Saturday, March 26, 2011

remembering geraldine

I was in the seventh grade when Joe Duffy, a friend of my parents, decided to run for the U.S. Senate. It was, as I read a review of the race that fall, a pivotal year for Connecticut politics that highlighted the role of primary politics. Joe faced off in the primary against Thomas Dodd, father of now retiring senator Chris Dodd, and beat him. Although Dodd entered the race as an independent, he tipped the conservative end of the spectrum and Joe the liberal end, leaving lots of comfortable room in the middle for the likes of republican Lowell Weicker, who won the senate seat in November.  It would be a stretch to say that I cut my political teeth that year, but it was my first taste of campaigning, which my brothers and I did on occasion in the company of our parents. (Maybe just Mom? I can't recall).

Nearly a lifetime later, I found myself in the political fray again, this time mobilized to action by the inclusion of Geraldine Ferraro on the democratic ticket as vice-presidential candidate to Walter Mondale. It was a tough and disappointing race, but a fun time and a good experience. Memories of that campaign are romping through my mind this weekend after hearing the news that Geraldine has left the confines of this world following a battle with blood cancer. I am remembering her commitment and dedication to the campaign and the democratic party, her graciousness with volunteers, her feisty personality on the campaign trail and, years later when she spoke at a gathering in St. Louis, her seasoned perspective and wisdom on the nuances of politics and the role of women within it. She was a woman of courage and conviction, and not a bad role model for women then, and now, who function in an historically male-dominated arena.

Rest in peace, Geraldine. I raise my glass to you and remember you with gratitude and gladness. Women owe you a debt for your part in fracturing the ceiling that holds us down, and for leading the way that others have since followed. It was my pleasure to serve you.


Carolina Linthead said...

Rest in peace, Geraldine. It is up to us, the living, to continue the work of equality and justice, and heaven knows there is so much work to be done! I am proud to say I voted the Mondale-Ferraro ticket in that election. What a great photo! Thanks for sharing this with us.

The Bug said...

I was so excited when she was announced - although I didn't really understand politics at all. Love the picture of the two of you!

Terri said...

Geraldine was an amazing woman. I loved seeing again the video clip of her, in debate with George Bush running as VP w/Reagan,telling George to not be condescending when he makes assumptions about what she knows about international politics. Clear and confident and smart.

Kip said...

She was most definitely a leader for Women in Politics! Love the picture!


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