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Ferraro And Palin — Most Exclusive Club Down To One Member

Mar 28, 2011

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Frank James

While the club that includes the present occupant of the Oval Office and former presidents is often spoken of as the world's most exclusive club, there was an even more exclusive one, women who've been on a major political party's national ticket.

Until Saturday, there were just two members — Geraldine Ferraro, the Democratic vice presidential nominee in 1984, and Sarah Palin, the Republican vice presidential nominee in 2008.

It says something about how difficult it's been for women to ascend to the loftiest ranks of American politics that 24 years passed between Ferraro, who died over the weekend, being on a ticket and Palin's historic political moment.

The uniqueness of their place in history underscored their Fox News Election Night 2010 joint appearance. And it added a poignancy to the Palin's Facebook message marking Ferraro's death:

My family and I would like to express our sincere condolences to the family of Geraldine Ferraro. When I had the honor of working alongside Geraldine on election night last year, we both discussed the role of women in politics and our excited expectation that someday that final glass ceiling would be shattered by the election of a woman president. She was an amazing woman who dedicated her life to public service as a teacher, prosecutor, Congresswoman, and Vice Presidential candidate. She broke one huge barrier and then went on to break many more. The world will miss her. May she rest in peace and may her example of hard work and dedication to America continue to inspire all women.

Ferraro's passing and the tone struck by Palin was the rare chance for a mostly observed ceasefire in the partisan wars that mark American politics.

The commenters on Palin's Facebook page carried her tone forward, generally speaking.

Like commenter Harold Atkinson:

RIP Geraldine. You broke ground as first female VP candidate. Walter Mondale is a decent man. We have been strongly supporting Ronald Reagan since Barry Goldwater days.

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