Saturday, March 26, 2011

Remembering Geraldine Ferraro

Geraldine Ferraro was a modern-day trailblazer.
Yes, the quick-taking lady from New York was the first woman to be nominated for the vice-presidency from a major political party in 1984. And she was also the first Italian-American ever to reach that vaulted status in American politics.
I met Geraldine Ferraro in 1984 when she came to speak to the Philadelphia Bar Association at the Hyatt at the Bellevue. She was gracious, funny, witty and smart. I was so impressed with all the time she took with young girls who had been brought to the event by their moms and dads.
She knew that she and Walter Mondale were fighting an uphill battle (like many others, I was a huge Reagan fan at the time) but that didn't stop her from fighting the good fight -- and she did it all with pride and dignity.
I saw Ferraro again at the 2004 GOP Convention at Madison Square Garden in New York. She had become a TV commentator and I greeted her as she scurried up to one of those sky boxes where TV anchors and talking heads congregated. She still looked great.
Ferraro deserves a lot of credit for not automatically falling into line behind Barack Obama in 2008. The former congresswoman was rightly skeptical about Obama's bona fides and she called Obama more than once on inappropriate comments and gaffes that he committed during the campaign. And, Ferraro also deserves a lot of credit for not joining the chorus of those who piled on Sarah Palin. Ferraro and Palin practically became chums during the 2008 campaign even though Ferraro remained a stalwart Democrat. Of late, Ferraro also served as a contributor on Fox News.
Bravo, Geraldine Ferraro!
You opened the door for so many others and you always remained true to your convictions and your impenetrable sense of integrity.
You also made all of us proud of our Italian-American heritage.

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