Sunday, March 27, 2011

Geraldine Ferraro RIP

Almost thirty years ago, a plucky congresswoman from Queens was plucked out of political anonymity and became the first woman to run on a presidential ticket. She was the 1984 Democratic nominee for Vice President, only one of two women to this day to be on a major party ticket (for the moment, I can't remember who the other one was).

Her name was Geraldine Ferraro and she was a trailblazer. She died yesterday at the age of 75.

She showed that a woman could work as hard and compete with any man. Her career were multi-various -- schoolteacher, mother, lawyer (working as a real estate lawyer, pro bono attorney, prosecutor), and finally, in 1978,  one of a very few women in Congress. She was instrumental in improving public transit around LaGuardia airport and sponsored the Economic Equality Act. She also worked on the budget committee and in the Democratic leadership in Congress. She was a class act.

Obviously she didn't become vice-president -- she and Democratic presidential nominee Walter Mondale went down hard in 1984. But it was the the first presidential election that I remember and it never seemed odd to this boy that a woman might run for vice-president -- or even president.  I remember watching her in the vice-presidential debate against the then incumbent VP, the utterly loathsome George HW Bush (who sadly become President later on and, of course, is the father of any even more awful man who became president). I remember that she did really well in that debate, scoring many policy points against her heinous opponent, and many people felt afterwards that she had won the debate. Too bad she didn't win the election -- but a bell was rung.

She ran unsuccessfully for senate in 1992 and then retired from politics. But the left a mark.

So Geraldine Ferraro -- a brassy, proud lady from NYC -- should be remembered for her great public service, for the positive impact that she had on the trajectory of women in America.

Rest in peace.

1 comment:

  1. Sending sincere sympathies to the family of Ms Ferraro she will be missed. Ferraro was an intelligen¬¬t, articulate¬¬, passionate caring person, a good lawyer, and a forceful politician¬. RIP!


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