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Rest in Peace, Geraldine Ferraro

Democratic trailblazer Geraldine Ferraro passed away on March 26th.

Geraldine FerraroShe endured insults from men and women alike during the 1984 presidential campaign, after Walter Mondale asked her to join the Democratic ticket against wildly popular incumbents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. Ferraro was in triple jeopardy during that election: she was an Italian-American who was married to an Italian-American; she and Mondale were opposing the Reagan juggernaut, and finally, she was a woman–and an outspoken one at that.

Though Ferraro largely served as a canary in a coal mine during the 1984 election, testing the viability for a female candidate for national office, she became largely known post-campaign as an outspoken advocate for women, children, the elderly, and the disenfranchised blue collar constituents.  She survived sexist slurs, ethnic disparagement, and condescending remarks from press and politicians, but did not live to see a female President–her lifelong dream.

I don’t know if we will ever see a female President of the United States. In fact, I doubt it–don’t you? If I’m wrong–and I hope I am– Madam President will stand on the shoulders of Geraldine Ferraro.

About The Author: Andrea DeFusco-Sullivan is the Assistant Dean and Director of the Writing Program at The American College of History and Legal Studies.

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