Ferraro is just working the old dodge of market segmentation and positioning. And the Clinton campaign is eagerly playing along.
Ferraro's original claim (in the Daily Breeze) that "if Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position" frames the competitive product as a candidate for blacks and elitist, latte-swilling liberals. What's that leave for her own product (Clinton)? The much larger segments combined from white working-class and rural voters and women.
She's not a racist, but she's dog whistling to them along with whites who resent black progress and to feminists who think that the woman candidate deserves to go first while the African American candidate waits his turn.
Will Bunch calls it "Hillary's 'Archie Bunker' Strategy," and he reminds us that Ferraro was Archie's congresswoman.
Adam Hanft exposes the preposterousness of taking Ferraro's claims at face value by asking us to imagine the impact of a white candidate who had the education, skills, perspective, and vision of Obama.
But Ferraro herself exposes her own cynicism (or idiocy) in the defense she made on ABC yesterday morning.
"I was celebrating the fact that the black community in this country came out with a pride in a historic candidacy, and has shown itself at the polls. You'd think he'd say, 'Yeah thank you for doing that.'"Right. That's just what you'd think. Obama, whose signature is broad appeal to black and white, old and young, gay and straight, Democrat and Republican is about to thank you for defining him as the niche candidate for the black community.
It's a shameful game. And more shameful is the record of the Clinton campaign moving slowly and gingerly to ever-so-slightly distance itself from it. But the Clinton campaign has no shame.
Even the master shamer of cable TV, Keith Olbermann won't move the Clintonistas. But he has moved me, and I'm hopeful he will move you. His rant is up all over the Web in the left blogosphere. But just in case you've somehow missed it, here it is again.
Mickeleh's Take: Segmentation and positioning are powerful tools in politics as well as marketing. The Clinton campaign has chosen the route of Segment and Conquer.