March 12th, 2008
06:39 PM ET

With enemies like these....


It's been said that the Clintons are lucky in their enemies. In Geraldine Ferraro, half of one of the most disastrous candidacies in presidential history, Barack Obama has hit a goldmine.

Not only is Ferraro defending her comments by demeaning her own political career, she's fighting to become known as one of the most partisan racial theorists in politics.

Lucky, indeed. Ferraro's graceless remarks present Obama with an opportunity to reach the very people who might be listening and nodding their heads.

The answer is simple and on message. Barack is lucky, and he should say so.

He's lucky to be an American, a citizen of the greatest nation in human history. He's lucky and blessed to have a smart and beautiful wife who loves him and sustains him, two strong and healthy daughters he has the privilege and responsibility of raising.

He's lucky to be on the campaign trail meeting his fellow citizens everyday and asking them to spread his message, "Yes we can."  And with luck, hard work, and the support of the American people, he hopes to bring that message to the White House.

Hillary - over to you.

-Amy Holmes, 360° Contributor 

Filed under: Amy Holmes • Raw Politics
soundoff (42 Responses)
  1. Ram

    Obama is a superstar & many cannot see him rising. Geraldine Ferraro is the mouth piece of the Clinton machine & are trying to undercut Barrack's chances. Clinton machine is also a part of smear campaign to bring down Barrack. Why does Hillary want Barrack as a VP when she says that he does not have the experience to be a President? Hillary is desperate & losing. She cannot win this way. She be ready for the VP post.

    March 13, 2008 at 10:12 am |
  2. lily tremont

    I only agree with Geraldine Ferraro on the gender issue. If Barack Obama's name were, I don't know, "Michelle" Obama, there is no WAY he would have gotten as far. In point of FACT, a black woman paved the way for him by proving SHE could win a U.S. Senate seat from Illinois. Carole Mosely Braun is a law school graduate who won that seat and later ran for President. Oprah, apparently, didn't blink. Shaking my head.

    March 13, 2008 at 9:21 am |
  3. amp

    What about Obama pulling out Hillary's chair at the beginning of the debates? What about Obama saying that when Hillary is in one of her bad moods she attacks him? Why is Obama's wife not being allowed to talk? Gentlemen or intentional condescending actions to remind us that Hillary is a weak, emotional women?

    March 13, 2008 at 5:49 am |
  4. Barry, IL

    Ferraro and her likes are in total denial. They don't want to acknowledge the out-smarting Obama and his campaign groups brilliant political games. Rather they prefer to resort to the old dirty divisive politics. Truth be told, Senator Obama's success has more to do with his ability to transcend the racial divide than being African American. Although Senator Obama is African American, he is a product of mainstream US culture through and through. One's culture and upbringing influences one's mindset much more than one's color. Thus, it's very difficult to box Senator Obama into a box of African American alone. More importantly, Senator Obama reminds us every day he is very lucky to be American and living the American dream. His book, "The Audacity of Hope" is a living testimony to this. Senator Obama is not only feeling he's blessed to be American, but also making many more to be proud of being American.

    One thing I fail to grasp is, why some of those in Senator Clinton's campaign try to burn the bridge that will connect them with African Americans. Come November, if she becomes a nominee, Senator Clinton cannot win the presidency without the huge support from African Americans. It's high time they start thinking in long-term implications. Too much damage done in this long and protracted camaign cannot be healed for November.

    March 13, 2008 at 12:13 am |
  5. linda hemmingsen

    Of course obama is using the race card. Why else has themedia given a free ride with the resko affair. there is so much out there the is been reported in the paper and cnn will not put anything on the news why?obama 's name keeps coming up in the trial news. it is scarey stuff, it is too much of a coiencidence that all the names and donars and different situations laid out is just and innocent bonehead thing that happened. he knew these people for years and the moneylaundering, influence peddling the donations from all obamas campins in chicago and washington from resko and friends who have also been named in the trial. what are you people waiting for till he is in the white house to find out all these serious allegations with connections to obama are true , what then ????oh well his supporters say it can't be as bad as bush, excuse me?this guy is supposed to be running on truth , honesty no ties to lobbiest, or corruptions Hello people? we know he lied about his top guys meeting with the canadains about nafta, he has flip flopped on other things . do you honestly trust him?who is the best for the job?please pick someone with experience people in other countries can't take another unexperienced bush

    March 12, 2008 at 11:22 pm |
  6. Bree

    I also agree with Ms Ferraro. I am happy to see her step down though, and I agree with her reasoning on why. I am so fed up with CNN this campaign season, I could just spit. I was half and half for Clinton and Obama way back when, but Im so tired of hearing CNN making him some kind of Messiah, and how he inspires people, and change etc.....CNN if i want to be inspired, I will go to church or better yet, Ill listen to Joel Osteen, and if you want change, well then that will with any democrat, we just need the bush reign to end. I am so sick of people talking about the Clinton's, when Bill was president, my husband and I (55 &51) did not live pay check to pay check and everyone we know had it better off, so whats wrong with that, and whats wrong with remembering that? Im also tired of Obama calling himself an African American, whenhe is not, he is a black man yes, and he is also bi racial. You never see any of his family members, I know he is supposedly christian, but I never hear him thank God or talk about praying etc,,, this worries me. I am also tee ed off about the Florida crap, I live here and I voted and my vote better count, they best just figure it out, because Im tired of Florida getting the shaft. Yes Hillary voted for the war, but so did alot of others, and they were also misled, but we went there, we did what we set out to do, now it is time to leave, and she knows this. Yes Obama didnt vote for the war, but did yall miss something, he has only been in the senate for 2 years, so he did not have to make that choice. I will vote for himm if he wins the nomanation, I was going to write in Hillary, but then thought that would be like a vote for McCain, and I wont do that to tthe party. I hope whichever wins Hillary or Obama, they have the smarts to choose the other as a running mate, and to accept, for the good of the party.

    Whew I feel better

    March 12, 2008 at 11:22 pm |
  7. L.D. Watkins

    I have been reading a lot of blogs on the issue of Obama and race and as a African-American woman who is educated and intelligent and hightly discerning on the issues of today, I am tired of Caucasians in this country discounting the choice of other African-Americans to vote for Obama, and think it is only because he is black. It is the usual insult to our intelligence and a continual perpetuation of the racist notions that African-Americans are too dumb to make a informed decision about who they want to be the next President. Are Caucasians playing the race card when they vote for all the Caucasian candidates that have run? NO! African-Americans voted for Clinton (the male) and no one said a word about our decision to vote overwhelmingly for him. It should not matter what race one is. It is about the qualifications of the candidate, and what he or she brings to the table to enact positive change and to set this country on a better course. Ferraro is doing and saying what many Caucasians like to say to discount a minorities' qualifications. We can work doubly hard to get the best education, and be articulate and productive members of this society, but it will never be enough. No matter what you think of Obama's politics, he is just as deserving to be where he is. Stop trying to make the African-American race out to be a bunch of non-educated buffoons who cannot make an informed decision. A lot of the bloggers really need to check themselves and really see that you do have predjudices and racist tendencies and it shows in your comments. A person with common sense, whether black or white or brown or red, knows that race has no place in the decision to pick a President and if one wants to vote either way then so be it. If women want to vote for Hillary are they being biased? Our country is the laughing stock of other countries because we are so petty and base when it comes to race relations. We are behind in our thinking on the matter and we still manage to hold on to negative and divisive stereotypes to drive racism forward. African-Americans have never looked to any leader of color to rule the world, what we are looking for however is a leader who is willing to unite ALL OF US in a common goal of inclusion and peace. Is that so hard to fathom?

    March 12, 2008 at 11:17 pm |
  8. Grant San Diego

    I don't think the comment Ferraro made was intently racist. However it WAS intended to marginalize Obama. The reality is that the Clinton campaign knows they're in trouble and they're using the "kitchen sink" to try to tear down the only candidate the country is enamored with. This will happen in the general election as well if Obama is the candidate. Big time!

    March 12, 2008 at 11:14 pm |
  9. Peg

    I think this is just another example of Obama and his supporters jumping on the race bandwagon. Ferraro made an observation and all of a sudden it's a racial issue. The media has backed off pressing Obama for any real answers, the Obama campaign has immunity from any and all scrutiny, and can say and do pretty much anything.
    If any one asks a question, argues in a debate, doesn't want to support him they are immediately dubbed a racist.
    This is reverse discrimination at its best.

    March 12, 2008 at 11:13 pm |
  10. JP

    I get so tired of hearing the race card The blacks had no problem to vote for Bill Clinton in the nineties but it is all about this half black man now REMEMBER HE IS ONLY HALF BLACK AND THAT PART OF HIM WAS NOT EVEN A AMERICAN CITIZEN... I have black in my family history and that was black that was forced here not brought here for a free education and then left( They were slaves.) So you young people that are old enough to vote now you don't remeber how bad our economy was before Bill Clinton became President and when he left you did not have the countries debt hanging over your heads he had it paid off and the country was in better state then came the Bushes or should I say the republicans ( I belive in the Clintons they helped our country before and they can do it again ) I have alot of family and friends and they have friends and we all are Democratics and we all say if Hillary doesn't get the nomation when november comes around McCain will get our vote so take that to the race card.

    March 12, 2008 at 11:06 pm |
  11. Gabriele Pascolini

    Mr Cooper
    saying that Mr Obama become the president of the Harvard Law Review because he is black it is racist. Saying that he is voted by a large majority of African-American electorate (up to 90%) and there for winning some states that otherwise would be contested, because he is black is just stating a fact. To be fare in this case the Obama camp played the race card.

    March 12, 2008 at 11:06 pm |
  12. Chris Daly

    If whites or even just white women were voting 80 to 90% for Senator Clinton what would the media be saying? Yet when Blacks vote this way it is not seen as a problem. This may be so but it is also a big part of the reason why he is as far along as he is. While I am glad he has been able to come this far with black and white (and some Latino) voters supporting him, Ferraro was only pointing out what are the facts. It is equally good that Senator Clinton has also been able to get this far with white and Latino (and some black) voters.

    March 12, 2008 at 11:06 pm |
  13. sherryl

    As a Black woman, I am very offended by Ms. Ferraro's remarks. I don't know if she's a racist or not – that's for her and her conscience to know for sure, but those comments were very inappropriate. I am tired of hearing that a Black doctor, lawyer, accountant, etc. got where s/he is because of race. I remember taking a standardized test once and doing very well, then being told: "you did well, for a minority". Don't White people understand how insulting that type of back-handed compliment is? If someone had said that Hillary Clinton is "lucky" to be where she is, and that the reason she is doing "so well" is because she is a woman, there would be an uproar around the country and those comments would be called misogynistic – and rightly so!

    March 12, 2008 at 11:04 pm |
  14. Chris Daly

    If whites or even just white women were voting 80 to 90% for Senator Clinton what would the media be saying? Yet when Blacks vote this way it is not seen as a problem. This may be so but it is also a big part of the reason why he is as far along as he is. While I am glad he has been able to come this far with black and white (and some Latino) voters supporting him, Ferraro was only pointing out what are the facts. It is equally good that Senator Clinton has also been able to get this far with white and Latino (and some black) voters. We should be glad that both are succeding – it is long overdue.

    March 12, 2008 at 11:02 pm |
  15. Craig Hinman

    My opinion on Geraldine Ferraro's comment about Barack Obama is that the whole thing has been blown out of proportion. I don't believe she was attempting to be hurtful, I think she was being analytical. I personally can appreciate what I think she was trying to portray. I think a good contrasting example could be made by comparing Mr. Obama to Mr. John Edwards. Mr. Edwards is also a very inspirational speaker and has more experience, but his candidacy got no traction because of the concept of our country electing either an African-American or a woman for the first time in history. It is my personal opinion that the media counted out John Edwards because of his anti-corporation views, and we can just look at media ownership and do the math on why they don't subscribe to the same views.

    March 12, 2008 at 11:01 pm |
  16. Nicky

    Beautiful America. When I hear comments from people like Ferraro, I am really ashamed. Obama is a mixed race man. He has a black father and white mother. Obama is a decent, harworking man and should not be insulted because he is pursuing his american dream. Black, White, Native American. Every american born in the country, Man or woman earn the right to run for the Presidency. Obama play the race card? "not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character" Dr. MLK Jr. How long ago did Dr. King said this?

    This is a beautiful country, free country.The idea of a woman or a black man making this kind of history, This is amazing.


    March 12, 2008 at 10:57 pm |
  17. Christopher, Ohio

    Maybe everyone is just upset about the voter turnout in the black community?

    March 12, 2008 at 10:54 pm |
  18. Vicki Plevin

    Don't kid yourself. The Clintons and their surrogates are intentionally keeping race front and center in this campaign. Obama rarely mentions race. THe Clintons via their surrogates (pictures from Somalia; Ferraro's rants; President Clinton's innuendo) are playing out a strategy they know will work in our society, because race is such a hot-button and confusing issue for many Americans. The oh-so-clever Clintons know exactly what they are doing, but their limitless ambition drives them. They will do anything to win the nomination, even do a "McGovern" on Senator Obama and throw the Presidency to McCain. As Howard Fineman said on air, after being on a conference call with the Clinton campaign following Ferraro's first comments . . . this is an intentional albeit cynical strategy of the Clinton campaign. It is a shame that nobody in the Democratic party can stop the Clinton campaign from handing the election to McCain.

    March 12, 2008 at 10:47 pm |
  19. redbug

    Geraldine Ferraro. should remember she was SELECTED to run as a vp,so she really didn't run for anything. Unless she is too old to remember.

    March 12, 2008 at 10:46 pm |
  20. Lindy M.

    I'm not at all surprised at that comment coming from you Amy...after all you're part BLACK...right? It is sad that in America today a person is at a disadvantage if they are Caucasian and born American...

    The race card has been played all over this campaign and not by the Clintons, but by Barack Hussein Obama, his wife Michelle and especially CNN...(Disgusting) (Michelle Obama is JUST NOW proud to be an American...can you imagine a WHITE first lady hopeful saying something like that and getting by with it like Michelle Obama did?) (Disgusting)

    This campaign reminds me of the O.J. Simpson trial, with Obama being O.J. and Hillary being Nicole Simpson...We all know that O.J. was guilty as hell but the race card got him off with not so much as a slap on the wrist...

    If Hillary Clinton had been found to have a 20 year friendship with Tony Rezko instead of Obama...you...my dear Amy...would be tearing her apart...

    A very concerned American

    March 12, 2008 at 10:43 pm |
  21. Vicki

    While I am not agreeing with what was said, I do believe race has been injected into this election cycle.... by Oprah. I was shocked and appalled when I heard her at an Iowa rally say, we as black people need to stand behind and support this black man. I was SHOCKED! My phone was ringing off the hook from friends that had the same reaction. While I never really watched Oprah's show, I respected her. At that moment, many of my friends and my self lost any respect for her.

    All the pundits and bloggers haven't help the situation either, facts are facts, get over it!

    March 12, 2008 at 10:43 pm |
  22. sondra

    Hello America....Gerry is right. She is not a racist but she's dead on. If anyone dare say anything that can be – in ever the slightest way – construed as negative against Mr O...they will bring race into the picture. They were wrong about Bill and they're wrong about Gerry...both of whom were right about Obama.

    He needs to check his campaign folks, particularly if he moves into the White House. This ridiculous rhetoric may make great sound bites and help to get him front page news...but it won't fly should he become president.

    March 12, 2008 at 10:37 pm |
  23. Robert

    Ms. Holmes is right. Sen. Obama will continue to feel fortunate, humble, and in possession of the attractive and rarest of traits: humility.

    March 12, 2008 at 10:25 pm |
  24. wpi

    Obama is playing the race card in order to obscure the truth of which she speaks. This whole race issue is going to cost the democrats the election, thanks to press for race baiting for ratings.

    March 12, 2008 at 10:25 pm |
  25. Shelagh, Seattle

    Rodney, thank you for remembering Ferraro's son's drug dealer past and the sweetheart deal he got for house arrest. Others who have benefitted from their connections? Roger Clinton for one, Hillary's brother, Hillary herself, hmmm, let's think of some more.

    March 12, 2008 at 10:19 pm |
  26. Steve

    Geraldine Ferraro is absolutely correct in her assertion that Senator Obama is where is he is in this race because he is black.

    Were he white, middle class and delivering the same speeches and messages he has throughout this campaign he would have been the nominee long ago.

    Listening to the "pundits" talk about the exit polls it seems pretty clear that the racial and gender biases in America have only barely sunk below the surface. When you have a "black" and a "woman" candidate these biases resurface in voting patterns.

    The dream of the suffragettes and civil rights activists were that someday we would be able to have leaders chosen based upon their credentials, their values, their vision and their ideas; not on gender or race. Unfortunately, it doesn't appear that we are really very close to the realization of those dreams yet.

    March 12, 2008 at 10:04 pm |
  27. Rhonda

    Rhonda, San Diego

    The comments made by Gearldine Ferraro were simply put, INAPPROPRIATE. Yes, our Constitution provides for freedom of speech. However, most of us are taught from childhood that it is inappropriate to verbalize everything you think. It's called being COMPASSIONATE. I am personally of the opinion that Ms. Ferraro's comments were part of the Clinton strategy and were intended to, once again, inject race into the campaign. Since Hillary cannot openly do so herself, Ms. Ferraro as her surrogate was selected to do so. The motive - to hopefully divide and conquer. Unfortunately, the opposite outcome is probable. To insinuate that Senator Obama has arrived at the position he has by reason of anything other than hard work, tenacity and grace of God fails to acknowledge the truth.

    Wake up people and pull your heads out of the sand ... racism in America is alive and well in the 21st century and Ms. Ferraro just proved it!

    March 12, 2008 at 9:48 pm |
  28. Rodney

    I find it ironic that someone who has benefited from who she is, can be so hypocritical in this instance. Some time ago, Ms. ferraro's son was one of the biggest drug dealers on a college campus, and all he received was house arrest. Do you think moms status had anything to do with that. Short memory Geraldine. If it was my son he would still be in jail.

    March 12, 2008 at 8:45 pm |
  29. sam

    I am not an American and have been fortunate to observe what is happenning with an unbiased eye. Yes, Barak Obama is using his race card, look where he is winning. If he were not black he would not be winning in the states with significant black population. And yes, Hilary can be critisized for way she dresses, loughs, cries, does not cry, but once you mentioned words race and black everyone is "up in arms". One more advantage of not being an American is that I do not see the need to apologize to black people for slavery. Stop apologizing already.

    March 12, 2008 at 8:23 pm |
  30. andy

    My God why do people say that race should not be discussed Im a mexican and I hear it from both white and black as how brown people are so what lower then them but do you say anything about it NO! I do not care what people say about either hillary or obama all I care about is they better be able to stand up and be strong and if not they are to weak to be a leader of this great nation! racist ? give me a break ! thats a way of saying foul in the black community just ask any mexican american how it is when blacks continue to say that we are against them and nobody and I mean nobody every defends the Brown one do they when someone directs there comment at them? CNN you too are like that .

    March 12, 2008 at 8:12 pm |
  31. Betty Ann

    Eric is RIGHT!

    March 12, 2008 at 7:55 pm |
  32. Norma J

    I feel sad to say this but.........your on to something Eric......

    March 12, 2008 at 7:51 pm |
  33. George

    Barrack would not have had chance of winning if Hillary camp could keep a clean approach rather than getting involved to such questionable tricks in trying to distinguish from Barrack. It makes Hillary look more questionable and much less "Presidential". Is it the only way to differentiate or it is truly a segmentation that would help her?

    The media can make the difference by blacklisting people (at least for a few weeks) making utterly unAmerican comments such as made by Geraldine Ferraro. Instead, it has become way of staying in the headlines and bi-lines.

    March 12, 2008 at 7:48 pm |
  34. jack

    I doubt this will be heard because it’s called (((((FREEDOM OF SPEECH)))). What Ferraro said, right or wrong, was also freedom of speech and its slowly being taken away from us. Derogatory statements have been made about every president or officials and that’s what made this country great-we could say what we wanted. So what happens if Obama becomes President-Officials or the people will not be able to criticize him because it will be put in a racial text. Millions of soldiers have died in the past and thousands are dying now for liberty, and the main one is freedom of speech that is being lost because of political or monitory gains. Look around you-Laws are being change, citizens and reporters are being censored because of words that any adult minded person would ignore. But what do I know? I’m only part Indian, but at least I still can be proud.

    March 12, 2008 at 7:46 pm |
  35. Jan from Wood Dale, IL

    Senator Obama was no more qualified than Edwards, Richardson, Biden, and Dodd, but who received most of the media's attention? For a relatively unknown, Obama was very fortunate to have the "free media" spotlight focussed on him. Since his policy positions and Senator Clinton's don't vary much, Obama is very fortunate to be able to run his entire campaign on "Yes We Can". But I'm still waiting for Obama's answers to the following: What are his plans for "shaking up the old ways of doing things in Washington?" How does he expect "to keep the people involved in the process?" And why if the "old ways" are so bad has he surrounded himself with Kennedy, Kerry, and Daschle and former Clinton advisors? I'd say he's lucky to have avoided all these questions for so long.

    March 12, 2008 at 7:45 pm |
  36. Eric

    I am not a democrat, but I do beleive that because he is black he won't likely be attacked like Hillary is being attacked. People are afraid someone like that idiot Al Sharpton will jump up and say oh god call the NAACP someone is talking bad about our boy. That's the going thing these days anytime anybody sayd a word about a black person. On the other hand you can trash talk a white person, call them every name in the book and nothings ever said about it.Who's the minority here? I think Ferraro is absolutely correct!!
    Eric Johnson City,TN

    March 12, 2008 at 7:37 pm |
  37. dkaylan

    Well said, Amy!

    March 12, 2008 at 7:27 pm |
  38. Kansas for Obama (were not all black)

    Yes so true, he is a lucky man yet choosen man. I strongly believe that everything that woman has said was so so untrue and racist. But one point stand out
    If Obama wasnt a black man He would be the Nominee;
    With twice as many states won
    With more delegates
    With more of the popular vote
    with the ability to draw massive crowds
    If he werent a black man i swear he'd be president right NOW!
    he has to work Twice as hard...

    So one more question if Hiliary's last name wasnt Clintion would she be in the race right now...
    ***If Hiliary was a woman without the last name Clintion would she be in the race because she has:
    Played the race card many times
    has and is dividing the Party
    Losing in Delegates and popular vote
    Agreed to let FL and MI be punished when she was ahead now has taken her word back.. HMMMM let me think NO!

    March 12, 2008 at 7:21 pm |
  39. Jacqueline


    March 12, 2008 at 7:08 pm |
  40. Gigi Muir

    One question for Geraldine:
    Do you really think Hillary would be where she is today if she weren't Bill Clinton's wife? Let's keep it real, here.

    March 12, 2008 at 7:05 pm |
  41. carl

    people should not vote by race . black or white. they should vote
    for the one who will lead our nation.

    i think hillary clinton is that person.not because she is white.
    god made all of us. nobody is different. he loves us all.
    barack obama is a great person.
    no one is better than the other in god's eye's. were all the same.
    god bless america.

    March 12, 2008 at 7:04 pm |
  42. tdevlin

    Mr. Obama does not use his color as a tool because he did not grow up in a black household. He was raised by his white grandparent and went to private school in Hawaii where my family member teaches. He does not know the life of the black man. Why does no one ever mention he was raised in a caucasian family. It seems to me that the failure to mention that is playing the race card.

    Truth in advertising

    March 12, 2008 at 6:49 pm |