We are now given actual diversity among the false diversity of candidates.This has energized and caught the attention of the American public as well as people around the world,wondering what we will fuck up next.I have been following this race quite closely,as the press narratives,stories,scandals,and controversies shift constantly.In this post,I will focus on the Democrats.
As we all know,in her own career, Geraldine Ferraro broke the glass ceiling and has taken swipes at African-American men with shards. Why?
Published: March 12, 2008
PHILADELPHIA — The Democratic presidential contest was jolted Tuesday by accusations surrounding race and sex, set off by remarks from Geraldine A. Ferraro that Senator Barack Obama had received preferential treatment because he is a black man. Ms. Ferraro, the former congresswoman and vice-presidential candidate who backs Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, told The Daily Breeze, a newspaper in Torrance, Calif.: “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 made the comments last week, but on Tuesday, the Obama camp latched on to them, calling them outrageous and demanding that Mrs. Clinton repudiate them.
In an interview on Tuesday night, Ms. Ferraro defended her comments and said she was furious with the Obama campaign, accusing it of twisting her words.
“Every time that campaign is upset about something, they call it racist,” she said. “I will not be discriminated against because I’m white. If they think they’re going to shut up Geraldine Ferraro with that kind of stuff, they don’t know me.”
Despite calls that Ms. Ferraro step down from the Clinton campaign, where she is a member of the finance committee, there was no indication on Tuesday that she would.
The Ferraro comments overshadowed an increasingly bitter dispute between the campaigns about the candidates’ qualifications to serve as commander in chief. On Tuesday, Greg Craig, a former official in the administration of President Bill Clinton, and now a vocal supporter of Mr. Obama, issued a blistering rebuttal to Mrs. Clinton’s assertions that she had been deeply involved in her husband’s foreign policy successes.
“She never managed a foreign policy crisis, and there is no evidence to suggest that she participated in the decision-making that occurred in connection with any such crisis,” Mr. Craig said. Referring to her “red phone” commercial, he said, “As far as the record shows, Senator Clinton never answered the phone either to make a decision on any pressing national security issue — not at 3 a.m. or at any other time of day.”
The Clinton campaign said that Mr. Craig’s memorandum was baseless and that the Obama campaign had been unable to make a positive case for Mr. Obama’s experience.
Mr. Obama and the Clintons campaigned Tuesday in Pennsylvania, opening up a new front in the long-running and increasingly bitter contest for the Democratic presidential nomination. The state does not vote until April 22, and there are no contests before then, leaving the candidates six full weeks to try to make news here while their surrogates proceed to eviscerate the opposition.
Mrs. Clinton, of New York, delivered an intensely populist speech here and at a rally earlier in Harrisburg, blasting the oil companies and promising to create jobs and make college affordable. She also reprised her past complaints that Mr. Obama, of Illinois, did not always say what he meant. She said that while he had suggested that, as president, he would renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement and withdraw troops from Iraq in 16 months, for example, his top advisers had indicated otherwise.
Mr. Obama, in his first campaign visit to Pennsylvania, did not hold one of his usual big rallies. Instead, he appeared before a few dozen people at a factory in Bucks County that makes wind turbines, reprising glimpses of his plan to expand health care, create more environmentally friendly jobs and provide tax breaks to working families.
But Ms. Ferraro’s comments dominated the day. Reached at her home in Manhattan on Tuesday evening, she said that, in her original remarks, she was asked why there had been so much excitement about Mr. Obama’s candidacy. “And I said, ‘I think part of it is because he’s black,’ ” she said. “People are excited about this historic candidacy. I am, too.”
But the Obama campaign “twisted” her remarks, she said. “I am livid at this thing,” she said. “Any time you say anything to anybody about the Obama campaign, it immediately becomes a racist attack.”
The Clinton campaign did not contact her on Tuesday, Ms. Ferraro said. “I don’t want them to reach out to me,” she said. “I’m exercising my First Amendment rights. If they don’t like it, tough. I don’t intend ever to have anybody tell me that I can’t say what I want to say.”
Ms. Ferraro said her involvement with the Clinton campaign had been vastly overstated. When asked what her role is, she said: “None. None.”
Last fall, Ms. Ferraro also indicated that she thought Mr. Obama was getting preferential treatment from the press. “It’s O.K. in this country to be sexist,” she said then. “’It’s certainly not O.K. to be racist. I think if Barack Obama had been attacked for two hours — well, I don’t think Barack Obama would have been attacked for two hours,” she said, referring to a Democratic debate.
As the day went along, the Obama campaign grew increasingly angry over the remarks, and in the late afternoon, Mr. Obama himself called them “divisive” and “patently absurd.”
Mrs. Clinton later distanced herself from Ms. Ferraro’s comments, telling The Associated Press that she did not agree with what Ms. Ferraro had said.
“It is regrettable that any of our supporters, on both sides, because we’ve both had that experience, say things that kind of veer off into the personal,” Mrs. Clinton said.
Katharine Q. Seelye reported from Philadelphia, and Julie Bosman from New York. Jeff Zeleny contributed reporting from Fairless Hills, Pa
The Associated Press Tuesday, March 11, 2008; 9:29 PM
HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Hillary Rodham Clinton said Tuesday she disagrees with Geraldine Ferraro, one of her fundraisers and the 1984 Democratic vice presidential candidate, for saying that Barack Obama "would not be in this position" if he were white instead of black.
In a brief interview with The Associated Press, Clinton said she regretted Ferraro's remarks. The Obama campaign has called on the New York senator to denounce the comments and remove Ferraro from her unpaid position with the campaign.
Last week, Ferraro told the Daily Breeze of Torrance, Calif.: "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 also faulted a "very sexist media" in the historic race between a man bidding to be the first black president and a former first lady seeking to become the first female president.
In the AP interview, Clinton said, "I do not agree with that," and later added, "It's regrettable that any of our supporters _ on both sides, because we both have this experience _ say things that kind of veer off into the personal."
"We ought to keep this on the issues. There are differences between us" on approaches to issues such as health care and energy.
You’d think such verbal abortions would be shriveling in the sunlight like some unholy abomination; Clinton would denounce and reject Ferraro’s comments, fire the supporter and move on. This is shallow condemnation leaving much open.
Obama called Ferraro's comments "patently absurd."
I should frickin’ hope so. If Obama can do anything, its dodge and absorb such swipes and come back with some fancy mental footwork and counterpunch.
"I don't think Geraldine Ferraro's comments have any place in our politics or in the Democratic Party. They are divisive. I think anybody who understands the history of this country knows they are patently absurd," he told the Allentown Morning Call.
Obama senior adviser David Axelrod said Ferraro should be removed from her position with the Clinton campaign because of her comments.
"The bottom line is this, when you wink and nod at offensive statements, you're really sending a signal to your supporters that anything goes," Axelrod said in a conference call with reporters.
A defiant Ferraro dismissed the criticism in an interview with Fox News. "I have to tell you that what I find is offensive is that everytime somebody says something about the campaign, you're accused of being racist."
She also said she was the vice presidential nominee 24 years ago because of her sex, saying if her name was "Gerard Ferraro" she wouldn't have been on the ballot.
Spit take!!!!!!!!!!!!!!WTF?! I did not see her new comments coming at all. Talk about digging your own hole. Why does she keep going? Quote= “Racism works in two directions. I really think they’re attacking me because I’m white. How’s that?” Silly rabbit, racism works in all directions. Some racists actually have power over others—like in America where race-based slavery and legal systematic apartheid was enforced against blacks. A lot of progress has been made, but many vital issues remain neglected leaving us way off from full reconciliation and equality. I’m afraid crying “reverse racism” is a sure sign of a racist who can dish it but can’t take the consequences. Don’t pull the American-specific race card and cry sexism either, it insults women and everything fought and sacrificed for by millions of women. Racism and sexism are intertwined crimes against all, and in America White Men are the perpetrators and beneficiaries of this system of social control. Shame on you Geraldine Ferraro.
More from AP:
Obama: Ferraro dividing Democrats
Illinois senator accuses former v.p. candidate of 'slice and dice' politics
WASHINGTON - Democratic Sen. Barack Obama assailed as "slice and dice" politics Geraldine Ferraro's assertion that he wouldn't be where he is in the presidential race if he weren't black.
The back-and-forth between the two Democratic trailblazers — Obama, seeking to be the nation's first black president, and Ferraro, who was the first woman on a major party presidential ticket in 1984 — continued for a second day as they made appearances on network and cable morning news programs.
"Part of what I think Geraldine Ferraro is doing, and I respect the fact that she was a trailblazer, is to participate in the kind of slice and dice politics that's about race and about gender and about this and that, and that's what Americans are tired of because they recognize that when we divide ourselves in that way we can't solve problems," Obama said on NBC's "Today" show. Ferraro, who was Walter Mondale's vice presidential running mate, said Wednesday that her remarks were not racist and had been taken out of context. She accused Obama's campaign of twisting her remarks to undercut his rival for the Democratic nomination, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.
"I was talking about historic candidacies and what I started off by saying (was that) if you go back to 1984 and look at my historic candidacy, which I had just talked about all these things, in 1984 if my name was Gerard Ferraro instead of Geraldine Ferraro, I would have never been chosen as a vice presidential candidate," Ferraro said on ABC's "Good Morning America." "It had nothing to do with my qualification."
Here is where it gets tragic:
Ferraro said she has a 40-year history of opposing discrimination of all kinds, including race, and that she was outraged at criticism of her remarks by David Axelrod, Obama's chief media strategist, because he knows her and her record.
"David Axelrod, his campaign manager, has chose to spin this as a racist comment because everytime anybody makes a comment about race who is white — he did it with Bill Clinton, he was successful; he did it with (Pennsylvania governor and Clinton supporter) Ed Rendell, he was less successful; and he is certainly not going to be successful with me," Ferraro told CBS' "The Early Show." "He should have called me up ... He knows I'm not racist."
The controversy began Tuesday when the national media picked up on comments Ferraro made in an interview last week with the Daily Breeze newspaper in Torrance, Calif.: "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."
Ferraro said she stands by her assertion that Obama's success in the Democratic campaign is due "in part" to his race.
Excuse me? If Obama was a white man? A white man would be disadvantaged how? She does not clear this up. Please explain. Chris Mathews tried to analyze this with two black guests and Pat Buchanan and came to the conclusion that being white had nothing to do with George Washington’s becoming president. I could not stop laughing as the insanity underlying such a proposal farted in my brain. John Edwards’ wife tried to pull this, claiming his being a white male put him at disadvantage. So…..under Ferraro’s logic, Washington—or JFK, if alive now, would be at a disadvantage. Should historians examine all the privileged white men who have been president to see if their race would have now counted them out? To be so blinded that one could not only ignore the truth about white (male) privilege and all it socially and politically entails, and think the minorities have caught up and now have it better…….The hard drive in my brain crashes trying to comprehend the thought process at work that could go there and genuinely believe themselves to be non-racist. Even Obama has been guilty of this forced elitist “post-racist” thought circulating when he claimed blacks were “almost there..”etc. and all those feeling racism will be over when we elect a black president. Ferraro’s mind just jumped the shark.
Obama, however, said that if someone in his campaign had suggested that Hillary Clinton "is where she is only because she is a woman" she would be offended.
Clinton has said she disagrees with Ferraro's remarks. In an interview with The Associated Press, she said, "It's regrettable that any of our supporters — on both sides, because we both have this experience — say things that kind of veer off into the personal."
But----Does Clinton drop Ferraro?
March 11, 2008 Article on ABC news website by By JENNIFER PARKER:In an interview with ABC News affiliate WHTM, Clinton, D-N.Y., ignored calls from the Obama campaign to remove Ferraro from her campaign, saying, "Well, I don't agree with that and I think it's important that we try to stay focused on issues that matter to the American people."
In a relatively mild response, Clinton continued, "And both of us have had supporters and staff members who've gone over the line and we have to reign them in and try to keep this on the issues. There are big differences between us on the issues — let's stay focused on that."
Ferraro's controversial comments have made news less than a week after Obama senior foreign policy adviser Samantha Power resigned from the Illinois senator's campaign for calling Clinton "a monster.''
The Obama campaign held a conference call with reporters Tuesday with Obama supporter Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., arguing that Ferraro's words "undermine" Democrats' "ability to win in November."
"It's disappointing that Clinton supporters have sought to somehow diminish Senator Obama's candidacy and his support by suggesting he's in some way being given preferential treatment because of his race," Schakowsky said. "Any and all remarks that diminish Sen. Obama's candidacy because of his race are completely out of line."
Schakowsky urged Clinton to call on all of her advisers and supporters to change the tone of the campaign.
Obama campaign manager David Axelrod added the comment was "part of an insidious pattern that needs to be addressed" within the Clinton campaign, pointing to Clinton's remark to 60 Minutes that rumors Obama is a Muslim aren't true, "as far as I know," she said.
"When you wink and nod at offensive statements, you're really sending a signal to your supporters that anything goes," Axelrod said, arguing Clinton is seen as a "divisive and polarizing force."
The Obama campaign pounced Tuesday afternoon on Clinton's mild statement about Ferraro's remark, referring to language Clinton herself used when she urged Obama to denounce and reject anti-Semitic comments by Nation of Islam head Louis Farrakhan.
"With Senator Clinton's refusal to denounce or reject Ms. Ferraro, she has once again proven that her campaign gets to live by its own rules and its own double standard, and will only decry offensive comments when it's politically advantageous to Senator Clinton," Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton said.
"Her refusal to take responsibility for her own supporter's remarks is exactly the kind of tactic that feeds the American people's cynicism about politics today and it's why Barack Obama's message of change has resonated so strongly in every corner of the country," Burton said.
Speaking of insidious patterns, Ferraro is showing some.On a post by Ben Smith over at politico, a pattern of behavior or attitudes most disappointing and telling in the larger context:
A Ferraro flashback By Ben Smith 08:47 PM
"If Jesse Jackson were not black, he wouldn't be in the race," she said.
Really. The cite is an April 15, 1988 Washington Post story (byline: Howard Kurtz), available only on Nexis.
Here's the full context:
Placid of demeanor but pointed in his rhetoric, Jackson struck out repeatedly today against those who suggest his race has been an asset in the campaign. President Reagan suggested Tuesday that people don't ask Jackson tough questions because of his race. And former representative Geraldine A. Ferraro (D-N.Y.) said Wednesday that because of his "radical" views, "if Jesse Jackson were not black, he wouldn't be in the race."Asked about this at a campaign stop in Buffalo, Jackson at first seemed ready to pounce fiercely on his critics. But then he stopped, took a breath, and said quietly, "Millions of Americans have a point of view different from" Ferraro's.Discussing the same point in Washington, Jackson said, "We campaigned across the South . . . without a single catcall or boo. It was not until we got North to New York that we began to hear this from Koch, President Reagan and then Mrs. Ferraro . . . . Some people are making hysteria while I'm making history."
I still don’t hear Hillary’s “denounce and reject”.
ABC News' Ferarro: Obama Where He Is Because He's Black - Continued
Steven Portnoy, Sunlen Miller and David Wright contributed reporting.
Campaign Surrogates Go Off-Message
It's not the first time a Democratic surrogate has made controversial remarks.
Obama's senior economic adviser Austan Goolsbee told Canadian diplomats the candidate's anti-NAFTA rhetoric should be interpreted as political positioning and not an articulation of policy, according to a Canadian government memo.
More with the NAFTAgate feel... stroke...coming on......
Obama foreign policy adviser Susan Rice was part of a mini-firestorm last week when she appeared to go off message and said that neither Obama nor Clinton is ready to answer the proverbial 3 a.m. phone call in the White House.
"Clinton hasn't had to answer the phone at three o'clock in the morning and yet she attacked Barack Obama for not being ready. They're both not ready to have that 3 a.m. phone call," Rice told MSNBC last week.
At the time, the Clinton campaign e-mailed a YouTube video of the interview to reporters.
Earlier in the campaign, Bill Shaheen, a Clinton campaign co-chairman in New Hampshire, stepped aside after making remarks about Obama's past drug use. The Clinton campaign also fired Iowa staffers who forwarded e-mails with false rumors that Obama is a Muslim.
Ferraro's comments appeared to highlight her frustration with Obama's campaign. The Illinois senator is leading Clinton in popular support and pledged delegates, according to ABC News' delegate scorecard.
In the interview with the newspaper, Ferraro also rejected the notion that Obama will bring together Republicans and Democrats. "I was reading an article that said young Republicans are out there campaigning for Obama because they believe he's going to be able to put an end to partisanship," Ferraro said. "Dear God! Anyone that has worked in the Congress knows that for over 200 years this country has had partisanship — that's the way our country is."
While I agree with Ferraro on her partisanship comment and find it troubling when I hear the Democratic candidates gush about bipartisanship because of what that that really means.
Here shows Ferraro stabbing Obama on a rightwing talk show, undermining him, John Lewis and the party to the delight of a largely racist partisan audience. Like Power and others, this proxy has a big mouth ready to share potentially damaging info that ultimately serves the Republican machine. This level of self-destructive tactical sloppiness is disturbing to watch. Like watching someone jumping in front of a train. The Democrats have a death wish.
In February, Ferraro made similarly racially-charged remarks on Fox News Radio's John Gibson show.
When asked about the decision of Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., to abandon his endorsement of Clinton in favor of Obama, Ferraro said: "I'm very disappointed. When I see John Lewis. He's turning around — this is a civil rights leader. Why in God's name did he change his vote from Hillary to Barack Obama? I'll tell you why. He's not going to lose a Democratic primary in his district in two years, but he sure as hell will face one if he sticks it to Barack Obama when he has a greater majority of blacks in his district. He's not going to lose. I'm so disappointed in him, I could die."
Very troubling. Much like the Jesse Jackson-based race baiting of Bill Clinton that belittled both Jackson and Obama as flukes that won’t hold up in the real world. The Clintons claimed they did more for blacks while bragging about their destructive welfare reform. For Ferraro to argue her comments are anything but what they are. Or that we heard the wrong context(O’Reilly’s “Michelle Obama lynching party” comment) does not hold up to scrutiny if not the more she elaborates on, it the worse she sounds. All the contexts are pretty bad. Now she continues to refuse to take it back or apologize.
She stands by it and defends it. Making it worse by making further ludicrous statements gives a view to bizarre reasoning. She has now shown a pattern. Why is she clinging to this so stubbornly? Where is this animosity coming from? As she looks pretty racist already, she throws out “reverse racism”?
Is Clinton that cynical as pundits have suggested that not firing this idiot and dragging the controversy out it a new strategy? A strategy dividing voters/supporters on gender and racial lines? Past behavior and statements tends to lead one to that conclusion. Clinton has created a false identity politics competition between sexism and racism in the media, where voters must now pick sides while deciding which is worse. This is how race, gender, and class are debated (when they are allowed to) in the American press. If Clinton’s campaign was indeed responsible for the picture of Obama in tribal clothes, she is indeed a “monster” as Samantha Power was quoted and fire over. Hilary will indeed do anything to win. Yet another example of the bridges she is willing to burn. She apparently believes it’s her or no other Democrat. She would seemingly rather hand the presidency over to McCain. And maybe that’s her backup plan if Obama defeats her for the nomination.