Democracy Has Prevailed.

March 12, 2008

Ferraro Must Go

Last week we saw an adivsor to Senator Obama resign after calling Senator Clinton a "monster."

I blogged on it here.

Recently former Vice-Presidential nominee Geraldine Ferraro was quoted as saying:

"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."

Then defended herself later with this, in a follow up interview:

But far from backing off from her initial remark, Ferraro defended it and elaborated on it.

"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," Ferraro said. "Racism works in two different directions. I really think they're attacking me because I'm white. How's that?"

Does the phrase, "you're not helping" have any meaning here? For the record, Senator Clinton said she "regrets" the comment. But as of this writing, Geraldine Ferraro is still working for the Clinton. campaign.

But it looks like the Clinton Campaign (if Howard Fineman is right) has larger issues to deal with. Take a look at about 4:50:

Here's the transcript:
Keith: Time now to bring in our own Howard Fineman, Senior Washington correspondent for Newsweek Magazine. Howard, good evening.

Howard: Good evening Keith.

Keith: Why did Geraldine Ferraro say what she said? How did she not get fired instantly? Why did she follow-up the way she did? Why did she not get fired instantly after that?

Howard: Well because the Clinton campaign doesn't want to change the tone. They just made the kitchen sink bigger and put more things in it. And that's the way this campaign is headed. I've been e-mailing and talking to the Clinton campaign people, listening to the dueling conference calls and looking at the e-mails. It's clear to me the Clinton people aren't going to back down. As you saw, they sent Maggie Williams out with a statement defending Geraldine Ferraro who was defending herself. This is the fight the Clintons want the way they want to fight it.

Keith: So the Senator wants a clearly racist, clearly "equal opportunity is not a good thing. That's the only reason he's here" kind of statement interjected into the campaign? It's not just somebody not judging a negative reaction do some thing? This right now, this reaction right now is intentional?

Howard: Well I don't know. I doubt they sent Gerry Ferraro out to say what she said.

Keith: Indeed.

Howard: And Gerry Ferraro I've covered for a long time and the ironies are piled on ironies. This is a woman who broke the ceiling over her own in '84 and here she is saying this. But based on the way the Clinton campaign has reacted in the last few hours, as you pointed out. And based on my own conversations with them, they're defending her, they're defending this. This, therefore, is their strategy.

Keith: I'm sorry to sound speechless. It seems remarkable to me that a campaign being run in the 21st Century or even in the 2nd half of the 20th century would allow itself to be associated in any kind of way not step back. If it was two African-Americans running against each other and one of them had somebody say on behalf of their candidate the other guy is only in there because he's equal opportunity or that there's some sort of quota system or because he's a black man. Does it not have disaster written all over it? Or are we living in South Africa?

Howard: Well I would think so, in part because it was just a dumb remark. I mean all of us, I'm sure - and let me say in advance I'm being facetious here - have long observed all the advantages that African-American men have in American society.
You can listen to the rest yourself.

If calling Senator Clinton a "monster" is grounds for resignation, then surely what Ferraro said merits the same outcome.

Why hasn't that happened?


Bram Reichbaum said...

"If calling Senator Clinton a 'monster' is grounds for resignation, then surely what Ferraro said merits the same outcome.

Why hasn't that happened?"

I can't speak to the inconsistency, but maybe I can offer that I Don't Care?

I'm not wild about a culture that "fires people instantly" when they say stupid things, especially about race and gender et cetera. Makes people clam up and shut down.

Ferraro's comments were ugly and mostly senseless. She should continue to flounder around and drag down the Clinton camp.

Anonymous said...

Why is the comment considered racist, instead of spot on?

Obama is an empty suit, a quiet back-bencher from the Illinois Senate who won his US Senate post because he speaks well.

He's not where he is on his merits alone.

Anonymous said...

John K. says: Ferraro should go? Why, she is the thoughts of the Democratic party. Conservatives have been telling you for years what you Democrats are like. Now you have Bubba, and Spitzer et al and along comes Ferraro voicing what Democrats have always thought.

Bram Reichbaum said...

Anon said, "Why is the comment considered racist, instead of spot on?"

Presumably, because there are oodles of black people out there who we would NOT be supporting for president. There must be reasons everybody likes this one.

"Obama is an empty suit, a quiet back-bencher from the Illinois Senate who won his US Senate post because he speaks well."

I could just as easily call Hillary and empty pantsuit, who is there only because she married Bubba. But that would be demeaning and helpful to no one.

"He's not where he is on his merits alone."

So you're also convinced we've all lost our minds because he's black and that's a huge advantage. So we disagree, fine.

It's just interesting that Barack makes little to no mention of his racial identity during his campaign, but Hillary is incessantly reminding people that "It's time" to elect a woman. That'd be nice, but why her?

Anonymous said...

John K. says: Look at me! I have a Wingnut pee-pee! My pee-pee is Red all the way! Look! Rush showed me how to show my pee-pee!

Anonymous said...

I agree, Ferraro just stated the obvious that the media refuses to address for fear of the racism charge.

When a segment of your population (80 to 95%) goes in support of a candidate of the same race...well, I do believe that you can assume that the candidate's race is a major factor.

Unfortunately, the rampant mysogamy that has prevailed against the Clinton campaign never gets a peep does it.

JUST because you refer to someones race as a factor in some event DOES NOT MAKE YOU a racist.

Get over it and go Geraldine! Be unafraid girl to state the obvious!


Maria said...

Reality Check: She can't resign or be fired because she is neither a paid advisor or like Power, an unpaid advisor.

She's not working for Clinton in any official capacity.

She's a supporter who has hosted fundraisers.

She should not be allowed to do that in any official capacity.

That said, as much as I like Olbermann, I can't be completely surprised at how much he's taken to bashing Hillary. Countdown is often full of sniggering little boy sex jokes and, as much as I dislike Ann Coulter, even I was a bit appalled by the ferocity Keith took to demolishing an Ann Coulter doll on air a couple of years ago.

Anonymous said...

It's time for the super delegates to call and reject finally the HRC campaign. Supers by the dozens and dozens for Obama.

Where are you John Edwards, Bill Richardson, Al Gore...?

Maria, please don't make me stop respecting your opinion. Why the desparate refusal to finally let go and then see that one of our old heroes turned into an absolute MONSTER, MONSTER, MONSTER.

Anonymous said...

what the hell is "mysogamy"-- the hatred of marriage?

Maria said...

FYI: Hillary was never an "old hero" to me, on the other hand, neither did I see her as she the mega evil bitch she was often portrayed to be.

And, nope, I don't see her as anything like a monster now.

Anonymous said...

No, we can't make fun of a persons race. But every Pittsburgh talk show makes fun of Senator Clinton constantly and so very degradingly. What if they had a recording of Obama laughing and played it to the point of agony. I have no respect for the men who act like fourth grade school boys taunting and pulling hair of the girl on the playground. what are they afraid of. Obama is no threat to them and Hillary is. It's time for people to show respect for all. Other countries are shocked over our insulting, degrading talkers. Maybe we should bring back public dueling so folks could have some recourse when they areso slandered. I can see talking heads roll!

Anonymous said...

Cry me a river. The right wing wackoes play Hillary's laugh in appeal to the economic demographic that Hillary is desparately making sure will not vote for Obama.

Anonymous said...

And how does she try to do this? 5 Ferraro appearances in 36 hours. Despicable!

Maria said...

Five appearances by Ferraro -- as in Ferraro making her own appearences of her own accord. Hillary denounced her statement.

On the other hand, BuzzFlash just started offering a Samantha Power book as one of its premiums.


Anonymous said...

Some Clintonistas should read about our monstrous failures in Rwanda in the 90s, when Bill was the only one to go against the important U.N. resolution...

Char said...

"Other countries are shocked over our insulting, degrading talkers."

Watch CSPAN's coverage of UK's Parliament proceedings. Not only do they regularly insult each other, sometimes they come to physical blows.

Anonymous said...

I thought America wanted to be different from the UK. Why hold us to the lowest example?

Anonymous said...

Essential Reading For Those Who Care to Know!

Shake Hands with the Devil : The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda by Romo Dallaire and Samantha Power.

Someone with 35 years of experience was in the White House at that time, while someone else was on the Chicago Streets, after Harvard Law School.

Bram Reichbaum said...

"Hillary denounced her statement."

See, somehow I missed this. Thanks, good for Hill, even if she is secretly grateful. :-)

Anonymous said...

Reality check for Maria: Ferraro is a member of the Clinton finance committee. She was not thrown out of the campaign because she's raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for the cash strapped Clinton campaign. Ferraro is also a lobbyist.

But in the world of the Clintons, double standards are fine. If Clinton wins, our party is destroyed. The time for Super Delegates to act has come. They were created for this purpose. They're supposed to cut off wounded candidacies aiming at destroying the party out of spite, which is what the Hillary '08 campaign has turned into.

Finally, Ferraro is an idiot. By sowing divisions between African Americans and women, neither dream will ever be achieved. So Ferraro is doing more than she could ever imagine to prevent her dream--that of a woman being President--from ever happening; so is Hillary Clinton, who has consistently tolerated crap like this.

Anonymous said...

If an energetic, young white Senator had a similar background of anti-war history and was pushing themes of change and hope in today's election, he'd have buried the Clinton campaign a long time ago.

But somehow I don't think that's what Geraldine F. meant.

Anonymous said...

Like Maria said Ferraro can't go because she is not part of the campaign. But it is interesting how the Obama seems to pick a factual, but purely worded, statement and spin on it before a primary. We found it odd that Ferraro was criticized for her statement. And, that the next story was about the Mississippi primary. The news reporter said that Barack Obama was expected to win there because of the high concentration of African-American voters...uh????

Adept2u said...

Ms. Ferraro,

I am terribly disappointed. Your recent suggestion that Mr. Obamas’ success happened only because he is black is especially painful. To think that being black in America is a lucky thing strikes me as being inconsiderate.

I am a black person born the same year as Mr. Obamas’ wife 1964, and I can tell you at no time in my life was being black a lucky thing, or are you unaware of the sad and continuing legacy of American race relations. You disregard Mr. Obamas’ legitimate and laudable accomplishments by attributing them to one thing, and it’s the one thing Mr. Obama tries least to be – a man of race. Mr. Obama is a child of God, a husband, a father, a university graduate and a lawyer. Mr. Obama has been a stellar state representative of Illinois and he is currently a United States Senator, and great American. Somewhere probably in the high teens of the list of things Mr. Obama is would be black man.

The statements you have made and defend amount to making his race his primary attribute. You are playing the race card in a manner that is insulting, and quite frankly would be more expected from the kind of reactionary people America has hopefully outgrown.

In 1984 I was a student at the University of Southern California an institution with a traditionally conservative bent. I remember campaigning for and ardently defending a certain congressperson from New York as being more than just a woman, but a person regardless of gender worthy to potentially lead this country. I’m sorry to know now that I was wrong, and all the time any Gerard really would have sufficed.

Anonymous said...

"On the other hand, BuzzFlash just started offering a Samantha Power book as one of its premiums.


So are you saying her pultizer prize winning in-depth analysis on why there is the US lack of response to genocide globally should be disregarded because of her views on Clinton?


Anonymous said...


I honestly do not wish to sound at all condescending.

But I believe that your obdurate refusual to see what Clinton is actually doing, along with your continued public advocacy for her a this juncture, if continued, will be one of the personal political mistakes that you will look back upon most regrettably in your later life.

I am a progressive; feminist; neo-Marxist thinker, but just cannot understand you now.

Anonymous said...

" if continued will be one of the personal political mistakes..." are you threatening Maria? I don't care what "progressive words you use to describe yourself, you don't have the right to judge a person as wrong just because you disagree with them. This is the problem with Obama followers.. there is no room for disagreement.It is this kind of bullying that is tearing us apart.

Anonymous said...

This is where Senator Clinton wants the argument to be. Let us disappoint her and take the argument back to where it should be, what is best for this Country and how can we put ourselves back on the right track.

I have said it before and I will say it again-- Senator Obama is the only candidate who has offered us with a comprehensive answer to that question. All we have to do is listen.

Anonymous said...

This is absolutely horrifying and painful. DEMOCRATS...yes...DEMOCRATS bickering over race and gender. I along with MILLLIONS of other A.A.'s voted for Clinton, Gore, and Kerry. We have been nothing but LOYAL Democrats. Yet...if I vote for B.O. I am merely a loyal AA?! This is painful and a slap in my damn face. I have served this nation by helping at risk youth, fed the homeless, battered women, and the shut-in. My cousins have served this nation in the military as did my father, his father, and his father. Yet if I vote for B.O. it's just because he is A.A.?! Did I vote for Bill JUST because he is White?!

I don't know if people realize it or not but the pain you inflict on AMERICANS such as myself by disregarding our vote as race loyalty will fracture OUR party beyond repair.

I don't see the vitriol towards the huge block of FEMALE voters that have OPENLY stated they vote for HC because it's "a woman's turn". Please people...please...let's not forget WE are supposed to be in this together...Black, White, Green, Yellow, Orange, male, female...we are AMERICANS, and America needs a Democrat in the White House.

Damnit people!!! We sound like a bunch of bigoted idiotic REPUBLICANS in the 50's!! What is going on?!

Please don't destroy OUR party with self-hate.


Anonymous said...

It is not Senator Clinton's camp that is tearing us apart. It is very clearly the Obama camp. They have minmized her experience. They have demonized her and sent their surrogates to do the same. They have even played the race card. And. as if that is not enough, go around attempting to making little deals with foreign governments. Sounds very republican. I find that to divisive and dispicable. Barack Obama's war vote is a fairytale because he did not vote. And could someone point to one bill, i.e. funding or troop withdraw, where he actually voted to end the war?

Bram Reichbaum said...

Obama has been the dirty campaigner? Let's hear some examples.

Anonymous said...

It shouldn't be necessary to assess whether Geraldine Ferraro's statement was racist and/or a cynical political savagery, because it was so dumb that it doesn't deserve any place (other than to be denounced promptly for stupidity) in reasoned debate.

If everyone on both sides of the Democratic nomination chase would reject it on that ground, it would be neither tempting nor necessary to consider questions such as whether Sen. Clinton would be in her current position were it not for two decades in public life on her husband's coattails, or whether this type of analysis of the role of race in Sen. Obama's candidacy is desirable, or whether it is appropriate for Democrats to raise the Clinton administration scandals in the nomination context, etc.

The Democrats have two good candidates. That some would self-inflict these wounds in the intramural contest between these two candidates, for motivations that appear to relate primarily to the issue of whether women or blacks have experienced greater slights in America (and, from a practical perspective, from a perception that it is time to launch the Hail Mary passes), seems as dumb as Geraldine Ferraro's "the black guy has an unfair advantage" comments.

Anonymous said...

are you threatening Maria

Give me a break! I have never threatened anybody in my life, and surely would not do it over a question of politicians. Souns like you want to pick a fifht, though. Ease up.

... you don't have the right to judge a person as wrong just because you disagree with them."

I am judging HER POSITION, not her. If one cannot admit in public discussion that one thinks someone else's positions are "wrong" or, at least, not the best, then, pray tell, what is the point of political debate? If the latter is to have a point and you cannot handle that, then you probably should not be here. It is not "bullying."

Anonymous said...

You are splitting hairs about threatening or not. If you respected Maria's position you would have said so from the beginning. I do not want to fight just point out agression when I see it. You have every right to disagree with someone's position but not judge it.

Anonymous said...

Even Pat Buchanan said that anyone who knew Geraldine Ferraro would never say she was a racist. He went on to say that Obama would not have been asked to speak at the 2004 Convention unless he had been black. When 9 out of 10 blacks are voting for Obama, how can you say that race is not an issue? Yes, Obama is a great orator and has built a great following, but he has been favored by the media, and women (myself included) are getting very defensive for Hillary. And, even Geraldine said today that she would not have been asked to run as VP in 1984 had her name been Gerald -- she admited to having an opportunity at that point in time because she was a woman. Why is everyone making such a huge deal of this?

Anonymous said...

Hilarious...citing Pat Buchanan as a character witness in regards to racism...!!!

Oh, the painful absurdity of it all.

Must SEE TV: Keith O's Special Commentary on Hillary Clinton. This is one of the top 3 television news commentaries delivered on American electoral politics in the past quarter century.

High school students will be required to watch it in their journalism classes in upcoming years.

Anonymous said...

Actually, Pat Buchanan is one of the few republicans left with something other than an idiotic ideology and has been actually opposing the ignorance of the Bush administration for years.

This is not to say I necessarily agree with the man on most issues but he's at least willing to make honest statements at times.

It has NOT gone unnoticed except by Obamaites and the press that Obama's campaign is now grabbing 85 to 95% of the black vote. This is NOT to say that every black vote is because of race but it is quite apparent since at NO TIME IN HISTORY has the black community ever so single mindedly supported ANY candidate in a democratic primary, that Obama's race is the only factor that could have brought this about.

Jesse Jackson never garnered 9 out of 10 votes from the AA community so clearly...race was not a factor that time. You cannot point to ANY election in which a candidate is garnering 90% of the vote where there isn't an underlying factor of race. Isn't this how it used to work in the South?

It's not racist to point out a few facts. It is disingenuous of the Obama campaign to label everyone a racist who points out the obvious. Race baiting though is part and parcel of the Obama campaign which has used it well.


Anonymous said...

Anon... thank-you for stating this whole race issue in this race for what it is. Thank-you, Thank-you now maybe we can talk about the issues that will drive the republicans mad