I am sure most of you have already heard Geraldine Ferraro’s…unfortunate comments about Barrack Obama suggesting he is the beneficiary of political Affirmative Action. Today CNN had a comprehensive article about her comments.
“If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position. And if he was a woman, 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.”
Now, I am not black so I can’t personally attest to the difficulties of being black but I have heard that it isn’t an especially easy row to hoe, especially with those like Ferraro downplaying his accomplishments and totally misrepresenting the reasons people like him and vote for him, simply writing it off as a result of him being black.
Yesterday, Ferraro defended her comments to the Daily Breeze (a newspaper in Torrance, CA in Los Angelas County).
“Any time anybody does anything that in any way pulls this campaign down and says, ‘Let’s address reality and the problems we’re facing in this world,’ you’re accused of being racist, so you have to shut up,” she told the Daily Breeze of Torrance, California. “Racism works in two different directions. I really think they’re attacking me because I’m white. How’s that?”
She made an indefensible, racial comments and when called on it she now calls those who were wronged by these remarks racist. And this isn’t the first time she has attacked an opponent with this tact, either. In 1988, Ferraro made similar remarks about Jesse Jackson. According to the Washington Post (via Ben Smith at Politico), she stated, “If Jesse Jackson were not black, he wouldn’t be in the race.” Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Will it be the same in 2028? When will a black person finally be able to run for president without her saying it is because they are black?
On the John Gibson show Ms. Ferraro said,
“I am very disappointed, when I see John Lewis, you know, he is turning around, this is a civil rights leader. Why is God’s name did he change his vote from Hillary Clinton to Barack Obama…I’ll tell you why. It’s because he faces…he is not going to lose a Democratic Primary in his district in two years, but he sure as hell will face one if he sticks it to Barack Obama when he has a greater majority of blacks in his district. So, he is looking at…he is not going to lose, I am so disappointed in him I could die. I look at Rosa DeLauro, up in Connecticut. She represents New Haven. Tell me, I mean, I don’t care what she says, tell me why she’s endorsing Barack Obama and then came to his defense on an issue like choice, where he voted six times, maybe, when he voted present in Illi…I mean, I am like a lunatic about this stuff. I can’t believe people are doing…so no, it is not coming down to…what I would hope is that…and because…and again you saw Chris Dodd today, I look at these guys doing it and I have to tell you, it’s the guys sticking together, John. It is, you know…
John Gibson: Why isn’t it not credible that they are doing it because Obama has a wave behind him and they don’t want to be at odds with the voters who are picking Obama.
Ferraro: Except that they are the leaders, don’t you get the story? I mean the thing is…
Gibson: Do you actually expect them to hand this nomination to Hillary?
Ferraro: No, I expect them to do, I expect them to look very carefully at who has the (experience? unintelligible)…John, between me and you and your millions of visito…listeners, if Barack Obama were a white man, would we be talking about this? As a potential real problem? For Hillary?
Gibson: (talking over Ferraro) You mean if he were John Edwards?
Ferraro: If he were a woman of any color, would he be in this position that he is in? Absolutely not.
Gibson: Geraldine, are you playing the race card?
Ferraro: No, and that is the problem. Every time you say the truth…I am the first person and John, you know how honest I am. I am the first person who will say in 1984 if my name were Gerard instead of Geraldine, I would never have been picked as the vice presidential candidate.
Ferraro is now defending herself (on the Gibson show and on Fox, where she is a political contributor, ahem), saying she is not a racist. I will give her the benefit of the doubt but clearly, from her comments to Gibson, she feels she, as well as Clinton are victims. It is Chris Dodd and the old boys club, it is all the black voters, it is the minority leadership. Everybody, it seems, is against them. Nobody has a good reason to vote for Obama over Clinton, apparently, and she is losing because he is black and she is a woman. The way I see it, Obama is winning because he has run a better, more efficient, more positive campaign, but that could just be me.