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Tuesday, March 11, 2008


posted by on March 11 at 15:46 PM

The Clinton campaign, or at least Geraldine Ferraro, seems to be going all-in over this statement:

If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position. And if he was a woman (of any color) he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky to be who he is. And the country is caught up in the concept.

There’s been a huge back-and-forth over the above Ferraro quote today, with Obama aides calling for Ferraro’s head and Obama himself pressuring the Clinton camp over her remarks. But now Ferraro’s called back the publication that initially quoted her and gone even further:

Any time anybody does anything that in any way pulls this campaign down and says let’s address reality and the problems we’re facing in this world, you’re accused of being racist, so you have to shut up. Racism works in two different directions. I really think they’re attacking me because I’m white. How’s that?

Hey Democrats, how about a little race war to go with your unresolved nomination fight?

Up-to-the-minute blow-by-blows here and here. And here is Ferraro on FOX News a short time ago:

RSS icon Comments


Apparently the question of "how low will she go?" can't be answered without reference to a bottomless pit.

Posted by Fnarf | March 11, 2008 3:57 PM

Eli, it's despicable that you're saying Ferraro's quote came from the Clinton campaign.

Let's start holding Obama accountable for the things all of his supporters say. That'll be great fun!

Posted by Big Sven | March 11, 2008 3:58 PM

May as well say that if Hillary's last name wasn't Clinton no one would give a damn about her either.

Anyone who goes down this path is doomed because Clinton hasn't done squat and her perceived experience is from her husband being President and not anything she has done. When people realize the truth she will have no choice but to drop out.

Posted by Cato | March 11, 2008 3:58 PM

i think they want to make it a race war. obama has done better ignoring and forgiving the potentially racist remarks to his benefit. clinton has pointed to them and worked the victim angle. clinton also does better went she looks like she's down (and when people start making stupid sexist remarks).

this will be big for obama in miss, but could potentially be bigger for clinton in penn. it isn't a bad move.

obama needs to forget it. he needs to say clinton can choose whomever she wants to work on her staff. he needs to stay above it. i hope he does.

Posted by infrequent | March 11, 2008 3:59 PM

Geraldine was such a huge asset to the first Mondale campaign with her husband's Mafia ties and coke-dealing son. Now, she's doing actual damage to what I really consider to be the second incarnation of the Mondale campaign (Hillary '08).

Posted by Trey | March 11, 2008 3:59 PM

Uh, Sven? What about that Powers woman?

Posted by Michigan Matt (soon to be Baltimatt) | March 11, 2008 3:59 PM

"staff" was not correct. but the idea still holds...

Posted by infrequent | March 11, 2008 4:03 PM

And yet another proud moment in the history of feminism where white women used race....Lurlene Wallace, Ma Ferguson, Margaret Sanger...

Posted by waityrturn | March 11, 2008 4:06 PM

Dems openly playing the race card now. Obama will drop like a rock in all polls. Hillary gets the nom. Blacks feel alienated by the Dems, and stay home in droves for the Nov election. Maybe this is the end of the Dem party as we know it. McCain wins!

Posted by McCain/Crist '08! | March 11, 2008 4:14 PM

Here's an anchor for you, Hillary.

Promote that woman, and fast!

She's a "fighter".

Posted by Max Bell | March 11, 2008 4:20 PM

The problem determining whether Ferraro is part of or not part of the Clinton campaign is that she's allegedly on the finance committee. Clinton is notoriously secretive about her finances and it's unlikely documents will ever see the light of day that conclusively prove even the existence of this finance committed, let alone reveal its membership.

Posted by elenchos | March 11, 2008 4:20 PM

I watched her interview on Fox, but have not read anything else yet:

I heard her say: part of the appeal of Obama is that he is a minority candidate. (Wow, the U.S. is turning a corner!)

She should shut up right now, until, say, after the DNC has decided on a candidate. This isn't the right time to start into far reaching discussions on race and racism in America. Save it for a book, not a soundbite. duh.

Posted by Anna | March 11, 2008 4:20 PM

Thanks for this Geraldine. It's really helpful for everyone involed.

Posted by kenyonf | March 11, 2008 4:23 PM

Unfortunately, the GOP was going to use this and worse if Obama became the nominee. (#9 can probably attest.) This tactic works well in America. Hillary will now crush him in the remaining races, beginning with PA. Thanks to Obama for providing excitement in politics! I will miss him.

Posted by Fitz | March 11, 2008 4:30 PM

i need to state that better:

clinton has done noticeably better in primaries when she's down, and after "the pundits" make stupid sexist remarks. so clinton does well when the sexist remarks are pointed out.

obama has done well throughout by ignoring and downplaying the race issue.

it might not matter which is worse, racism or sexism. it might matter the number who can sympathize more. some have voted for clinton because of the rampant sexism (just as some have voted for obama because of the racism). which group, however, is larger?

if there appears to be backlash against clinton in mississippi for these remarks (and we already know obama's going to win), that will help motivate her supporters. she'll be down, and there will be much talk of sexism in the MSM.

Posted by infrequent | March 11, 2008 4:31 PM

Man, the Clinton camp sure is desperate.

And they don't get how this makes them sound ...

Posted by Will in Seattle | March 11, 2008 4:34 PM

And the kicker is the Clinton campaign is now accusing Obama of playing the race card for reacting. Unbelievable.

Posted by levide | March 11, 2008 4:38 PM

@14 That's exactly why Fox had her on, to get more material they could use. The question is, why did she fall for it?

Posted by Mike of Renton | March 11, 2008 4:42 PM

I doesn't matter how minor a role she plays in Hillary's campaign. Ferraro's name is attached to Hillary's and anything Ferraro says isn't off the record nor just a personal opinion. Obama's people get that, the Clinton team doesn't.

Posted by Jake | March 11, 2008 4:43 PM

Why can't she just say: "I said something stupid and I was wrong and I apologize."?

What does she have to lose?

Posted by homage to me | March 11, 2008 4:48 PM

once again, voting for obama is the only way we can hold the clinton/DLC/lieberman types accountable.

is this the democratic party you want? is this what you want to "represent" you?

it isn't just about the issues. it's about the future of the party.

it's more than past time to clean house. boot these people out of here.

Posted by some dude | March 11, 2008 4:49 PM

Damn, she's older than I imagined. I bet she says "colored" in private.

That was a joke, kind of.

Posted by w7ngman | March 11, 2008 4:52 PM

oh sn-AP.

Posted by bree | March 11, 2008 4:54 PM

The "leaders" of the Democratic Party should have stepped in a while ago, and reminded the candidates and their supporters to stick to the issues. It's too late now. The party is fractured. I'm sad.

Posted by Tony | March 11, 2008 4:59 PM

I think both sides are overreacting. From what Ferraro said on Fox, I do believe that the idea she intended to convey with her original remarks (Barack Obama's race is a part of his appeal) was not racist and was worth saying. However, the way she actually said it was very vague and definitely sounded racist.

She makes a good point, though, that Obama and his surrogates have been a little hypersensitive about "racist" remarks and media coverage. The NY Times piece regarding the 3am ads and and the brouhaha about color balance are both good examples of this hypersensitivity IMHO. Ferraro's remarks are definitely not in this category, though. Whether she intended it or not, she sounded racist and should apologize for that at least.

Posted by Morgan | March 11, 2008 5:07 PM

Race is definitely a part of these campaigns. The political intelligencia keeps on breaking it down by race... support in the African-American community for Obama, support in the Hispanic community for Clinton, etc, etc, etc.

Ferraro is a professional political operative and knew exactly what her comments would do. Stir the pot. Which is exactly what Clinton wants.

I do agree with @25- both campaigns are overly sensitive. Both should acknowledge that they look at race when making political decisions (where to campaign, what to say...). But Ferraro in my opinion is a has been that stepped over the line. Alternatively, if one of Obama's operatives said something demeaning about Clinton her people would hop right on that...oops, I think that happened already.

Posted by Dave Coffman | March 11, 2008 5:36 PM

I called this one months ago: the country is going to be divided into two camps 1) You didn't vote for Obama - you're a racist 2) You didn't vote for Hillary - you're worse than the Republicans.

Get real people. IF Obama wins, you whiteys aren't going to get an automatic soul grip from The Black Community and it will not erase all the times you said the N-word or laughed at a Don Rickles routine. Nope, we black people are not going to say, "Hey, about that slavery thing? We're good now. The Civil Rights thing in the '60s? Oh, peeshaw, that was YEARS ago, we're over it, it's all good now that you elected a brother."

Fuck this shit; point me in the direction of McCain.

Posted by Nat X's cousin | March 11, 2008 6:02 PM

To paraphrase the Clinton campaign:

“Don’t that uppity colored boy know his damn place?”

…what rough monster, its hour come round at last, / Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me | March 11, 2008 6:07 PM

"Racism works in two different directions. I really think they’re attacking me because I’m white. How's that?"


Prejudice = Prejudice.

Prejudice + Power = Racism.

There is no such thing as "reverse racism," because people of color lack a system of power to enforce their prejudice.

In America, where whites control everything and there is a legacy of oppression, when a white person makes a comment against a person of color, they are perpetuating a system of inequality and dominance. When a person of color discriminates against someone of another race, that's not racism. That's prejudice. Racism has a SYSTEM behind it.

So, Geraldine...How's that?

Posted by bridget | March 11, 2008 9:13 PM

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