Clinton aide resigns over racial remarks


Washington : A top figure in the Democratic Party who had played a key role in raising money for Hillary Clinton has resigned amidst a controversy over alleged racist remarks.

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Geraldine Ferraro, the first woman to ever run for the vice presidency in 1984 and a former member of Congress, said Wednesday that she was stepping down to protect Senator Clinton from further attacks by Senator Barack Obama’s campaign.

“The Obama campaign is attacking me to hurt you. I won’t let that happen,” Ferraro said in a letter to Clinton published by CNN.

Race and gender are never far from the surface of the historic scramble for the Democratic US presidential nomination, and never more so than when Ferraro said Obama had an advantage because he was black.

Ferraro told the Daily Breeze newspaper of Torrance, California, that “if Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position” of leading in the tight race.

“And if he was a woman of any colour, he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky who he is. And the country is caught up in the concept.”

Clinton has distanced herself from the remarks.

Obama’s campaign has called for Ferraro to step down. Obama has dismissed the remarks as “absurd” and “ridiculous”.

“The notion that it is a great advantage to me, an African- American named Barack Obama, in pursuit of the presidency I think is not a view that has been commonly shared by the general public,” he said Wednesday during a campaign event at the Chicago History Museum.