When I read news about the goings on in U.S. politics, I like to get my news from Google first, and then check what CNN has to say. Google provides a heap of articles on current events, so you can formulate the ‘real’ picture in your mind. But I turn to CNN for one thing in particular: Entertainment.
The CNN Political Tracker is a WordPress blog that they run, where they post entries on the news. And then the readers are free to comment. Sometimes the comment thread is a good discussion of the events, but as is the case with most news items, sometimes they become a source of division.
I want to take the latest case of Geraldine Ferraro. Some weeks ago, she came out and had this to say about Barack Obama and his primary campaign in an interview with The Daily Breeze:
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.
The Obama campaign took these remarks and spun them for all they were worth. The Obama campaign said that were ‘divisive’ and weren’t in the spirit of the Democratic party, and were hurtful. Then news outlets and 3rd parties to the affair started calling the remarks racist. There were calls for her resignation from nearly everyone, and the Hillary Clinton supporters, in the comment threads concerned with the comments, all recommended that she take a long vacation and stay out of the media’s focus. If not that, at least shut up.
So what did Ferraro do? Being attacked from all fronts for different reasons, Ferraro said:
Any time anybody does anything that in any way pulls this campaign down and says let’s address reality and the problems we’re facing in this world, you’re accused of being racist, so you have to shut up. Racism works in two different directions. I really think they’re attacking me because I’m white.
Now there’s a right and a wrong way to address the issue of race. The wrong way is to get an interview and say that Obama is riding the coattails of his ‘race’ to success. The right way is how Obama did it at a later date, with his ‘More Perfect Union’ speech. Note that even after this, she was yet to step down from her position on the financial board of Clinton’s campaign.
The comments that followed this article on CNN were rather amusing though. In what was a rare show of solidarity between both Obama and Clinton supporters, they all had things like this to say:
Teresa in Kansas – March 11th, 2008 7:55 pm ET
Ferraro just kissed her political career good-bye!
Judy – March 11th, 2008 7:57 pm ET
She needs to just stop starting to explain her words. She said it move on. She is digging deeper and deeper. Next we will here she lost her bid for Prez because she was old. She lost because of comments like this.
HH – March 11th, 2008 8:00 pm ET
Geraldine who? Oh, that’s right: Geraldine and Mondale, the duo that carried 1 state and DC in the ’84 Presidential election.
Cindy – March 11th, 2008 8:00 pm ET
I now think she’s nutz. I’m sorry I voted for her.
Amy in Iowa – March 11th, 2008 8:02 pm ET
No one is attacking Ferraro because she is white. She is being criticized because she made a racist statement. If she wants to resort to playing the victim card like Hillary, it is a sad day for women in this country. Ferraro made a dumb statement. Own up to it, apologize, and move on.
SAM in CommonSense – March 11th, 2008 8:03 pm ET
I guess you are being attacked because your ideas are out of touch! Even Clinton thinks you were wrong. Is Hillary and her campaign saying you are racist, then? or they might be picking on you too because you are white and an old woman? its time to move past racism and sexism in our societies!
While there was still some patience for the woman, and some normal discussion, it seemed that everyone thought common sense would prevail, Ferraro would be removed from Clinton’s campaign team, and everyone would move on. Well, Ferraro hung around for a another day, then finally walked away from the Clinton campaign. But did she take responsibility for her comments? No sir. Here’s what she had to say again:
I do think this was a mistake on part of the Obama campaign. They didn’t have to do this, and they did it to hurt Hillary. I just think that’s bad. I think it’s bad business, and I think it’s bad politics. I was accused of being divisive. I think those tactics are divisive. And the amazing thing is it’s not something I started, its something they did in reaction to this.
Instead of blaming herself, or the media, she blamed Barack Obama. Well, in the mind of someone like this woman, that probably makes sense. She didn’t have the intelligence to shut up and disappear into the shadows, she didn’t have the right of mind to avoid causing more damage to the Clinton campaign, and she didn’t see a problem with going on about how she was being witch-hunted by everyone who wasn’t a Clinton supporter.
The first comment I read in reply to this story had me laughing like crazy, and it just kept getting better:
Darth Vadik, CA – March 13th, 2008 6:55 pm ET
The Rule of Holes is: When you are in a hole, stop digging
Adam, Los Angeles – March 13th, 2008 6:55 pm ET
Lady, do yourself and the world a favor: sing your song in the shower where no one else can hear you!
Tim – March 13th, 2008 6:57 pm ET
I’m sorry, but with all due respect, why is CNN still posting anything the woman says?
Cathy- March 13th, 2008 6:59 pm ET
Ferraro needs to stop talking to the media and go on a nice long vacation in some quiet out of the way place.
Rich in Seattle – March 13th, 2008 7:00 pm ET
I so love you Geraldine Ferraro. As an Obama supporter, you’re the best thing that could have happened to us!! Thanks!
Adam, Los Angeles – March 13th, 2008 7:02 pm ET
I’m pretty certain the words you spoke were meant to hurt Obama and his supporters!
RickytheGriff – March 13th, 2008 7:05 pm ET
Exactly what planet does Ferraro exist on? Man, it must be nice in FantasyLand. Maybe I can build a Summer home there!
I could go on and on and on with the comments. There were 304 of them, and 90% of them were humourous ways of telling Ferraro that she was wrong, should take responsibility for her words, stop trying to explain them, and shut-up for a long time.
We all thought that might be the end of Ferraro – her resignation and the final blame game she played. But no. She was back, and with vengeance! Anyone who watched Obama’s magnificent speech from two days ago will remember that he cited the examples of Ferraro and Reverend Jeremiah Wright as ways the primary race has been clouded by issues of race, and how the people of America have been divided time and time again. He didn’t say that Ferraro and Wright were the same, or that their comments were the same, or that they had the same meaning. But, in true Ferraro style:
Ferraro: I am no Jeremiah Wright
To equate what I said with what this racist bigot has said from the pulpit is unbelievable. [Obama] gave a very good speech on race relations, but he did not address the fact that this man is up there spewing hatred.
What [Wright] is doing is he is spewing that stuff out to young people, and to younger people than Obama, and putting it in their heads that it’s OK to say ‘Goddamn America’ and it’s OK to beat up on white people. You don’t preach that from the pulpit.
Wright isn’t exactly ‘spewing hatred’, but he isn’t planting roses either. But he definitely didn’t say it was ‘OK to beat up on white people’. Obama distanced himself from the man when he said some awful things though, about 9/11 and Pearl Harbour. But what was even more entertaining was what else she had to say about Obama’s speech:
Ferraro said she had “no clue” why Obama referenced her in the speech. She also expressed surprise the Illinois senator said he had heard his white grandmother utter racist remarks.
“I could not believe that. That’s my mother’s generation.”
This last statement, that the generation prior to Ferraro’s (who was born in 1935) wasn’t at all racist, was what garnered the most surprise, amusement, and ridicule:
Nate in Mpls – March 20th, 2008 5:15 pm ET
matt – March 20th, 2008 5:15 pm ET
Why won;t she just disappear. No one cares what you have to say.
Diane in Buffalo, Wy. – March 20th, 2008 5:18 pm ET
Go home, no one is interested in what you have to say any more.
Wayne, Greenville TX – March 20th, 2008 5:18 pm ET
No – you’re far worse.
Irishspacemonk – March 20th, 2008 5:19 pm ET
Please, someone take this woman back to the nursing home. She’s lost, wandering around and telling anyone who’ll listen she’s not racists, just ‘cuz she points out blacks have it so easy when running for pres. You can’t teach an old dog new tricks and she’s not worth the attention the media is giving her.
CR – March 20th, 2008 5:19 pm ET
It would be best for Ms. Ferraro to take a long vacation away from the media.
Matt – March 20th, 2008 5:20 pm ET
Oh just shut up and go away already Ferraro. I know this is the most attention anyone has ever given you since 1984, but your fifteen minutes is up. So just shut up and go back into obscurity.
Issues Please – March 20th, 2008 5:20 pm ET
Not again. Please go away.
tiredofthecrap – March 20th, 2008 5:20 pm ET
Former VP Candidate Ferraro. Goodbye. Go away.
Greg – March 20th, 2008 5:21 pm ET
As has been said, the number one rule of holes is: When you are in one, stop digging! Some one give her The Rules of Holes.
raj – March 20th, 2008 5:21 pm ET
What does Ferraro mean that she does not believe that Barak’s grandmother said something racist? She says it was her mothers generation. Does she mean that the generation was pristine pure and not racist? What world is she living in? She should go back and check the history books!
Really? – March 20th, 2008 5:21 pm ET
Wow, Ferraro, you are incredible. Feigning surprise over overt racism? Maybe she’s just incredulous that people actually express their bigotry out loud and not hidden behind some silly claim of reverse racism and affirmative action. Ferraro, take my advice: BE QUIET.
It was obvious that observers of the race were sick and tired of the woman about a week ago, and then when she stuck her head up above the trenches again, people were just out of patience. There was little-to-no defense of Ferraro in the last thread comment, while the first one had some, and then a little less in the second. People were over what she had said, and had probably forgotten it, to be honest. But no, she wanted more.
Anyway, looking at the articles and the news reports on the primary race is interesting enough, but for a good dose of entertainment and laughs, I like to check out comment threads, and what the ‘people’ have to say about it all. I recommend it to anyone who might be interested, though finds a lot of it ‘dry’.