Why Is It Not Possible To Agree With Geraldine Ferraro AND Support Barack Obama?


Just because Geraldine Ferraro is for Hillary, she has been hounded into disgrace for saying something that most Barack Obama supporters (if they were honest with themselves) would admit was true.

Obama could not represent the chance for racial reconciliation that he represents if he were white, and this chance for racial reconciliation is a part, a very valid part, of his appeal to both black and white voters.

I’ll admit this prior Ferraro comment (back in 1988, re Jesse Jackson), forwarded to me by Jim Dyer, is a little troubling in the current context. But I still believe David Axelrod (Obama’s campaign manager) knows better than to make Ferraro’s Obama remarks out to be outrageous. It’s clever of him to exploit Ferraro–maybe–but not right.

Added 3/21: Mickey Kaus this morning makes the same point, equating–persuasively–an interview given by Obama endorser John Kerry with the speech made by Ferraro. Both leaders assert that Obama’s race is part of his appeal. The Obama campaign can’t have it both ways, claiming that it’s true when Kerry says it but wrong when Ferraro says it.


3 Comments on “Why Is It Not Possible To Agree With Geraldine Ferraro AND Support Barack Obama?”

  1. Rochelle says:

    I don’t think the biggest problem is with what she said initially. It’s the fact that 1) that she never figured out why it might be construed as a offensive… and thus kept making things worse 2)she made it seem as if Barack’s race is the ONLY thing that’s made him successful, which simply isn’t true and 3)it all fits in far too neatly with other race baiting incidents that have happened in the Clinton campaign. When you put it all together, it just doesn’t look right.

    IMO, Dave was just pointing out what lots of other people were already saying. As far as I can tell, he didn’t comment on the issue until half the country (or at least half the Internet) knew about it already.

  2. tnaron says:

    As a counterpoint to that, here’s Mary Schmich’s column from today’s Chicago Tribune:


    An excerpt:

    Obama is a very smart, engaging, honorable man. But that’s not his contribution to history. He’s making history by being a very smart, engaging, honorable man who also has dark skin and an African father.

    Race is part of the Obama presidential package, and that package is thrilling. It’s inspiring. It’s relieving. Finally, a black presidential candidate with decent odds on his side. Obama’s swift rise comes as evidence of how far this country, steeped in slavery and bigotry, has come.

    Schmich is brilliant, because she agrees with me.

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