Geraldine Ferraro kept very busy after her historic run for vice president on the 1984 Democratic ticket. Back in 2008, I had the honor of serving with her on a panel for /bacBacNew York Women in Communications, held at The New York Times building. The topic? Spin Room: Gender, Politics and the Media in the 2008 Election.
Once Barack Obama was voted into office that November, we chatted about how the election and his presidency would impact women. I remember Ferraro, a former U.S. Representative at the time, talking candidly about the media's fascination with Sarah Palin.
"What's going on with Sarah didn't go on for me," Ferraro reportedly told the crowd. "She's in a different place. She's come out with a lot of negatives." Despite their political differences, Ferraro stressed that Palin "has to speak up. She's a sitting governor."
Geraldine Ferraro: New York Women in Communications Panel 2008
When we got together to chat about politics, much of the discussion centered around Sarah Palin. When the conversation switched to Senator Hillary Clinton, the discussion took a different turn.
“The way Hillary gave her final speech of the primary was very significant because it showed women, who are so terrified of failure, that you can fail magnificently, that you can fail and still succeed in so many ways,” Arianna Huffington reportedly said. “When she said that there was no resentment or bitterness, despite whatever she may have been feeling, she came across as somebody who was ready to move on and be in the future.”
Afterwards, I got to thinking about Geraldine. Despite her loss, I never, ever saw her as a failure. Rather, she was a groundbreaker for the rest of us.