The first link there is to the Daily Breeze article in which former Rep. Geraldine Ferraro said this:
“If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position,” she continued. “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.”
Being black in America is all win, see? There’s no downside. No obstacles to overcome. No Bradley effect. Nothing but benefit. Racism? A thing of the past. White people wish they had it so good.
At best that’s monumentally ignorant, at worst it’s blatantly racist crap. Either way, it’s indefensible. And unspinnable.
Yet there’s a whole lot of spinnin’ goin’ on.
The first line of spin defense is that this was an ad hoc comment, taken out of context, made during an informal interview with a small-circulation paper in off-the-beaten-path Torrance, Calif.
Except no, it wasn’t. The Daily Breeze interview was last week. This is a shtick, a bit, a scripted piece of boilerplate that Ferraro’s been rehearsing and refining much longer than that.
The second link above is to the audio of Ferraro saying the same thing — nearly verbatim — on right-wing radio host John Gibson’s show in February:
“John, between me and you and your millions of listeners, if Barack Obama were a white man, would we be talking about this as a potential real problem for Hillary?”
Gibson — John Gibson of Fox News — suggests that this sounds like she just “playing the race card” and Ferraro responds that she’s just telling “the truth” because “you know how honest I am.”
This we’ve heard before, a thousand times. The boasting of courageous honesty from someone unafraid to tippy-toe around with politically correct niceties, preferring instead the unvarnished honesty of asserting that black people are “very lucky” to enjoy all the privileges that come with being black in America.
In that third link above, Will Bunch explains the target audience for this shtick: the Archie Bunker demographic. The fourth link looks at Ferraro’s attempts to defend her comments when she got called on this stuff — which includes her complaints of “reverse racism” and other wretched silliness.
It’s possible to view this all in the abstract and thus to draw a distinction between pandering to the bigotry of racist voters in order to win an election and actually sharing the beliefs of those racist voters. I’m just not sure that such an abstract distinction really matters in the real world.
A bit of history: In 1988, Michael Dukakis’ primary strategy relied on his being the last white guy left against Jesse Jackson, which he gambled (correctly, if not admirably) would ensure him the nomination. You’ll recall how that worked out for him come the general election.