The passing last week of Geraldine Ferraro last week brought back memories of the graciousness and sense of humor the former congresswoman from New York had in the one, chance encounter I had with her.
Back when US Sen. Joe Lieberman was tapped to be Al Gore’s running mate in the 2000 presidential election, FOX News asked that I appear on its national, afternoon news program. I was working for a religious rights organization in Manhattan at the time and FOX was interested in our view on Lieberman being the first Jewish candidate for vice president.
Never one to turn down a TV appearance, I agreed to do the segment. At the tail end of the interview held in the News Corps building near Rockefeller Center, the host asked me which was a more comparable situation to Lieberman’s—John Kennedy as the first Catholic or Geraldine Ferraro as the first women. I was at a bit of a loss for an answer so I took a shot at humor and said, “Well, I guess if you’re Joe Lieberman, you better hope the situation is more like John Kennedy because Ferraro got her butt kicked all over the country.”
Fairly satisfied with the segment, I returned to the green room to retrieve my briefcase, who was there waiting for her own segment? That’s right—Geraldine Ferraro. While I tried to pick my jaw off the ground, Ms. Ferraro couldn’t have been nicer or more gracious. She simply said, “Gosh, you didn’t have to put it like that!” She then smiled and said, “But you’re right!”
I’ll always remember her sense of humor and grace.