CBS’s Smith Talks to Geraldine Ferraro on Obama VP; Bashed Her During Primaries

Harry Smith, CBS On Wednesday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith talked with former vice presidential candidate, and Hillary Clinton supporter, Geraldine Ferraro about Barack Obama’s VP pick: "And we have a special guest in the studio with us this morning. Geraldine Ferraro was the vice presidential running mate...for Walter Mondale just a couple of years ago...We'll see if Geraldine has some insight for us this morning." While Smith referred to Ferraro as a "special guest," on March 13 he described her "dark side," her "Archie Bunker side," after she suggested part of Obama’s popularity was due to him being black.

Despite those past insinuations of Ferraro being racist, Smith went on to get her predictions of possible VP picks for Obama, mentioning Joe Biden, Evan Bayh, and Kathleen Sebelius as contenders. Toward the end of the segment, Smith brought up Clinton, holding up a picture of the New York Senator: "Here's the one. Here's your pal." Ferraro confessed: "I love Hillary." Smith added: "Right. And here's the thing, among registered Democrats and among people going to the convention, she polls higher than anybody by a ton." Ferraro replied: "She does. You do recall that she got 18 million votes in the primary...I mean, there's a real reason. Because people feel very strongly that she would be an incredible leader. Now whether or not she would want something like that. I think she'd do whatever he wanted her to do."

Prior to the discussion with Ferraro, correspondent Nancy Cordes reported on speculation surrounding Obama’s pick. She concluded her report by explaining: "As far as Senator John McCain is concerned, we're hearing he will wait until after the Democratic convention next week to announce his choice, perhaps naming that choice as soon as the day after Obama wins the nomination. Harry." Smith remarked: "Try to steal a little thunder." Apparently McCain is trying to "steal" Obama’s "thunder" by announcing his running mate before the Republican convention.

Here is the full transcript of the segment:

7:00AM TEASER:

HARRY SMITH: Mate wait. Barack Obama finally poised to reveal who will join him at the top of the ticket. We'll ask a former VP candidate who she thinks it will be.

7:01AM TEASER:

SMITH: And we have a special guest in the studio with us this morning. Geraldine Ferraro was the vice presidential running mate-

BIANCA SOLORZANO: Of course-

SMITH: -for Walter Mondale just a couple of years ago. Morning. We're going to talk about the veep pick. It's supposed to be announced, really within a matter of-

BIANCA SOLORZANO: So many people speculating, wondering-

SMITH: -hours. We'll see if Geraldine has some insight for us this morning.

7:05AM SEGMENT:

HARRY SMITH: Now to politics. It appears Barack Obama is very close to announcing his running mate. CBS News correspondent Nancy Cordes has more from Washington. Good morning, Nancy.

NANCY CORDES: Good morning, Harry. Here's what we know for sure, Obama will appear with his running mate in Springfield, Illinois, on Saturday. And he will announce his pick sometime between now and then, first by text message and e-mail to his supporters, and then to the rest of us. Beyond that, his campaign is being excruciatingly tight-lipped and that's just fueling the guessing game. Speculation has reached such a fever pitch that Delaware Senator Joe Biden was besieged in his driveway.

JOE BIDEN: Got better things to do, guys. I'm not the guy.

CORDES: After Obama dropped his name in a speech to veterans.

BARACK OBAMA: I'm proud to join my friend, Senator Joe Biden, in calling for an additional $1 billion in reconstruction assistance for the people of Georgia.

CORDES: Was it a clue or a red herring? Biden's not the only supposed short-lister Obama praised this week.

OBAMA: There are people like Sam Nunn, a Democrat who I listen to on foreign policy.

CORDES: Reporters have been scrutinizing Obama's travel plans for hints about who he'll choose. Today he's in Virginia, where his friend Tim Kaine is governor. Monday, he visited New Mexico, where his friend Bill Richardson is Governor. And then he went to North Carolina, home of John Edwards. Okay, maybe geography doesn't matter. How about we take a look at who's been campaigning for him. Senator Evan Bayh went on 'Face the Nation' this weekend, while Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius stumped for Obama in vote-rich Michigan Tuesday. And Senator Hillary Clinton, his one-time rival, will be campaigning for Obama in the battleground state of Florida tomorrow.

GLENN THRUSH: If she does turn out to be the choice it would be the biggest head fake in the history of American politics. Both the Clinton folks and Obama people have completely ruled out the possibility that she would be the choice. But who knows?

CORDES: Who knows indeed. As far as Senator John McCain is concerned, we're hearing he will wait until after the Democratic convention next week to announce his choice, perhaps naming that choice as soon as the day after Obama wins the nomination. Harry.

SMITH: Try to steal a little thunder. Nancy Cordes in Washington, thank you so much. Joining us now is Geraldine Ferraro, the Democratic vice presidential candidate in 1984 and a former congresswoman from here in New York. Good morning.

GERALDINE FERRARO: Good morning.

SMITH: You like my high-tech board?

FERRARO: I do. But I, but I -- this Jack Reed-

SMITH: Yeah-

FERRARO: I would have -- you have him down here. I would have taken him up-

SMITH: You had him up higher-

FERRARO: I would have had him up here because if he's not being considered, he certainly should be considered. He's -- Rhode Island, he's a military man-

SMITH: Yeah, yeah-

FERRARO: -and a former Marine, experience in foreign policy, has a tremendous amount of knowledge about what is going on in foreign affairs.

SMITH: Right.

FERRARO: And that's -- that is Barack Obama's weakness.

SMITH: Very interesting.

FERRARO: Yeah, I would-

SMITH: Do you think he could be a dark horse up there?

FERRARO: I would hope that he's under consideration. Though he's not somebody you are hearing a lot about.

SMITH: Yeah. Joe Biden yesterday said 'I'm not the guy.' Does that mean 'I am the guy?'

FERRARO: No, no, it doesn't mean anything because once I got called by Fritz Mondale in 1984 on the Wednesday, I was scheduled to give a speech to the World Affairs Counsel. Gave the speech as the chair of the platform talking about what we were doing in the platform on foreign policy. And what ended up happening was I took questions afterwards. And one of the questions was, 'do you think that Fritz Mondale will pick a woman for vice president?' I said 'oh well, you know.' I didn't tell the truth either so do you expect Biden to tell the truth? You know I-

SMITH: [Laughter] -Oh the candor police.

FERRARO: -knew I had already been chosen. So it was amazing.

SMITH: I love it.

FERRARO: So I don't pay attention to the fact that he say's 'I'm not the man.' He's got to keep it quiet if indeed he is.

SMITH: Evan Bayh?

FERRARO: He's absolutely an incredible candidate too. He's had the experience of being governor and he's obviously in the Senate. He's got a lot of foreign policy experience. You have to take a look. Plus, Indiana. You know, an incredible state.

SMITH: Yeah. Could be -- could be in play. Governor Sebelius?

FERRARO: Sebelius, she and Governor Kaine suffer from the same thing. Both inexperience on the Hill and both, you know, governors. You know, it's said that Barack Obama is comfortable with both of them.

SMITH: Right.

FERRARO: You know, this is not comfort.

SMITH: Comfort, smomfort

FERRARO: They're not dating, you know.

SMITH: Right. They're not-

FERRARO: I mean, they're -- you're going to running-

SMITH: Here's the one. Here's your pal.

FERRARO: I love Hillary.

SMITH: Right. And here's the thing, among registered Democrats and among people going to the convention, she polls higher than anybody by a ton.

FERRARO: She does. You do recall that she got 18 million votes in the primary.

SMITH: I do recall that.

FERRARO: I mean, there's a real reason. Because people feel very strongly that she would be an incredible leader. Now whether or not she would want something like that. I think she'd do whatever he wanted her to do.

SMITH: Yeah, sure. But if Barack Obama called you and said, 'Congresswoman Ferraro, tell me, who's your shot, give me your best shot?'

FERRARO: It would be Joe Biden.

SMITH: Joe Biden. Very interesting. Alright, thanks for coming by this morning.

FERRARO: Good seeing you Harry.

SMITH: Appreciate it.

FERRARO: Thank you.

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC