Editorial: Ferraro drags the Democrats further through the mud
Geraldine Ferraro has been mostly out of the limelight since presidential candidate Walter Mondale selected her as his running mate in 1984.
But not anymore.
Ferraro, who resigned Wednesday from Hillary Clinton’s campaign finance committee, has remained unapologetic about her comments last week in Torrance, Calif., when she cited race as the crucial factor in Barack Obama’s success.
“If you point to something that deals with race, you are immediately a racist?” she asked by phone to The New York Times. “Give me a break.”
Ferraro may not be a racist, but she’s proven herself to be a bonehead.
This was her original statement: “If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position. 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.”
Lucky to be a black man? That’s a new one.
Luck has nothing to do with it.
If Obama were ignorant, arrogant and incompetent, he wouldn’t be in this position. Ignorance, arrogance and incompetence might have worked for George W. Bush, but fortunately Obama shows none of those traits.
Clinton has been arrogant at times, dismissing Obama as inexperienced and over his head, but even she was a bit disturbed by Ferraro’s comments.
It was “regrettable that any of our supporters – on both sides because we both have this experience – say things that kind of veer off into the personal,” Clinton responded.
Ferraro wasn’t kind of veering off into the personal, she was bulldozing directly into it. And it’s dragging the Democrats further into the mud and hurting their chances in November.
Sure, some voters are intrigued by the idea of a black American president, just as many others are about the first woman commander in chief. But gender and race shouldn’t be the most important reasons to elect a leader – or to discourage one.
Obama and Clinton both are worthy candidates, each certainly capable of taking on Republican nominee John McCain.
Atop this latest nonsense on the Democratic campaign trail, a prominent black pastor warned Wednesday in a Los Angeles Times article that should Clinton win the nomination, black voters may not vote at all.
“This is a virtual race war, politically,” said the Rev. Eugene Rivers of the Azusa Christian Community, a Pentecostal church in Boston.
Some black voters evidently are upset at Clinton’s recent remark that Obama might make a good running mate – as vice president. They should be, given Obama’s lead over Clinton by more than 100 delegates, but not for racial reasons.
Clinton may be shrewd, but she’s certainly not stupid. Only a fool would make a statement like that if there were even a hint of racism in it. It’s counterproductive for black activists such as Rivers to respond that “blacks aren’t going to sit back while the winning candidate is told to sit at the back of the bus.”
Clinton was trying to rev up her supporters, nothing more. It’s a shame the Ferraros of the world feel the need to chime in, but it’s their right. McCain must be sitting back licking his chops as the big top begins to collapse on the Democratic circus.