The latest political firestorm between the Clinton and Obama campaigns centers on some comments that Clinton supporter and former Democratic Vice Presidential nominee Geraldine Ferraro made to the Daily Breeze newspaper of Torrance, CA last Friday. Ferraro said, “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.”
I disagree with Ferraro. If Obama was a white man, he would have already had the nomination sewn up by now. For her to say that he wouldn’t be in this position if he was a woman is silly because look at who she is supporting. Hillary Clinton is a woman, and she is doing just fine. This race is so close because Democrats have demonstrated that they have no problem voting for a woman. What Ferraro was attempting to do was to try to label Obama as a novelty candidate, who only has any popularity because the media loves his gimmick.
Ferraro also said that media is sexist and against Clinton. “I think what America feels about a woman becoming president takes a very secondary place to Obama’s campaign, to a kind of campaign that it would be hard for anyone to run against. For one thing, you have the press, which has been uniquely hard on her. It’s been a very sexist media. Some just don’t like her. The others have gotten caught up in the Obama campaign,” she said. In my mind, the media was too easy on Hillary Clinton for most of the past year. Not one member of the press had the guts to stand up and ask her how a junior senator can claim to have foreign policy experience, because she was married to a former president. If I marry a doctor, that doesn’t mean that I too can practice medicine. Yet, until recently, Hillary Clinton was able to co-op her husband’s resume without being challenged.
Is the media sexist? I don’t think that all media are sexist, but there is sexism in the hiring of television anchors. Why is it most female anchors are young and or attractive? Are you trying to tell me that there isn’t a female anchor under age 60 who can handle an hour on cable? I do think that there is sexism in the television business, but I don’t think that Hillary Clinton has gotten less coverage because she is a woman. If anything her gender and last name helped get more coverage than she deserves.
Ferraro said these things because she was trying to help Clinton, but I also believe that she was letting some of the bitterness from her failed 1984 campaign show. Her remarks do reveal a dismissive attitude that is prevalent among Clinton and her supporters towards the Obama campaign. There is a sense of entitlement in the Clinton campaign that rubs many people, including myself, the wrong way. Hillary Clinton has never approached this campaign asking for votes. She expected them, and when her expectations haven’t been met it has always been someone else’s fault. To me, Ferraro’s comments are an extension of this idea.