msnbc.com is reporting that Geraldine Ferraro, the Democratic congresswoman who became the first woman on a major party presidential ticket as Walter Mondale’s running mate in 1984, died today at the age of 75.
I’ve only ever drawn one political cartoon featuring Ferraro. Back in the 2008 election, she was a member of then-Senator Hillary Clinton’s finance committee, and got into a bit of trouble when she vented some of her frustration with then-Senator Barack Obama’s campaign success to a local California newspaper.
“If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position,” Ferraro told the paper. “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.”
I drew this cartoon not to let Ferraro off the hook for her comments, but to show some of the hypocrisy in the media. They lambasted her for the comments she made and treated her with righteous indignation, yet her comments conveyed a kernel of truth that the media repeated incessantly during the entire election: that at least part of Barack Obama’s appeal was tied up in the fact that he embodied a transcendence of the country’s racist past.