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Monday, March 28, 2011

R.I.P. Geraldine Ferraro

Geraldine A. Ferraro, the 1984 Democratic Vice Presidential nominee died in Boston Saturday at the age of 75 due to complications from multiple myeloma.

As the first woman nominated for national office by a major political party, Ms. Ferraro was viewed as a pioneer. President Obama described her as such this weekend when he said, “Geraldine will forever be remembered as a trailblazer who broke down barriers for women and Americans of all backgrounds and walks of life.”

The Mondale/Ferraro ticket was trounced in a Reagan/Bush landslide back in 1984. Subsequently, Ms. Ferraro would twice unsuccessfully run for a Senate seat. She later served as an ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Commission during the Clinton Administration. She also was as a television commentator, consultant and author.

However none of her later accomplishments could overshadow her appearance at the Democratic National Convention on July 19, 1984, when she stood before the delegates at San Francisco’s Moscone Center and accepted her party’s vice presidential nomination.

“A wise man once said, "Every one of us is given the gift of life, and what a strange gift it is. If it is preserved jealously and selfishly, it impoverishes and saddens. But if it is spent for others, it enriches and beautifies," she said in her acceptance speech. My fellow Americans: We can debate policies and programs. But in the end what separates the two parties in this election campaign is whether we use the gift of life - for others or only ourselves.”

The full text of her acceptance speech can be found at the Archive of Women’s Political Communication at Iowa State University. The photo above, of Ms. Ferraro and her running mate, Walter Mondale, comes from U.P.I.

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