Geraldine Ferraro, age 75, lost her battle with cancer recently. For those young political folks out there who do not both to read or understand history, Ferraro was the first woman and the first Italian American to be on a major party ticket for Vice President of the United States.
Twenty four years before Sarah Palin, then Congresswoman Geraldine Ferraro was chosen by Democratic Presidential nominee Walter Mondale to be his running mate. It created a great political and news firestorm at the time, pulling Mondale even with President Reagan. Ferraro was no typical liberal of the times, as she supported the Reagan military build up. But, Reagan came back and he and Vice President George H.W. Bush whipped the Mondale-Ferraro ticket.
It was good that Reagan won re-election. Have no doubt about that. But, Ferraro did make a difference. People took women in politics in both parties more seriously. People took Italian Americans in politics more seriously. Though they might never think it, Justices Scalia and Alito could have been helped a bit with Ferraro being taken so seriously.
That is not to say Ferraro was not wrong on many issues. She was. But, she was who she was without apology and she out campaigned her running mate in 1984 and endured family scandals to remain a influential attorney and commentator for the rest of her life. She went on to serve under President Clinton as Ambassador to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, an issue she held a passion for.
Ferraro was also a frank woman. Perhaps too frank. In 2008, she stated, "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." That set the left wing in America into a frenzy and the right wing harped on it as well. Ferraro called the firestorm that followed the worst weeks of her life.
That was Geraldine Ferraro being the teacher and the prosecutor from Queens that she was. She called it like she saw it, like it or not. Ferraro apologized for her remarks, as leftists seem to do, but don’t hold that against her. Whether you liked her positions or not, Ferraro was a tough political and legal fighter for what she believed in. Sarah Palin could learn from her.
So VUI pays honor and respect to a fallen political foe, a woman with guts and refreshing frankness that those today on the right and left don’t seem to understand. They just don’t get the honor of fighting the good fight with and against people who you will fight until the end but respect them all the way there. Rest in God’s peace, Geraldine Ferraro, and may God comfort your loved ones.