Geraldine Ferraro was the first female candidate to be listed on a major party ticket for a presidential election in American history. She died today in Massachusetts at the age of 75 after suffering from pneumonia. Ferraro was being treated for blood cancer for a week when she developed complications from which she never recovered.
Mondale added her as a vice presidential candidate in 1984. Reagan won in a landslide. Yet it was a turning point for American politics and inspired Hillary Rodham Clinton and Sarah Palin to be considered for president and vice president.
Here’s a look at notable and famous quotes made by Geraldine Ferraro.
* “My name is Geraldine Ferraro. I stand before you to proclaim tonight: America is the land where dreams come true for all of us.” — Ferraro was making her acceptance speech at the 1984 Democratic National Convention in San Francisco.
* “Let me just say, first of all, that I almost resent, Vice President Bush, your patronizing attitude that you have to teach me about foreign policy. And let me say further that no one has ever said those young men who were killed through the negligence of this administration and others ever died in shame.” — In a debate with Bush, Ferraro was responding to allegations that she felt the U.S. Marines barracks bombing in Beirut, Lebanon, could have been prevented through stronger action.
* “I don’t like to practice ahead of time what I’m going to say. If you ask me a question, don’t tell me what the question is in advance, ’cause I’d rather not know. I’d rather give you a spontaneous direct response to it.” — Ferraro was being interviewed in 1990 on PBS. She was talking about how she prepared for the debate with Vice President George Bush and the tedious process behind it.
* “If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position. 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.” — Ferraro made controversial statements to the Daily Breeze in Torrance, Calif. She was criticizing then-candidate Barack Obama during the primary election season. She was an honorary part of Clinton’s campaign for president in 2008. Ferraro resigned her position shortly after making these statements as she was criticized for being racist and sexist.
* “To equate what I said with what this racist bigot has said from the pulpit is unbelievable.” — Ferraro was defending her racist remarks two weeks later to the Daily Breeze. She was also responding to Obama’s race relations speech in Philadelphia when he compared her remarks to those of his controversial pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright.
William Browning is a research librarian specializing in U.S. politics. Born in St. Louis, Browning is active in local politics and served as a campaign volunteer for President Barack Obama and Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill.