When Michael Kinsley left “Crossfire” in 1996, I jumped into the pool of liberals competing to take his seat. And, lucky for me, I won the job.

Well, actually, I only won half the job. Because, I was informed, I would share the position of co-host on the left — alternating, every other week, with Geraldine Ferraro.

And I was thrilled. Not only to join CNN and “Crossfire,” which was by far the best debate show on television, then or since. But, especially, for the chance to work with one of my real heroes.

I was there as a reporter at the 1984 Democratic Convention in San Francisco, when Walter Mondale chose Gerry Ferraro as his vice-presidential running mate. And, like almost everyone else in the hall, I stood there with tears running down my face as she made history accepting the nomination: the first Italian-American and the first woman on a national ticket!

Geraldine Ferraro was a real trail-blazer in so many ways. She led the fight on so many important issues. Unlike so many politicians today — whether on CNN or, later, on Fox — she elevated the level of debate and made you proud to be involved in politics.

But, as I learned, too, Gerry was also a warm and wonderful person, a devoted mother, a loving wife, a loyal friend — and so much fun to be around.

We will miss the strong voice of Geraldine Ferraro. But we are a better country today because she walked among us.

Visit Mr. Press's website at billpressshow.com.