Sunday, March 16, 2008

Geraldine Ferraro: (Politically In)Correct New Yorker

The latest casualty in the Clinton vs. Obama war through campaign surrogates is former New York Congresswoman and Vice Presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro. She resigned from her position on the Clinton campaign after coming under fire for an assertion that Barack Obama has been helped in his primary fight, in party, by his race.

The controversy stems from an interview Ferraro gave to The Daily Breeze, a small California newspaper. It is a fairly innocuous comment, not without its own bias in favor of Hillary Clinton, but certainly not controversial to the point of deserving attack or earning apology. Ferraro last ran for office in 1998 when she ran for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate but found herself losing to a younger, more ambitious and less experienced rival. She has been out of office long enough to speak her mind freely, and the controversy says more about the sorry state of today’s racial politics than it does about Ferraro.

Had Ferraro been an Obama supporter and not a Clinton supporter, we likely never would have heard of these remarks unless we perchance came across the interview and read it. But Ferraro is a Clinton supporter and was a member of her financing committee, and the Obama campaign trounced on her words. To believe the Obama devotees, a liberal Democrat who has supported every racial polemic of the American liberal left is a mean-spirited old coot trying to demean a fellow Democrat because of his race. It’s a preposterous proposal.

And Obama’s campaign doesn’t need these kinds of tactics. Obama has a broad base of support among Democratic voters anyway. Trying to depict a lifelong liberal like Geraldine Ferraro as a racist will only hurt them among the white, working-class voters that they theoretically want to win over from Clinton’s camp. Which makes me think that perhaps this was a Clinton tactic all along: was Ferraro sent to make those comments on purpose with the idea to get the Obama camp to pull another race card? I wouldn’t put anything past New York’s junior Senator.

It’s a sad day when Pat Buchanan is offering Democrats more sage analysis of their primary season then their own leaders, but everyone wanting to deny that the vote has and will likely continue to break along racial lines in diverse states is blind to the facts.

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