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Geraldine Ferraro, the first woman on a major party ticket died today of blood cancer at 75.

As the Democrats’ vice presidential nominee in 1984, she and Walter Mondale faced almost impossible odds against the Morning in America optimism of the Reagan-Bush ticket, and suffered one of the worst electoral defeats in history that November.

But Ferraro will be remembered for this moment in the vice presidential debate, when she accused Vice President George Bush of being patronizing in instructing her on te ways of foreign policy.

 

Here she is accepting the nomination at the Democratic National Convention in San Francisco.

Sarah Palin, only the second woman to be on a party ticket and the first female Republican in the No. 2 spot, sent this Tweet: “So very sad, the passing of Geraldine Ferraro. God bless her family & friends; thank you for sharing this accomplished American with all of us.”

Update: Mondale tells the StarTribune in Minneapolis: “She was a wonderful human being, and I was proud to have her with me as a running mate. She was very competitive and effective and had a spirited belief in social justice. She was a pioneer who helped break the mold.”

Chris Dodd, former senator and chairman and CEO of the MPAA, said in a statement, “Geraldine Ferraro was a great friend.  We served together in the House and maintained a strong friendship over the years.  She was a remarkable woman and a great public servant who broke a major barrier when she ran with Walter Mondale as the Democratic nominee for Vice President.  One of her first stops during the campaign was in Connecticut and I campaigned with her that day.  Later, we campaigned all over the state in the fall, and we remained great friends.  I am saddened for her family, and thank her for all her contributions to our country.”