Ferraro on Palin: Perspective from a Trailblazer

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," November 19, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Well, she did it. She broke the glass ceiling. No, not Governor Sarah Palin, but former Democratic nominee for vice president Geraldine Ferraro. And guess what? Governor Palin just sent her a gift. What is it?

Geraldine, it's always fun to see you. Nice to see you.


VAN SUSTEREN: I understand you've got a copy of Governor Sarah Palin's book.

FERRARO: I did. She Federal Expressed it to me on -- I got it on Tuesday, with a wonderful inscription. So I have to have a bit of a disclaimer ahead of time. She said, "To Gerry, you are an inspiration, Sarah Palin." And I -- I have to tell you it was really very touching because even inside the book, she talks about the campaign and she talks about Hillary's campaign, and I thought that that was wonderful.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, I should say, though, that she's not alone. I mean, all women have been inspired by your breaking the glass ceiling in so many ways, so she's not alone on that one. But it was indeed very sweet of her, no doubt, to do that.

FERRARO: It was.

VAN SUSTEREN: So what do you think of the book?

FERRARO: Well, you know, Greta, I've gone through -- I've read through the book, believe it or not, since Tuesday I got it. And what I did was, I went -- at the very beginning, I thought it was an interesting - - I'm ready to go up to Alaska to go take a tour. I mean, she really describes Alaska beautifully, and then she goes into her family. You get into the whole -- as a general outlook on this book, whether or not it was something that she should have done as quickly as she did -- I look back to 1984 and my reaction with some of the staff afterwards was equally as angry.

But you know, I taped my book before -- or chapter by chapter before I ended up actually giving it to the editor, the person I was working with, and what ended up happening was what I did on the tape I sat and thought about because some of it was just not nice, and some of it could hurt people that it was unnecessary to hurt. And so I didn't use the tapes except to pull out things that said where my anger was, but did not hit the way Sarah (INAUDIBLE). She comes off as if she's just bitter after this campaign.

VAN SUSTEREN: See, it's funny, I don't -- I don't get that. I mean, she takes a couple of swipes at the campaign...

FERRARO: A lot of swipes.

VAN SUSTEREN: And the bulk of the book to me is, like, it talks about her growing up, about Alaska...

FERRARO: You're right.

VAN SUSTEREN: ... about -- there's a little policy, but this is not - - this is about an American life, it's not meant to be a treatise on foreign policy. But you know -- and of course, we in the media, we seize upon the swipes.

FERRARO: Well, there are certain things, though, that you take a close look at. I mean, for one thing, everybody's talking about, Is this laying the groundwork for her as, you know, a future candidate? And the problem that she has is not only her behavior between now and 2012, but she also has to look at what she does in this book, and it may be the reason that -- that -- you know, her base is conservatives. This may be one of the negative things that brings out some of the positions that are certainly not positions that conservatives like.

For instance, she has supported the work of feminists all along. She, in her book, Greta, as you know, gives credit to Title IX, says if Title IX was not there, she would not have been able to go to college because she couldn't afford to do it. She gives full credit. Do you know how much aggravation and pressure went on trying to fight the conservatives in Congress and get that legislation passed when I was in Congress?

VAN SUSTEREN: But isn't that -- but isn't that going rogue? Isn't that Sarah Palin sort of breaking out of the pack and not toeing the party line...


VAN SUSTEREN: ... and say, Look -- what? That she -- that she's going rogue and saying Title IX really -- something that liberals pushed was something that really helped me?

FERRARO: Yes, but it's not something that will endear her to conservatives, is what I'm saying. She describes her position on creation and evolution as ambiguous, almost. That is not something that conservatives, when they start looking at this (INAUDIBLE) if, indeed, they bother to look at where she is on policy, would support. They believe solely in creationism. She describes her view on abortion...

VAN SUSTEREN: But isn't that (INAUDIBLE) Isn't -- aren't her sort of -- her views that sort of maybe are different from her so-called base -- isn't that something that we Americans should admire someone, when someone isn't simply going the party line, whether it's liberal or conservative? It's refreshing to me when someone says, Look, I may differ with others on this view.

FERRARO: You know what? Yes. But the thing about it is she -- we're talking about whether or not this thing has helped her, this book has helped her. No, I don't think these positions have helped her because remember who her target base is. They're not particularly interested in whether or not she's able to move off (ph) or that she's a rogue.

What they're interested in is when she's referring to this rogue thing, is that she's ready to stand up to people on the campaign, though she didn't stand up very strongly. She's ready to do, you know, war with, obviously, the liberals and the liberal media. But she's not willing to actually support, you know, publicly these issues. I think the conservatives are going to take a look at this and say, Well, you know, how does this differ from where, say, Huckabee -- you know, where does he stand on this issue? There is no ambiguity with him on some of these issues, so...

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, there's no ambiguity -- there's no ambiguity with me is that when she says that you inspired her, you inspired all of us, Geraldine. And you know, I want to talk to you off camera when we can about this book because we have a lot to talk about -- but I've got to go. But thank you very much. And again, more than that, thank you for -- you know, for breaking those ceilings for us.

FERRARO: Well, I'm delighted to be here and it's -- call me again, Greta. You and I can have a chat any time you want.

VAN SUSTEREN: Great. Thank you, Geraldine.

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