Former Vice-Presidential Candidate Speaks at UVa.

By: Philip Stewart
By: Philip Stewart

September 13, 2006

More than 20 years after her campaign for Vice-President, Geraldine Ferraro is still very much involved in politics.

With just two months to go before mid-term elections, the issue on Wednesday night was really about getting young people involved in politics.

Ferraro was welcomed with a standing ovation as she entered the Newcomb Hall Ballroom on grounds at the university.

The only woman to run for vice president on a major party ticket, said it was very important that young people, especially young women, get active in politics.

"We have to keep reminding young people about what it was like before, so that they understand where we are now," said Ferraro, in a a press conference prior to her speech. "And also recognize that the only way that it's going to be better for their future, and for their children's future is by becoming involved."

It appeared that many young people wanted to be involved, at least in Ferraro's speech. Organizers say some 600 students and local residents were there.

However, when it comes to women actually being involved in the political process, Ferraro said there simply needs to be more.

"The numbers are not there," she said. "You also don't have people willing to take the risk."

In 1984 it was Ferraro taking a risk. She ran with Walter Mondale on the democratic ticket, but they were defeated by the re-election of President Ronald Reagan and then Vice President George H. W. Bush.

When Ferraro was asked how far down the road a female president might be, she responded saying, "Well I would hope that if we would have a woman running in 2008, that that's as far down the road as we get. I really want to be there."

Ferraro mentioned three women that she thinks could successfully run for the office of president or vice-president. On the republican side, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison from Texas, or Secretary of State Condolezza Rice.

On the democratic side, New York Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Ferraro's speech was part of a series at UVa on Women in Politics, sponsored by the Center for Politics.


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