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. ue heinz

    Do I hear noise from the hollow pot again?

    May 30, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  2. elmerg

    I'd like for Ms. Ferraro to actually point out just one incident of the Obama campaign playing the race card during this election season. Certainly there are plenty of cable TV shills bringing it up but give me some solid proof of Obama employing it, Geraldine, because we sure do have the goods on you and your racists ways.

    May 30, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  3. Cyder

    CNN! Why do you give this giant skank any play? It really just makes your network look bad.

    If white racist democrats won't vote for Obama, then we don't want them anyways.

    May 30, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  4. Democrat for President

    What a nut job!! She reminds me of my 94 year old grandma who I love dearly but who has some old time jaded views on race and sexism. Ferraro is not doing the party or Sen. Clinton any favors by opening her mouth. I guess in this election of hypersensitivity that anyone can get on CNN. What is Geraldine's role in the Democratic Party anyway? I don't honestly know. Ferraro, is the one driving the hate and sexism and racism as she brings it up everytime a microphone is her face. Goodness. Please just be quiet and let Sen. Clinton and her campaign speak for themselves. If I remember right you are no longer part of the campaign. Therefore, please just shut-up. You are not doing us women any favors.

    May 30, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  5. No Way

    Look who is talking again. Your 15 minutes were done when you lost with Mondale. Thanks for playing!

    May 30, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  6. not her please

    I have a question for all the women who feel that Clinton deserves to be president because she's a woman. What would you do if two qualified women were running against each other? I'd think you'd probably vote for the most qualified. But, when only one woman is running we seem to need to vote for her or be labeled misogynistic. I don't get it. Just like I wouldn't vote for a black man just for the sake of getting the first black president, i wouldn't vote for a woman just for the sake of getting the first woman president. if there was a qualified woman running, i'd probably vote for her. But i will not vote for a divisive, polarizing, vindictive, deceitful woman, just for the sake of getting a woman president.

    May 30, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  7. Mac in Nova Scotia

    Ferraro is not the only one playing the race card. CNN is guilty for publishing this crap.

    May 30, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  8. mehrnoosh

    Obama never used the race card. It is Clintons and Ferraro who use it to turn off white voters. Recently this lady attended Fox news program and said she prefers McCain, a republican, over Obama who is a fellow democrat, this behavior shows the depth of her stupidity and selfishness.

    May 30, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  9. Paula

    I'm white,over 50 and proud to vote for Obama.Hillary is a crybaby and setting a bad example for all us women.Because of her every man that sees this is going to start rethinking women in politics.She's ruined it for all of us.

    May 30, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  10. Amit NYC

    This is what happens when you become a political contributor on FOX Noise.

    May 30, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  11. RightyTighty

    As a republican, I will not vote for Obama because of his liberal tax and spend policies. Evidently the race and gender bigots are all democrats!!

    May 30, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  12. Generation X

    Peter Paul vs Clinton in LA Supreme Court-Court date 02/09

    May 30, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  13. Mike

    She's wrong. She's not a racist, or divisive, or an idiot. She just happens to be incorrect.

    Hillary was beaten, fair and square. Sour grapes will do nothing to change that.

    May 30, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  14. Crack Head


    May 30, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  15. liz

    lol....she loosing it ya think!!!

    May 30, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  16. Chi4Obama

    This lady gives me nausea.

    May 30, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  17. Don for Obama

    Reverse racism? How about those Regan Dems in Kentucky and WV

    who said outright that the reason they were not voting for BO was

    because of race (how stupid they are), can she explain that one too? She

    is such a sore loser and is bent on destroying BO's chances, how can

    people become so bitter?

    May 30, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18