'Back To The Future' With Biden’s female VP Pick

'Back To The Future' With Biden’s female VP Pick

Joe Biden’s impending vice presidential pick has the feel of history being made before our eyes: a woman with a chance to be a heartbeat away from the presidency. But actually, it’s an old rerun. There was a similar buzz back in 1984, when Geraldine Ferraro’s Democratic vice presidential nomination heralded a revolution in the presidential landscape that never happened. Since then, it’s been 36 years, two generations reaching adulthood. There have been two defeated female vice presidential candidates, but still no woman elected. However groundbreaking his choice may be, until it’s ratified on Inauguration Day, Biden’s pledge to pick a woman for his vice presidential running mate seems more like the movie “Groundhog Day.” It keeps repeating itself. On these pages in 1984, I interviewed Rep. Ferraro, a contender for a then-shocking concept: a woman as the vice presidential nominee of a major party. The headline from her comments, was “A woman on ticket can’t be just symbolic.” Weeks later, Ferraro riveted the country with an acceptance speech so powerful that I included all of it in my book about her life and historic selection. But that shining “daughter” of America moment soon faded. It now feels a lot closer to symbolism than a revolutionary change in U.S. politics. After the Walter Mondale-Ferraro ticket’s crushing loss, it took 24 years just for the same fate to reoccur. This time, the failed effort was on the Republican side, with Sarah Palin’s nomination as John McCain ...
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