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. CT voter

    The irony is the ammount of women that are for Mr. Obama, and STILL she's trying to play the sexist card...what a joke, they'll pull anything out of their @$$ for Hillary, unbelievable the ammount of excuses.

    May 30, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  2. anthony

    she's working for hillery

    May 30, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  3. Janelle

    To think that I used to really admire Ferraro–I guess women in politics really do have the ability to play in the "old boy's club". I just hoped that she would play better and not resort to the same old rhetoric of fear.

    Hillary Clinton and Geraldine Ferraro are 2 women who have NOT helped women in America with their attitudes and actions in this campaign.

    May 30, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  4. james from brooklyn

    ferraro is not a reagan democrat, she is a RACIST democrat. what did hillary promise this lady that make her refuse to go away. it's ok ferraro, we know you are racist you don't have to convince us that you aint. she acting like hillary is the second coming of CHRIST, we must accept her. Isn't this america, where ppl have the right to do, choose and other stuff. what type of bull is ferraro trying to feed us. listen lady, go bake some cookies or something you elitist brat.

    no one cares about you, you are a thing in the past so please stay there.


    May 30, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  5. Change Express , Kissimmee, FL

    Looks like someone forgot to take their Geritol this morning.

    May 30, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  6. snetzky

    More whining from the Clinton campaign. Not once have I heard Obama say "vote for me because I'm an African American."

    On the other hand Clinton has spent the last part of the campaign cycle essentially saying "Vote for me cause I'm a woman and the nasty boys are picking on me, as opposed to the first part of the cycle where they spent much of their time trying to paint Obama as an "affirmative action" candidate.

    What I like about Obama has nothing to do with his race and everything to do with his ability to lead.

    Everything I dislike about Clinton has nothing to do with her gender and everything to do with her character.

    May 30, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  7. Tina/Chicago

    Where was geraldine when maxine waters was running for president.
    She needs to give it a rest. When geraldine was running for vice-president you didn't hear about sexism/racism now the power hungry clintons are running and it is called sexism/racism. No wonder she didn't win!

    May 30, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  8. Helen

    I will be so glad with these two hens (Geraldine & Hillary) are put down.

    Geraldine continues at her best to interject the "RACE" issue. How dare you say Barack plays the race card. How...please provide examples. You can't.

    Get over, you chicks (b/c your not Ladies) didn't see this coming. But Barack has won. Let it go. This is not about race, gender or being entitled. You broads thought you had it nailed with pushing for our "First Female President" but you promoted the wrong person.

    Note to all our feminist americans: "WE JUST HATE HILLARY"

    May 30, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  9. xddy4u

    It seem that Ms. Ferraro is still disillusioned. She still thinks that she is campaigning with Mondale as his VP. Someone please wake her up. Because no one in their right mind would be saying the things that she is saying. Obama '08

    May 30, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  10. Troy

    There probably has been sexism in this campaign, as well as racism. But what I don't understand is why she is implying that Senator Obama is the one injecting them into this campaign. I would like her to provide specific examples of times that Senator Obama or his campaign staff have done this.

    May 30, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  11. rashid cali

    ferraro is the racist one she should be ashamed of her self

    May 30, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  12. Heather

    This middle-age white woman deeply regrets campaigning for this crotchety old wag. Cries of sexism and reverse racism over a failure to crown Hillary are weak, at best. But hey, didn't a flood of superdelegates ante up for Obama the last time she opened her mouth? So Geraldine, just keep spouting trash outta your piehole. Then, after Obama is officially declared the nominee, you need to settle down, take your meds, and have a nice hot steaming cup of STFU.

    May 30, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  13. Cheri

    Obama supporters call Ferraro's absurd mindset "frightening."

    May 30, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  14. Lisa in GA.

    Please just shut up... .. WE HAVE ALREADY PEEKED YOUR RACE CARD! I see where Hillary is picking up these bad habits from...

    May 30, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  15. VirginiaVoter

    Now watch all the Obama idiots jump up and down. Inconvenient truth..uhh? Keep jumping idiots till reality hits you! Never seen such naive, stupid, arrogant and silly idiots.

    May 30, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  16. Phil

    I've seen Hillary play the "woman" card, repeatedly. I haven't seen Obama focus on race. He made an elegant speech about it, and it appealed to both sides of the issue. That that was. He is running on fixing this country, and not on making history.

    I think she's confused, Hillary is running on nothing other than being the first woman President, oh and some healthcare idea she came up with 14 years ago thrown in to appear innovative. Most Americans appear to see through this. We need more than just a President who is fulfilling their personal niche in history. We need one that will help us not go down in history as the next Rome.

    This election is far too important to leave to people primarily interested in their own legacy.

    May 30, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  17. Excuse me???ReganDems??!??What an insult!

    Putting the word 'Regan' anywhere close to the word Democrat is an utter and complete insult to Democrats worldwide.

    If there is such a thing as a 'ReganDemocrat' then they are Republicans and would probably vote for McCain and/or Clinton.

    That crazy biddy has to gall to talk about sexism, and supporting Clinton, whose husband has a history of sexual misconduct.

    You are discgraceful!

    May 30, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  18. Kentucky

    This woman is an angry old woman that does not know how to go away and live out the later days being happy, respectful, and greatful that God has blessed her to see a new day. Instead she is out spewing her hatred toward Senator Obama and all the millions that support him. People if Clinton becomes the Dem candidate we will have to hear from two angry woman.
    CNN please stop reporting what she says –

    May 30, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  19. chuck Philadelphia

    WHAT A MORON. It seems to me that too many people need to be "involved" and have a spotlight. It is RETARDED to stated the sexism has been more harmful then the RACISM that has been ongoing through out the campaign. IF SHE DONT WANT TO VOTE HIM WHO CARES ! if Clinton was the nominee many of us would vote for her despite the things she/Bill has said. If people want to vote for Mccain who wants to continue the war, continue tax cuts etc I SAY GOOD but dont complain later. I will say again WHAT A MORON!!

    May 30, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  20. George

    This woman sitll lives in America. America has no place for Ferraro doctrine. Madam Ferraro, shame on you . race card, gender card, crying, joking all tactics. obama never used thes tactics. I dont want to be rude here about what you are saying and what Clintons say how Clintons attacked Obama comparing him with Jessy jacksson. no more division please. Clinton is not a front runner and how she can claim that she is a better candidate? if she is a better choice, why she is not a front runner. The person who is far behind almost 200 delegates is saying that she should get the nomination. What is this? what is the intention of such a claim? The hidden meaning is Obama has no right to get the nomination. Am I right Madam Ferraro?

    May 30, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  21. PJ

    Obama's past will keep coming back to hunt him. Obama was a "community organizer" and gave a speech in 2002. "Community organizer" means far left activism, is the code words that the Marxists use.
    Obama's campaign shows clearly all kinds of dirty tricks (worse than the "old politics".) From bringin race to extremist far left positions in policy and economics. In one word. frightening an Ferraro says.
    Look at the heatred shown by his supporters that imply inmaturity and fanatism.
    Obama's advantage in delegates result not from popular votes but from caucuses that grant 8 delegates for every 10,000 votes while the primary popular votes grant 1 delegate for every 10,000 votes. This is outrageous and make Obama an illegitimate candidate.

    May 30, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  22. bad women

    I don't know why the media give this women a voice. She is both sexist and racist. I think she and HRC are campaigning for 2012......hope people know this by now.

    May 30, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |


    May 30, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  24. Dem in CA

    What a disgusting woman.

    May 30, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  25. Ed, Santa Fe NM

    Again with racist Ferraro?? Who care what this old hag thinks?

    I still suspect that Ferraro and Hillary are working for the GOP.

    May 30, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
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