Posted on March 11, 2008

Geraldine Ferraro: ‘If Obama Was a White Man’

Mark Silva, Baltimore Sun, March 11, 2008


Democrat Geraldine Ferraro, who became the first woman to run as a major party’s candidate when she ran for vice president with Walter Mondale in 1984, believes that Clinton is not getting a fair shake in the media trial that is a modern-day presidential campaign. It has to do with gender, she believes.

And Obama, Ferraro told a newspaper in California recently, would not be in the position he is in today if he were “a white man” or a woman of any color.

“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,” Ferraro said in an interview with the Daily Breeze of Torrance, Cal., in a column published Friday in advance of a speech in the area. “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.

“If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position,” Ferraro told the newspaper. “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.”

Susan Rice, a senior adviser for the Obama camapign, said today that the Clinton campaign should disavow Ferraro’s comments. “It is the sort of comment that we have heard repeatedly, I’m afraid, from some of the Clinton surrogates,” she said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.

“It is a far worse comment that what Samantha Power said and for which Senator Obama accepted her resignation,” Rice said. (Power, a former Obama campaign adviser, called Clinton a “monster,” and quit the campaign after the remark was reported). “If Sen. Clinton is serious about putting an end to statements that have racial implications, that diminish Sen. Obama because he’s an African American man, then she ought to really repudiate this comment and make it clear that there is no place in her campaign for people who will say this kind of thing.”

This isn’t the only venue in which Ferraro has vented about coverage of the Clinton campaign.