Geraldine Ferraro is getting a lot of flack for this statement:
"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.Is it wrong to call her on this? You betcha.
"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."
Geraldine Ferraro is a public figure. She should know that her words would be quoted. And she’s been around long enough to know exactly how such a statement would sound.
I don’t believe she’s a racist anymore than I believe Samantha Powers is a misogynist. But just as Powers had to step down from the Obama campaign after calling Hillary Clinton a monster, Ferraro needs to step away from Clinton’s campaign.
Of course, unlike Powers, Ferraro isn’t a paid operative who can be fired. And I’m not sure that Hillary’s campaign has the stomach to tell a fundraiser, not to mention a supporter of Geraldine Ferraro’s stature, to get lost.
Ferraro made history, herself, as the first female vice presidential candidate. Back in the day, feminists were proud of her for blazing that trail. That’s why it’s even sadder to have to condemn her words now. What she said also obscures her point that there is still a tremendous amount of sexism in the media. Don’t believe it? Then, just check out Charlotte Allen’s recent insulting satire in the Washington Post Outlook section, which demeans Obama as much as it does his women supporters. That the WaPo editors didn’t recognize that it was sexist speaks volumes about them.
But Ferraro’s very real outrage over the lingering sexism in the media and the country does not excuse her from the remark she made about Obama. It was a racist statement and the Democratic Party has no place for either racism or sexism. So, she needs to follow the example of Samantha Powers and apologize. Then she needs to exit so that she does not become the topic of the campaign.