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. Anee

    We are going to stand up and shout, against the racisism and sexism that comes out of the Obama church, sickening.
    Starting today in Hollywood, CA at the Laugh Factory and tomorrow all over the country protests and marchs are planned.

    May 30, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  2. american in canada

    can someone please tell me how obama's campaign has been sexist? i see NO EVIDENCE of this. just because you say something is true, doesn't mean it is true. remember "mission accomplished"???

    um, didn't reagan have alzheimer's while in office? i sure don't want another president like him.

    OBAMA 08!!!!!

    May 30, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |


    May 30, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  4. A.J. in Fla

    I said it before and will again: We are in the presence of a "Great Impostor" Time will tell...!!!!!

    May 30, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  5. Anna

    Go back to your hole and try to come up with something else Ferraro!!!

    Obama 08 and 12

    May 30, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  6. Vivian

    Wow...she really gets on my nerves.

    May 30, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  7. Praetorian, Fort Myers

    Finally she has awakened after all these years–and is now suddenly speaking like a conservative.

    Too late Ms. F. the socialist liberal revolution sought for so long is on it's way–with a untested, weak, and dubious leader waving the banner of socialism–marching in front of the crowd.

    Good thing–Independant voters have grown immensely, as well as, the Libertarian Party. There may still be hope. But it won't be found within the Democratic party–even key leaders are falling behind the socialist banner–as long as their own financial situtations aren't affected–they don't care.

    May 30, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  8. Susie

    Ms. Ferraro, don't get your panties all up in a bunch. Stop reliving your defeat in 1984 and move on! Your bitterness is not helping the democrats win the presidency!

    May 30, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  9. Obama Fan

    Oh sure Ferraro, keep fueling the fire and join the clintons whining team.

    Obama has been the most honest candidate and that is a fact.

    The clintons have made foools out of themself and are the only ones to blame.
    Never mind McCain and all the clinton slogans for november, anyone can beat McSame – that is not a problem at all for Obama.

    I hope Obama will be the presidential candidate by June 4.

    May 30, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |


    May 30, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  11. Debby

    Oh she is so full of it. I have been posting on these blogs since this Dem. nomination started and I am not an Obama supporter nor do I feel I can't comment on Obama's judgement without being called a racist. People are getting over the top now with ones skin color. I can't believe we wouldn't look at a nominee's knowledge and what they can bring to the Am. people vs. what race they are.

    May 30, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  12. MARCE

    How come the only WOMEN that count are Hillary supporters? How about the rest of us women that are educated and feminist that can truly stand behind someone that isn't a woman. There are many many women out there that don't support Hillary because we don't identify with her, we don't prefer her, and we don't want her.

    I just hate that the WOMEN are categorized as Hillary supporters and we are somehow being unrepresented if Obama gets elected. It is just ridiculous. And just as a side note, I am not a fan of Ferraro as well. These bickering women that nag and complain do nothing to promote women's issues or the fierceness and strength that we do have. I am not a Republican, but Elizabeth Dole is an amazing leader as well as other women like Maria Shiver, Caroline Kennedy, as well Nancy Pelosi. Though I don't agree with all of there politics I agree with there character and there attitudes, something I can't say about Clinton or Ferraro.

    May 30, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  13. Lead Us to Victory, Obama

    This parasite just won't go away. She's apparently very bitter, very angry and frustrated. If anyone is fueling any ideas about race and sex it's absolutely her. She probably feels cheated and entitled like Hillary. Instead of accepting that people are voting based on the issues, she wants to drag our society back into "only race/sex matters." She is the reason this country could never escape the iron grip of these two issues. What a shame. What a waste. It was neither race nor sex that put this country in the sad state we are in now.

    May 30, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  14. Independant

    When does this chick die?

    May 30, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  15. Helene

    Can someone put that pathetic woman out of her misery ??? SHE is frightening.

    May 30, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  16. Susan

    All three are 'race'

    old, woman, bi-racial.

    May 30, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  17. Debby

    Please Hill stop using cronies like Bill and Ferraro who are Alzheimeristic.

    May 30, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  18. west palm beach, Hawk

    Hillary and Geraldine should go eat themselves. Hillary supporter's are the only ones making race an issue.

    May 30, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |


    May 30, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  20. kristen in PA

    As a woman – a strong woman – with a good job and a good education – Geraldine is making me incredibly ANGRY. SHE is making women look bad. Hilary ran and is running a great campaign and has been received very well- Why cry sexism?!!? Bow out gracefully – she got beat because people are inspired by Obama NOT because Hilary is a woman. She represents the dynasty that has the run the country for far too long now. ENOUGH WITH THE WHINING GERALDINE!!!!!!!

    May 30, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  21. ReMiWa

    Is this woman serious? Perhaps she's responsible for the racist things that come out of her mouth, NOT the media or Obama's campaign.
    Lady give me a break, reverse racism??? Is that why many in states like WV have said that race was a factor in their vote.
    You are such an irrevelant person trying to make yourself important. The '80s are over as is your relevancy in politics.

    May 30, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  22. Obama supporter


    May 30, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  23. KC

    Some ought to tell this woman to crawl back in her hole that she came from! She is a joke!

    May 30, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  24. Steve - Minneapolis

    .... guess she isn't a VP candidate.

    May 30, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  25. scdemocrat

    OMG shut this woman up!! Wasn't it the Clintons that said politics was a contact sport and if you can't handle the heat, get out of the kitchen? Yet another expample of the Clinton hypocrisy. I will say this to Ferraro, if you think whining and complaining about sexism is going to help a woman win the highest office in the land, you are wrong. It will only reinforce some peoples misguided idea that women are not strong enough to be President.

    May 30, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
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