1984 Democrat Vice Presidential candidate and current Clinton campaign finance committee member Geraldine Ferraro has given the Clinton campaign a headache it didn’t need going into today’s MS primary with remarks she made to the Torrance Daily Breeze which suggested that BO wouldn’t be where he is today in the Dem race for the nomination if he weren’t black:
“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.” Ferraro does not buy the notion of Obama as the great reconciler.
I’ll ignore her comments on “sexism” as I think the bigger issue at hand is what she said about race.
Naturally, her remarks set off a flurry of back and forth between the warring Obama and Clinton factions, with Team Obama demanding an outright repudiation of the comments, as well as suggesting that Clinton sever her ties with Ferraro. Both Clinton and her campaign spokesmen have said they don’t agree with the remarks, and suggested that both campaigns should stay focused on the “issues.”
This is very convenient timing for Barack Obama, whose campaign first utilized the race card a couple of weeks before the South Carolina Dem primary, where they knew black voters would turn out in significant numbers. Ferraro’s comments just give him an excuse to play it again directly, in addition to the one he already played yesterday, which I noted in an earlier post today.
The BO campaign doesn’t mind playing the race card one bit, doesn’t mind pandering to black audiences in order to secure their votes, doesn’t mind “borrowing” some quotes from a fellow black politician nor a popular black actor‘s line from the movie Malcolm X, doesn’t mind making campaign stops with mega-supporter Oprah Winfrey in front of primarily black crowds, stands silent when the head of his own party plays disgraceful race-baiting games when talking about the Republcian candidates, but when someone – an outspoken Democrat – suggests that a major part of his appeal is because he is black, well then that is unacceptable.
Obama spokesman Bill Burton earlier today accused the Clinton campaign of engaging in double standards by refusing to dump Ferraro from her campaign, after last week calling for (and getting) the resignation of (now-former) Obama foreign policy advisor Samantha Power for calling Clinton a “monster” in an inteview with a Scottish newspaper. I’d say there’s a mountain of evidence which suggests that the Obama campaign is engaging in a far worse double standard when it comes to issues related to race, a despicable double standard they’ll continue to get away with.
Update: A reader emails to remind me that Ferraro made similar comments last month on John Gibson’s radio show. Click here to listen.