mabfan (Michael A. Burstein) (mabfan) wrote,
mabfan (Michael A. Burstein)

This Day in History, 1984: Ferraro Named VP Candidate

Twenty-one years ago today, Walter Mondale, the leading Democratic presidential candidate, announced that he had chosen Representative Geraldine Ferraro of New York as his running mate. Although Mondale-Ferraro lost, it was a first in American history, as she was the first woman to run for Vice-President on the ticket of a major political party.

On a personal note, because Ferraro was the Congresswoman from the district right next to mine, the campaign decided to kick off their tour with a rally in front of Queens Borough Hall, within walking distance of where I lived. Although only fourteen years old, I attended that rally, admittedly more as an observer than a participant.

What I saw fascinated me. The owner of our local hobby store had advised me to watch the rally in person, then on the TV news, and note the differences. In person, the streets were filled with so many people that it was almost impossible to see Mondale and Ferraro at their lectern. Whenever they spoke, the crowd cheered loudly all around. I remember one woman standing near me who clapped and shouted after almost every sentence Ferraro spoke. But across Queens Boulevard, a line of protesters stood, with signs decrying Mondale and Ferraro's support of abortion rights. The rally lasted for the better part of an hour, if I recall correctly.

What did the TV news show? A few seconds of Mondale, a few of Ferraro, with the camera pointed solely at them as they spoke. No way for the home viewer to know just how many people had turned out in support of their ticket. No way for the viewer to know that protesters had turned out as well. It was one of the first times I remember being present at a news event and discovering just how much is often left out of news reports.
Tags: history, personal, politics

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