Running Mate

Geraldine Ferraro's 1984 Vice Presidential candidacy provided editorial cartoonists access to a rich and previously untapped lode of material. RUNNING MATE examines their portrayals of the first woman ever to appear on a major party Presidential ticket.

Drawn from a study of 172 cartoons in 12 U.S. newspapers, RUNNING MATE reveals the gender stereotypes which hounded the Mondale/Ferraro ticket from the moment she was chosen. Her political and legislative record notwithstanding, Ferraro was first and foremost a woman in a situation where, according to one cartoon, "any woman will do."

Ferraro's nomination was compared to the selection of winners in the Miss America pageant. She was depicted in domestic, romantic, or explicitly sexual contexts. And as the campaign progressed, Mondale and Ferraro became a couple in the traditional sense of husband and wife, although she often "wore the pants."

Including interviews with Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonists Signe Wilkinson and Tom Toles, and featuring Ferraro's own reactions to the caricatures, RUNNING MATE is an eye opening look at the role of gender in U.S. politics

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