Someone ought to give Gerry Ferraro a refresher course in Race 101. In an American political campaign if you support a minority candidate you can talk about his or her race. If you oppose a minority candidate and bring up their race you’re playing with fire. It’s liable to explode in your face as it did for her:
“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.”
She dismisses any notion that her remarks were meant to slam him in racial terms despite the fact that they display a clear overtone of this:
“If you point to something that deals with race, you are immediately a racist?” she said over the phone. “Give me a break.”
I have little doubt that she sincerely believes this. But if she thinks she can be a Clinton surrogate and claim Obama is leading in the presidential primary merely because of his race–well, then she’s got a lot of explaining to do. The fact that she doesn’t get it indicates what a clueless, out of touch former pol she is.
In her defense, she notes that in 1984 she became Walter Mondale’s vice-presidential running mate because she too was a historic candidate and if her name had been Jerry Ferraro she wouldn’t have been chosen. But here again she ignores that she was an astute politician and good candidate regardless of her gender. Gender played a role in her selection but Mondale didn’t choose her solely on that basis.
There is no doubt that many Obama supporters find even more reason to support him because he is a historic candidate. But to say that he’s winning because of his race and ignore the quality of the campaign he has run and the substance of his political positions is simply willful political blindness. Democrats want an alternative to Hillary Clinton. Obama articulated that alternative best of any other Democratic candidate and he did that because he was a good politician and good candidate, not because of his race.
Don’t be a fool. Her comments were tactically well thought out, focus group tested and she was the designated surrogate who would then fall on her sword once the desired effect for Frau Hillary was done. Everything the Clinton’s do is calculated.