May 30th, 2008
10:20 AM ET
15 years ago

Ferraro: Reagan Dems find Obama campaign 'frightening'

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Ferraro has been outspoken on race and gender issues during the primary season."] (CNN) - Geraldine Ferraro – who sparked controversy earlier this year with her comment that Barack Obama was only a viable presidential candidate because he was black – wrote in an op-ed published Friday that the Illinois senator’s campaign and the media may be responsible for “the effects of racism and sexism on the campaign [which] have resulted in a split within the Democratic Party that will not be easy to heal before election day.”

“Perhaps it's because neither the Barack Obama campaign nor the media seem to understand what is at the heart of the anger on the part of women who feel that Hillary Clinton was treated unfairly because she is a woman or what is fueling the concern of Reagan Democrats for whom sexism isn't an issue, but reverse racism is,” the former Democratic vice presidential candidate wrote in the Boston Globe Friday.

Reagan Democrats feel they have been mistreated during the campaign season, she writes, and since her March resignation from the Clinton campaign have repeatedly told her that “If you're white you can't open your mouth without being accused of being racist...”

“They see Obama's playing the race card throughout the campaign and no one calling him for it as frightening. They're not upset with Obama because he's black; they're upset because they don't expect to be treated fairly because they're white,” writes the former New York congresswoman. “It's not racism that is driving them, it's racial resentment. And that is enforced because they don't believe he understands them and their problems. That when he said in South Carolina after his victory ‘Our Time Has Come’ they believe he is telling them that their time has passed.”

Ferraro resigned from a post on the Clinton campaign’s finance committee following a media firestorm over her remarks about sexism and race.

“The reaction to the questions being raised has been not to listen to the message and try to find out how to deal with the problem, but rather to denigrate the messenger,” she wrote Friday. “Sore loser, petty, silly, vengeful are words that have dominated the headlines. But scolding and name calling don't resolve disputes.

“The truth is that tens of thousands of women have watched how Clinton has been treated and are not happy. We feel that if society can allow sexism to impact a woman's candidacy to deny her the presidency, it sends a direct signal that sexism is OK in all of society.”

She called on Harvard University’s Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy to conduct a study, which she and other women would fund if necessary, to explore whether either of the Democratic candidates’ campaigns engaged in sexism or racism; whether Clinton was treated unfairly by the media; and “whether certain members of the media crossed an ethical line when they changed the definition of journalist from reporter and commentator to strategist and promoter of a candidate. And if they did to suggest ethical guidelines which the industry might adopt.”

“That sexism impacted Clinton's campaign, I have no doubt. Did she lose a close election because of sexism? I don't know. But I do know that it will never happen again as long as women are willing to stand up and make sure that it is just a one-time bad experience.”

soundoff (442 Responses)
  1. Rich

    Oh Lord, not her again!

    May 30, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |


    May 30, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  3. Rob

    Here come all the hatefull obamaphiles to call her a bunch of names. So typical. But what should I expect from a bunch of kids.

    She is right. Obama's campaign has repeatedly used the race issue as a shield and as a sword. Its deplorable.

    No way I vote for this clown or his politics of division.

    May 30, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  4. Rich

    Funny how she would say this when she was the one who brought up race in the first place. Is she taking her medication?

    May 30, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |


    May 30, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  6. William H. Richards IV, Millis, MA

    The Reagan Democrats will vote for McCain if Hillary is not the nominee and the election will be lost for the Democrats in November.

    May 30, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  7. Danny in Pittsburgh


    You want the Dems to WIN this thing or not?

    If so, the STFU!

    If not, then go be a republican, you bitter, misguided, vindictive crone.

    May 30, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  8. Dandelion.

    I hate this woman almost as much as I hate Clinton! Hag doesn't know what she's talking about!

    May 30, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |


    May 30, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  10. Tiffany

    OMG!!! This woman is crazy!!! The only one who continues to play the 'race card' is HER!!! You are making yourself and all women look ridiculous, PLEASE STOP!!!!

    May 30, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  11. canuck

    Obama lost more votes for being black then Hillary lost for being a woman.

    May 30, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  12. DD, New York

    I kinda agree, Ms. Ferraro, thank you.

    May 30, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  13. FactCheck

    Yikes.... who let her out of the asylum?

    May 30, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  14. Douglas -- Rochester, MN

    Ms. Ferraro - don't take this personally but, you're an idiot. Please sit down and shut-up!!!!!!!!! You are just as divisive as Hillary.

    May 30, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  15. Timothy

    I find your face frightening.

    May 30, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  16. mama4obama

    Desperation at its finest. Go crawl under a rock F. You dont represent this working white woman or any other woman in my family.

    Hillary lost to the better candidate. There is no shame in that. As a woman, I am offended by the suggestion that sexism played a role. I am equally offended by you suggesting that race has played a role in Obama winning. The fact of the matter is Obama represents everything that old politics does not.

    OBAMA 08

    May 30, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  17. Taylor

    Lady, shut up.

    May 30, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  18. JB

    Wow, what a bitter old hag...keep talking Geralding! You're making Hillary look soooo good!

    Go Obama!

    May 30, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  19. Ty

    She really doesnt wanna see an Obama presidency does she!! Does she want a democrat in the WH? Maybe as long as it is not Obama – a black man.

    May 30, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  20. tigerakabj

    Ok you old bad you need to get lost. Man this has become a circus with Clinton the ring leader. Obama has moved on to the general election and these idiots are still making noise.

    Thank you Obama for giving me and America an alternative. These are the type of people that would have run the country another 8 years if it wasn't for you.

    Clinton, I guess the Peter Paul v. Clinton case is breathing down your back.

    May 30, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  21. Rob - WA

    OMG – Turkey necks unite!!! Ferraro you make me ill!!!!

    May 30, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  22. Dustin

    Though her opinions are unpopular, I respect her for sharing them. She has valid points of concern in November, I just think her tone turns people off. (and I do not feel that she is racist in the least...but extremely frustrated)

    May 30, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  23. Steve, Chelsea, MI

    Reagan Dems didn't like you either.

    May 30, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  24. ben

    What a crazy lady. Obama has never played the race card; the only time race is mentioned is when Hillary supporters claim that Obama is using it to try and rile each other up.

    And I'd like to hear a single example of how Obama has been sexist in this campaign. The fact is, he hasn't been.

    Hillary and her supporters, rather than grasping at straws and excuses, need to accept the fact that she has lost the nomination, and lost it because of her own failures.

    May 30, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  25. Obama v McCain

    OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!why is this loser still flapping her jaws? who is she speaking for?herself?

    May 30, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
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