Saturday, March 26, 2011

Geraldine Ferraro

I never doubted that we would elect a female president someday, because the first time I ever voted in a national election, there was a woman on the ticket. So, I took it for granted. Little did I realize that it would take so long to see the next one - but I know we will get there someday. I hope it's in my lifetime.

RIP Geraldine Ferraro, and thank you for breaking that glass ceiling and being a role model for millions of women. I'm sure her presence heightened my interest in paying attention to politics, even though I wouldn't get active in it until many years later.

Geraldine A. Ferraro, the former Queens congresswoman who in 1984 strode onto a podium to accept the Democratic nomination for vice president and to take her place in American history as the first woman nominated for national office by a major party, died on Saturday at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. She was 75.

The cause was complications from multiple myeloma, a blood cancer that she had battled for 12 years, her family said in a statement.

“If we can do this, we can do anything,” Ms. Ferraro declared on a July evening to a cheering Democratic National Convention in San Francisco. And for a moment, for the Democratic Party and an untold number of American women, anything seemed possible: a woman occupying the second-highest office in the land, a derailing of the Republican juggernaut led by President Ronald Reagan, a President Walter F. Mondale.

It did not turn out that way — not by a long shot. After the roars in the Moscone Center had subsided and a fitful general election campaign had run its course, hopes for Mr. Mondale and his plain-speaking, barrier-breaking running mate were buried in a Reagan landslide. But Ms. Ferraro’s supporters proclaimed a victory of sorts nonetheless: 64 years after women won the right to vote, a woman had removed the “men only” sign from the White House door.

I still have a bumper sticker from '84 somewhere in a box - and I actually saw one on a car within the past couple of years. Let me see if I can dig that shot up...

UPDATE: Couldn't find the shot, but found a great video interview at the NYT:

Last Word: Geraldine A. Ferraro.

Covers her life and career. Take a look.