Was Gerry Ferraro right or wrong?

Posted by: ST on March 12, 2008 at 8:50 am

I see the dust-up over Geraldine Ferraro’s controversial remarks about Obama and race continues today, with Ben Smith at The Politico quoting comments she made during Jesse Jackson’s 1988 presidential run that sound just like what she said yesterday. Ferraro is not backing down from what she said and suggested in a follow-up interview with the Torrance Daily Breeze that the criticism of her remarks about BO is happening because she’s white.

I should note for the record that Ferraro has also admitted that she believes if her name had been Gerard Ferraro should would never have been picked as Mondale’s VP choice in 1984.

Obviously, this issue has riled up emotions mostly on the identity politics-obsessed left hand side of the aisle, but conservatives, who have long been on the receiving end of false allegations of racism, are weighing in as well. Let’s try to take as much emotion as we can out of the argument and debate/discuss Ferraro’s comments on their merits or lack thereof. Were they totally true (as John Hawkins believes), was there a certain degree of truth to them as part of the overall picture of the BO campaign (which I believe), or were they not true at all (as many outraged lefties are saying this morning)?

Don Surber asserts that her remarks weren’t racist, but instead are more like sour grapes, because Ferraro’s candidate is trailing BO. Do you think that’s what this boils down to?

Update: Tom Maguire makes a pretty convincing argument that GF is right but opines that she is a flawed messenger, which takes away from the points she tried to make. Consider that post a must-read. Lots of good supporting links.

McQ also has a good post up about how this is another example of how some Obama supporters and spokespeople try to silence critics by invoking the race card. He wraps up with this:

That said, the point to be made here is the “racism” and “sexism” chickens have come home to roost with a vengeance during this Democratic primary. And those slapped with it are understanding both the purpose and the result of such tactics. And interestingly they object and object mightily.

Good. Maybe, finally, we can begin to put all this PC nonsense to bed, recognize that not every reference to race or gender involves racism or sexism. Maybe we can actually have debates and discussions about the reality of statements and opinions vs. marginalizing and muting those who may say something we disagree by using false charges.


I won’t hold my breath, especially considering the fact that Nutroots fave Keith Olbermann is planning on devoting his “Special Comment” segment to attacking Hillary Clinton and Ferraro tonight.

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  • 15 Responses to “Was Gerry Ferraro right or wrong?”


    1. DaMav says:

      I’ll go with “partly true”. Obama is obviously an immensely talented politician, highly intelligent, and charismatic. Attributing all his success to his race fails to acknowledge that.

      But his race is a major component in securing the support of black people, as well as white liberals (including most of the media). If he were white, it is unlikely he would be getting 80% of the black vote against Clinton. And unlikely that he would have gotten such kid glove treatment by the media in the early stages of the campaign. Against that must be balanced the negative of the percentage of Democrats bigoted against black people.

      The reality is complex, and not easily measured. What is troubling is that even raising the issue has resulted in a spate of claims and counterclaims of racism. This is the nonsense of political correctness, and evidence of the abject failure of liberalism’s identity politics. If nothing else, this primary season is exposing the hollowness of liberalism’s emphasis on skin color over the content of one’s character, and the stultifying impact it has on national dialogue.

      I only wish Obama were a conservative and not an extreme leftist. I think he would be polling at 80% nationally.

    2. Good points, DaMav. The only thing I would quibble with is your assertion that he would be polling at 80% nationally if he was a black conservative. Think about the extremely articulate and staunch conservative Michael Steele, and all the backlash he has already gotten from black liberals for “selling out” his race. Not only would they be all over him nationally, but so would the mediots, who would march in step according to the (Democrat) party line.

    3. Leslie says:

      I think any charismatic ambitious first-term Senator would have flourished in this climate. Ms. Ferraro is dwelling in the Land of Wouldashouldacoulda.

      The mediots, who need something to write about, probably are focusing more on this “drama” than are the voters.

      All those Democratic-leaning women who still have “I Am Woman Hear Me Roar” on their I-Pods and read Erica Jong back in the day will turn out in November and pull the Obama lever.

      And Ferraro remains very much what she is: a retired party hack.


    4. Lorica says:

      Ferraro has been sticking her size wide shoe into her size extra large mouth since the 80s. Why anyone would even think about using her for any reason whatsoever is not a very bright individual. – Lorica

    5. DaMav says:

      @Sister Toldjah
      Very good counterpoint on Steele. Sigh. Thanks for the dose of reality. Of course this has been a bad year for any real conservative candidate, but your point is well taken.

    6. T-Steel says:

      I really like Michael Steele. The man’s smart, intelligent, and charismatic. The Right’s Senator Obama! :d

      Is Michael Steele was running against Barack Obama, I would vote for Michael Steele in a heartbeat. And I’m a current “sane” Obama supporter (I guess).

    7. Camilla says:

      I don’t for a minute think that Gerry is a bigot, and I feel that she was speaking off the cuff; when she used the word ‘lucky’ to describe Obama, she has acknowledged that the word was inappropriate.
      Anyone who thinks that Obama’s ethnic background (don’t forget that he is 1/2 caucasian) doesn’t play into his popularity has their head in the clouds.
      He’s smart, articulate, elegant and well heeled but even with all those attributes, if he looked like Snoop Dog or Al Shapton, he wouldn’t be where he is right now, as the leading candidate. That’s not racist, people, it’s fact. That’s the concept to which she was referring, I believe.

    8. Lorica says:

      Anyone who thinks that Obama’s ethnic background doesn’t play into his popularity has their head in the clouds.

      So what you are saying is it isn’t his ideas or his plan for this country, it is the color of his skin. Isn’t that the very definition of racism??? – Lorica

    9. Camilla says:

      Well, I haven’t heard any original plans or ideas yet:-?, but I think the fact that he’s of mixed ethnicity made him the perfect candidate to bridge the differences that are perceived by some between blacks and whites. I’m not saying he’s all style and no substance, but the idea of the country being welcoming to a president of color is allowing a lot of folks to pat themselves on the back for being so liberal. I think that’s what she referred to as the ‘concept’.

    10. Lorica says:

      So the answer to my question is Yes. Thank you. – Lorica

    11. Jay In Md. says:


      This issue IS about the color of his skin and the role that it is playing in the election. Are you saying that BO doesn’t play up the fact that he is the first actually viable black candidate? He uses his race to his advantage, just as Hillary played the victim in NH by crying (her strong suit) and McCain will be GI Joe every chance he gets.

      Ferraro just pointed this out. And got STOMPED on by the press. Who themselves have been made the butt of joke on SNL. Why? Because they have been soft on him. Again I ask why? Because he is black. Name a 2 yr white senator who would have made it past his opening remarks announcing his candidacy before being laughed off stage.

      As far as BO’s ideas, do any of them come from is pastor and mentor? Why does every Rep get raked over the coals for Bob Jones Univ, yet BO is getting a pass on his church and its teachings? You can call me a racist and a bigot, but that doesn’t change the fact that BO is an empty suit except for his crazy far left ideas.

    12. Lorica says:

      Yes Jay I understand what BO is all about and how he uses his race. Yes Jay I understand that the MSM is taking it easy on BO because of his race. Which is the same comment that got Rush Limbaugh fired from his ESPN job. I think the MSM and most of the left bends over backward to try and to prove they are not racists, which is a form of racism in and of itself. I don’t consider equal treatment or the plea for it from the MSM a racists belief so I think you are off the hook there. My comments are directed at that realization. That the MSM is highly selective in it’s reporting, which makes them a racist organization. That is what I am trying to get at Jay.

      As far as MacCain using his veterns status in his campaign, that is not based on things that he has no control of, i.e. race or sex, but upon actions he undertook fully aware of the consequences, and beliefs that he held at the time. It is appropriate in a non-racist, non-sexist race for him to use this history to encourage people to vote for him. Unlike BO and Hitlary who will always go to the most convienent path to gain the power they crave. – Lorica

    13. Camilla says:

      It should be very interesting to see how this plays out if Obama becomes President. Will the media and/or public in general, have to walk on eggshells and measure each comment or criticism carefully, lest be accused of being racist. Or sexist, if HRC wins, or agism in ol’ Mac wins, godforbid.

    14. Lorica says:

      Well I seriously doubt that either BO or Hitlary is going to win, as I firmly believe that alot of Dem voters are going to stay home this time around. As far as agism, we had our share of that with Ronald Reagan, so it won’t be anything new to our side. You are right about it being interesting tho. It already has been, watching these bumbling buffoons in the MSM and the other Dems in their failed bids for the presidency.

      God forbid if either Dem candidate becomes President. Or as a good Evangelical maybe I should vote for them, then just maybe Jesus will return and I will never ever have a worry. =)) J/K I could never stand in agreement with such deceptive people, and I never would. – Lorica