mind i really think they are delusional in thinking they have the upper hand in this situation. on the other hand if you want some laughs go and read the rest of the memo on huffingtonpost.
Jillness Jillness 7 years
The fact that Ferraro is using a line that she used TWENTY YEARS AGO against Jesse Jackson suggests that maybe she is stuck in a time warp. America has changed, sweetie, so should you!
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