I was saddened to hear that Geraldine Ferraro has died.
I certainly did not vote for her, but she always struck me as a decent and kind person, with a grace and sense of humor sadly lacking in much of the political debate that goes on today. She was a relatively unknown three-time Representative from New York when Democratic-nominee Walter Mondale picked her to be his running mate in the 1984 presidential campaign. She became the first woman vice-presidential candidate of any major party in American history. The selection of the attractive and articulate Ferraro gave Mondale's otherwise hopeless campaign a bit of luster and a brief bump up in the polls (not unlike McCain's Palin pick 24 years later.) Despite the MSM's fawning over her, in the end she could not help Mondale defeat probably the best American political campaigner of the 20th century, Ronald Reagan. She tried hard and loyally, and, as noted, with grace and humor, but the numbers were just not there. She struggled not only against the Reagan juggernaut, but against the bland man at the top of her own ticket, her own husband's somewhat unsavory reputation, and her pro-abortion stance that put her in opposition to her professed Catholic beliefs.
Her politics were the standard, somewhat unimaginative "New Deal" liberalism that was rapidly being overwhelmed by Reagan and reality. In later years, while she remained a moderate liberal, she seemed to put some distance between herself and the increasingly wacky left and the violent Bush-bashers. She objected to the vile treatment of Palin by the media and the political left, and she joined Fox News as a political contributor.
She was a throwback to a time that now seems so distant; a time when you could have a vigorous debate, without getting personal. She seemed to love politics and appreciate and love her country: not a bad combination.
Geraldine Ferraro, R.I.P.