Tags: ferraro | obama

Clinton's Ferraro Gambit

Wednesday, 12 Mar 2008 10:29 AM

By Lowell Ponte

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We have always known that the post-9/11 terrorism era would shape the 2008 presidential elections, but few expected what we saw on Tuesday.

Former Democratic Congresswoman Geraldine Ferraro, a top fundraiser and apparatchik for Sen. Hillary Clinton, hurled herself against rival Sen. Barack Obama’s campaign like a political suicide bomber, blowing her own reputation to bits in an effort to damage Obama and save Clinton’s sinking bid to seize the White House.

“If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position . . .,” said Ferraro. “He happens to be very lucky to be who he is.”

Lucky? For most of America’s history, the political “luck” of being born African-American has been akin to the “luck” history dealt to the Irish.

When questioned by a reporter about the demeaning, race-baiting nature of her remarks, Ferraro had a fierce reply: “Any time anybody does anything that in any way pulls this [Obama] campaign down and says ‘Let’s address reality and the problems we’re facing in this world,’ you’re accused of being racist,” she said, “so you have to shut up.

“Racism works in two different directions,” Ferraro continued. “I really think they’re attacking me because I’m white. How’s that?”

“I do not agree with that,” Clinton on Tuesday told The Associated Press. “It is regrettable that any of our supporters on both sides, because we’ve both had that experience, say things that of kind of veer off into the personal. We ought to keep this on the issues.”

Clinton stopped there, after implying that the Obama campaign was as guilty as Ferraro of such tactics. Ms. Clinton neither strongly repudiated Ferraro nor removed her from the campaign.

“When you wink and nod at offensive statements,” Obama’s campaign manager David Axelrod told ABC News, “you’re really sending a signal to your supporters that anything goes.” But even had Clinton fired her, Ferraro has served her purpose by trying to blow up Obama.

Politics is war to the Clintons, and, as with al-Qaida, their supporters can always be sacrificed in the cause of Clinton ambition and power.

The Ferraro attack had at least three obvious objectives.

Its first goal was to contend for Wednesday’s news headlines and talk shows, taking attention away from Obama’s crushing 60 percent victory over Clinton in the Mississippi primary.

Its second aim was to use Ferraro’s publicity stunt to deliver Clinton propaganda — that both she and Clinton have been victims of “sexism,” and of a “sexist media.”

Liberal reporters who have long been ideological comrades, Ferraro seems to be saying, now would rather help elect Barack Obama the first black president than Hillary Clinton the first female president.

Call this the “Saturday Night Live” gambit, a crude attempt like the skits of that Canadian-run NBC-TV satire show, to shame and bully reporters into returning to their previous pro-Clinton allegiance.

Even uglier, Ferraro’s third goal was to lay down a blatantly racist broadside against Obama, while giving the New York senator “plausible deniability” of responsibility.

Clinton, to have any hope of becoming the Democratic presidential nominee and president, must win big in the April 22 Pennsylvania primary.

Ferraro has continued the ongoing Clinton effort to drive an explosive wedge between whites and blacks, thereby using Obama’s high African-American turnout as a way to herd sheep-like Caucasians to Clinton’s banner.

In Pennsylvania, blacks make up only 11.2 percent of the population, a smaller proportion than in Ohio.

In Ohio last week Clinton’s campaign of fear trumped Obama’s campaign of hope.

Democrats this November cannot win without getting their usual 90 percent of the African-American vote.

But Clinton apparently believes she can beat Obama with a campaign of smears and then use her husband, dubbed “America’s first black President” by author Toni Morrison, to hypnotize African-Americans into voting for her.

One of history’s greatest con jobs is how the Democratic Party has tricked these descendants of slaves into voting for the political party of the slave owners, the Ku Klux Klan, Jim Crow and Bull Connor, instead of the Republican Party of the Great Emancipator Abraham Lincoln.

The Democratic Party continues to gain political power by pitting one race against another.

Geraldine Ferraro admitted to a reporter this week that had she not been a woman, she would never have become Democratic presidential candidate, Walter Mondale’s affirmative-action running mate in 1984.

Their ticket disastrously lost a 49 state victory by Republican Ronald Reagan — and only Reagan’s gallantry, refusing to campaign in Mondale’s home state of Minnesota, prevented a 50 state sweep. Mondale won Minnesota by less than 3,800 votes.

Like Clinton this year, Ferraro in 1984 spent months refusing to release her tax returns. At last she held a televised press conference to make them public. But when a Wall Street Journal reporter dared ask why she and her multimillionaire husband were not releasing their corporate tax returns, the roomful of liberal reporters hissed and booed and told him to sit down and shut up.

That is the media Clinton and Ferraro want.

This same scene will be repeated around April 15 when the Clintons release only a fraction of their tax returns, and the press again covers up their deceitful behavior.

Ferraro is in one way correct about the sexist press. Liberal reporters continue to cover up for Democrats who sexually exploit women, such as Bill Clinton and close Clinton ally and “superdelegate” New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer.

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