Trump World Grab-Bag--A Collection

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Geraldine Ferraro, 1935-2011

Geraldine Ferraro was best known for being the running mate of Walter Mondale during his failed bid for the White House in '84 as the first woman candidate on a national party ticket (as in, one that presumably could win.) Being tapped for Veep might have set her back as a politician in the way that a spotlight and a connection with a failed run can. But it did set a precedent, of sorts--making the idea of a woman running seem less unusual--it happened, once. (Now it's happened twice. One day....a woman might even be on the ticket for a close election.)

She was articulate, assertive, and capable as a politician. I think it's a shame that people introduced to politics more recently will recall her for expressing a basically racial viewpoint regarding Obama's success being due to his ethnicity, which at the time struck me as, if not racist, at the least, ignorant. It simply does not strike me, as it apparently struck her, that non-white ethnicity had gained any particular privilege in the sense of being a positive determining factor in a national election--not when real issues of foreign policy and, more germane to the 2008 contest, the economy, were in play. I thought then, and still do, that her remarks were based in resentment and weren't her at her best. So I will leave this reminiscence with the snippet of her rebuking GHWB for his attitude during their debate:

And of course, the Reagan Administration did pull out of Lebanon after the unfortunate incident, so if there was any lack of will, it rested with the administration, and if there was any defensiveness regarding Iran, in light of Iran-Contra, perhaps there very well should have been, and the idea of no covert government action still strikes me as a very good idea and  after all this time, I still don't think GHWB was "out of the loop". But I very much appreciate her speaking up as to his condescention regarding her understanding of things right there--he was being a snide high-handed shit. And she told him. Good for her.

Good for her, for finding and having a political voice, and getting to the House of Representatives when there were still people who thought a "woman's place is in the house" just meant "home". Good for her .

She was wrong about Obama, but she was, for the women in the audience of her acceptance speech at the Democratic Convention of '84, a figure to look up to (see the faces in the camera pan of the crowd). Her candidacy represented a part of the long way we've come as a nation, and the candidacy of Barack Obama represented a further direction--one she didn't fully grasp. But her failing there, doesn't cancel out her own acheivements. And for what it's worth, they were nothing to sneer at.

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