Could someone please find something for Geraldine Ferraro to do? It seems that this woman cannot keep her mouth shut and may have way too much time on her hands. Ferraro, a staunch Hillary Clinton supporter who sparked a firestorm earlier this year over whether she made a racially dismissive remark about Barack Obama, may sadly no longer a reliable Democratic vote.
Ferraro, in the NYT story, terms Obama “terribly sexist.” As a result, she said that she may not be able to cast her ballot for him if, as anticipated, he gains the Democratic presidential nod. On the positive side for Democrats, no signs of apostasy are emanating from the four other one-time party veep candidates still alive — John Edwards (the ’04 nominee who officially signed on with Obama last week), Al Gore (the nominee in 1992 and ’96), Walter Mondale (the 1976 and 1980 nominee) and Sargent Shriver (George McGovern’s running mate in 1972 — they may have gotten trounced by the GOP’s Richard Nixon/Spiro Agnew pairing, but their longevity is impressive).
The issue stems from a deep feeling among many women that Hillary Clinton was the victim of gender discrimination, which may well have been the case in some instances. I believe, however, that Hillary Clinton’s stinging campaign meltdown came in great part as a result of her own misjudgment. She made a historic attempt and got very far in her quest to be the first female president, following in the footsteps of Shirley Chisholm, who has largely been ignored by both campaigns. The New York Times summed it up best: along with the usual post-mortems about strategy, message and money, Mrs. Clinton’s all-but-certain defeat brings with it a reckoning about what her run represents for women: a historic if incomplete triumph or a depressing reminder of why few pursue high office in the first place. For what it is worth, I will give her a great deal of credit for persevering in spite of all the odds against her. She fought, despite the slip-ups she made.
The answers have immediate political implications. If many of Mrs. Clinton’s legions of female supporters believe she was undone even in part by gender discrimination, how eagerly will they embrace Senator Barack Obama, the man who beat her? This is the dilemma the Democratic Party faces. Personally, I liked Hillary Clinton on many levels, but I was turned off by the seemingly racist comments President Clinton made about Barack Obama and the fact that Hillary Clinton went in the race with the mindset that it was hers to win. No, you can never be overly confident and this process has shown us that very thing.
I believe a lot of women will rally around Barack Obama or possibly John McCain, because we have a deeper problem in this country–a deep racial divide. It is unfortunate that we see things in terms of gender and race. Many would not vote for Hillary Clinton because she is a woman and many will not vote for Barack Obama because he is black. So, we are at a crossroads in this country that is serious. We have sold America as a place where one is limited only by their capabilities and that you can be anything you want, but sadly, we are still dogged with the racists attitudes that confounded America in the past. I would tell both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama to talk out against this latent racism that is rearing its ugly head during this electoral process. We all want the same things from life and we are all in the same struggle. Let’s not forget Dr. Martin Luther King’s vision for one America. To end, for Geraldine Ferraro to call Barack Obama sexist is really unconscionable. He has treated Hillary Clinton with utmost respect and compassion, even when she hurled insults and accusations at him repeatedly. Just my thoughts, you be the judge….