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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

RIP Geraldine Ferraro

As you probably know, former congresswoman Geraldine Ferraro, the first (and to this day the only Democratic) woman to appear on a major-party presidential ticket, died this weekend. Her renown was limited by the dismal performance of the Mondale-Ferraro ticket in 1984 (which was by no means significantly her fault), by the chronic aroma of scandal that pervaded her husband’s business career, and by several post-1984 political missteps, culminating in her brief role as Fox News’ favorite PUMA in 2008.
You can read all sorts of assessments of Ferraro’s life, career, and significance. But my favorite is Adele Stan’s memoir at TAP of what she meant to a young feminist from a working-class ethnic Catholic background much like Ferraro’s.
The barrier she broke really mattered, and her memory continues to serve as a reproach to the Democratic Party for its failure to nominate a woman to its national ticket since then–or to the top spot, ever.

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