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. Creative Woody


    sorry for yelling, but this "sexism" thing pisses me off.

    May 30, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  2. theresa in Prattville, AL

    Come on Ferraro. We're sorry you didn't win anything and you're causing Hillary problems. No one wants to see a bunch of HENS clacking in the white house. All those raging washed up hormones. Oh yes, I am a female. That's why I know it would be a disaster. Get Real.

    May 30, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  3. Ms. GA

    Will this lady please go away! I am a woman and I do not believe Clinton was treated any different than Obama! Clinton has been the divider of this party and she and her husband's nasty politics is what caused her to LOSE. Get over it! The Clintons are trying to cheat their way to the top by seating FL and MI delegates in full which is absolutely ridiculous. No one in her campaign said anything about these 2 states being penalized until she started losing. This is so desperate on her part. I do not get how she wants all the people’s votes to be heard while excluding the people that voted in caucuses. Wow! I am so tired of this campaign and the Clintons.

    May 30, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  4. Bob, Lyons Oregon,

    This woman is just as delusional as her candidate. Thank God for Obama, as we could have ended up with Her sorry candidate in the white house. I am so tired of these people and their manipulation, trying to sway voters, and cause an uproar, when we need to be uniting and getting behind our nominee.

    Obama is our nominee. Democrats Unite

    May 30, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  5. First time voter

    there is no one more racist than Ferraro her own comments said it. She is only promoting more racial divide by making these types of statements.

    May 30, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  6. Agnostic Democrat

    You, Ms. Ferraro, and your disgusting attitude are more frightening than anything in existence in politics today. Go climb under your rock and come out when you are ready to wear a pair of big girl underwear with an attitude adjustment from psychaitric treatment.

    May 30, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |

    I think she has some hang up with black men. All women must support Hillary Clinton but if the majority of blacks support Obama that is reverse racism. No it ain't lady, it's pride.

    I wish she would back up her rant with some facts. When exactly and what did he say that is sexist or racist other than when he is forced to respond to made up attacks on Cliinton. I read today this bizarre belief Obama gave her the finger. OMG, anyone watching has come to see Barack is a gentlemen and would not risk his own chances to win just to flip someone the bird? Total BS.

    May 30, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |


    May 30, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  9. Michelle, Ontario, CA

    Better call the funny farm and let them know that one of their patients escaped.

    Seriously though, does this woman not know how to keep things to herself? I'm convinced that she just likes to hear herself speak.

    May 30, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  10. Mark Webb

    I am Hillary Clinton, and I approve this message????

    May 30, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  11. Phil

    I would vote for Obama's ideals if he were White, Black, or a woman. This lady is clearly underestimating him, as Hillary's campaign did. That is why they are currently losing.

    The irony is that all Hillary supporters talk about is sexism, and essentially they are the ones that bring up race as well.

    Fluff only gets you so far. Obama talks issues. It is after all, an election for a President who works for us, not for their own legacy.

    May 30, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  12. If not Hillary....then McCain

    It's easy to see why many Obama supporters are so easily swayed by rhetoric. They really don't see the big picture! They are naive and they are gullible. It is unfortunate that he has been able to mesmerize so many, but the truely sad issue is that so many Americans are so naive, and politically ignorant.

    May 30, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  13. Scott Taylor

    Geraldine Ferraro is pretty irrelevant. Did she ever matter? "Reverse racism"? What do white people have to be afraid of? She is the one injecting race in this. I think it would be awesome to have a black president. It might show the world we aren't just a country of rednecks and idiots. But that is substantial part of our country. How else could you explain the fact that Fox News exists?

    May 30, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  14. pat


    May 30, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  15. Ivee

    I don't understand this woman's logic, nor do I understand why she thinks her stance would do her candidate any good at all. But given that she seems - at the very least - to be somewhat nuts and quite vindictive, I'm glad she's not in public office.

    May 30, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  16. Robert Z.,Connecticut

    Ms. Ferraro's comments just add more fuel to the fire that John McCain is eager to see burning. PLEASE STOP WHINING about "sexism" and "racism" and get with the program. Does she want a Republican to continue the disaster that has been torturing this country for the last eight years or will she finally realize we need a CHANGE and renovation (if that's still possible) of the United States. The people have spoken for Senator Obama so lets give him the full support he needs to win the White House and STOP feeding McCain's propaganda machine.

    May 30, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  17. Cammi317

    I wish that mannish looking she-beast would just shut her trap and go away.

    May 30, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  18. Marc in Virginia

    Reading some of the comments here, you Obamabots really make her point. Ferraro presents a well-thought argument and states it without malice. Your responses?

    Rob – WA : OMG – Turkey necks unite!!! Ferraro you make me ill!!!!

    Danny in Pittsburgh: So…Geraldine. 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.

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

    And I thought Clinton supporters were supposed to be uneducated.

    May 30, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  19. steveda - poconos

    She may have resigned from the Clinton campaign but now she is the unofficial attack dog!! Hillary was treated unfairly? How? The poress downplayed the lies about Bosnia, Northern Ireland and NAFTA. they have not pressed any further for disclosure on donations to the Clinton library, they have not explored the multiple connections of people within her campaign and the Columbia Free Trade Agreement, or the involvement of lobbyists and lobby money in her campaign.

    Frankly that yhave goven her a free ride there and allow her to continue to press her nonsensical "I am winning" statements by not calling them the bald faced lies that they are.

    The pure fact is Clinton underestimated her opponent and ran a misguided and ismanaged campaign. She complains about Obama overspending her by 3 or 4 to 1 despite that she has raised almost as much money as he has. So why the difference in spending? Perhaps because he is a better executive. Perhaps that would make him a better steward of the national budget. Perhaps he is just a better candidate. Has that crossed Hillary or Geraldine's minds?

    May 30, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  20. Sandi

    Geraldine needs to reexamine her stance – Hillary has not been treated unfairly because she is a woman. Anything wrong with Hillary's campaign is not a result of sexism – Geraldine get a grip. The media has not played any more of a role in Hillary's campaign as it has in Obama's or McCain's – the truth speaks for itself. Hillary has run a mockery of a campaign, from Chelsea jogging near the towers, to her own brush with death and the sniper fire, to her husband's blunders and outbursts. And you speak of ethics – go away Geraldine – you have hit an all time low.

    May 30, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  21. Lisa

    Can we say racist and hypocritical and full of bull. Lady get over it your fried has lost and you are angry because she is entitle to the White House. Ya Right.

    People who are racist and live their lives hating another race should be placed on a plane and send to some other country for 2 years to live and work and eat besides the race they hate until they are no longer a racist.

    Get a real life Ferraro and buck up like a true woman, that has some gumption left in your life.

    May 30, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  22. MDW

    Hey Guys,

    This is a sick aging lady who is a poor looser –i am so glad she never got the nod.....the worst of the liberal democratic tradition in the body of a female...

    She is dead-on what's wrong with my generation...we are stuck in the mud.

    Give the new gerations a chance...

    Go Obama 08..

    May 30, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  23. Ken

    I personally think if Barack Hussein Obama gets the nominee, and goes up against McCain in November, he WILL LOSE!

    I also agree with Ferraro in that the main stream media has been unfair to the Clinton campaign and gave Barack Hussein Obama way more positive media coverage than what they gave Hillary Clinton.

    I cannot believe that the media thinks of Barack Hussein Obama as the up and coming "Golden Boy"? He is like any other politician, and after reading what he did in Chicago in his first run for State Senate, proves that he is like any other politician.

    I believe that if Obama gets the nominee, then ALL of the Hillary Clinton's followers should tell her to become an Independent, and we ALL can vote for Hillary. If Obama gets the nominee, I plan on writing Hillary's name as a "write-in candidate". Or else, end up voting for McCain.

    May 30, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  24. New Day

    What a bitter old woman... ...the kind that sits on the porch and yells at me if I accidentally walk to close to her dried up lawn.

    And, Reagan Democrats were smart enough to independantly choose the better candidate. They dont just follow the crowd and vote republican because an old yenta like Ferraro says they are.

    May 30, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  25. Jim

    Please do me a favor: DROP DEAD.

    What's wrong with this lady? That is if she's a lady.

    May 30, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18