• U.S.

Geraldine Ferraro

2 minute read
Walter Mondale

I met her first in the Congress. She ran in a tough district, on the slogan “Finally, a tough Democrat.” She got elected and she was liked. That’s a good place to begin in politics.

When I named her my running mate, we knew Gerry would be popular on the trail. But we were amazed by the reaction–huge crowds everywhere, and always mothers with their daughters coming out to see this new magical person. I think that’s where a lot of the change for women began. There were two female U.S. Senators then. There are 17 now. There are 74 women in the House. It wasn’t dramatic, it wasn’t overnight. But I really believe it was those young daughters at those rallies, as they grew up, slowly choosing careers that built up their own possibilities.

But I think it was tougher for Gerry, who died March 26 at 75, than it seems today. We went down to Mississippi, and some old farmer said, “Young lady, do you make good blueberry muffins?” And she said, “Yes. Do you?” That was the kind of thing that she was bumping up against. She had to keep her cool. She had to be nice about it. And yet she was undergoing a revolution. It wasn’t just automatic. It was her guts and her vision and the depth of her beliefs that helped her get it done.

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