There wouldn't be a female on the ticket again until 2008. The Democrats never opined the idea again after 1984, with the exception of the brief flirtation with a female at the top of ticket during the heated 2008 Democratic Party Primary when it was clear Senator Hillary Clinton, of New York by the way, was not going to be the presidential nominee. It took the Grand Old Party 152 years, but they broke the white-males-only ticket streak, with the selection, by Senator John McCain of Arizona, of Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska.
Once again the ticket with the female on it did not win. Women voters voted for the ticket without the female on it both in 1984 and 2008. If McCain had his way he'd have former-Democratic-but-still-siding-with-said-party-now-Independent Joe Lieberman. But in 2008 that would not happen. Clinton's major defeat during the primaries, which came with "18 million" or 48% of the primary vote a few hundred thousand more than the man that won the nomination. Her near victory was a great way to attract voters (i.e. woman voters) that were hoping for a female on the ticket. So selecting the young (opposite of McCain), attractive (same as before), and executive branch experienced (about as much "experience" as then-Senator Barack Obama). Choosing Palin, McCain went with the way to get votes and not the person that would work best with him to governor if he won. No offense to the other female politicians or non-politicians in the GOP circa 2008. Remember Alaska doesn't bring the Electoral votes. It's already in the GOP column.
The third time can happen in 2012...and with the GOP too. Recently the GOP has had difficulties with women, just like a Star Trek fan at any age. The GOP can save themselves with the women vote by putting a female on the ticket. They of course have to go with the opposite of Palin. The woman does not have to be old, unattractive, that would be an insult to the would be candidate. But the party can find a vp candidate in the governor mansions, Congress, in the judiciary, and the non-political world. They just need to be opposite of Mitt Romney ideologically...whatever that is or the election he's running in. So the general election by the time it's important.
Now while the GOP have the opportunity to put a female on the ticket and a political reason, the Democrats have probably until the end of August/start of September to nominate their candidates. If the GOP put a female on the ticket and the benefit, there's nothing stopping the Democrats from doing the same. Vice President Joe Biden will be 73 in 2016, the same age President Ronald Reagan was when he ran for reelection in 1984...the election Ferraro lost as vp. Biden will be 74 a few weeks after the election in 2016. Not really presidential age. The loyal and foreign-policy-minded Biden could be persuaded to step down from the ticket with a new post at the head of the State Department, Hillary Clinton's current job. The dream ticket of 2008, thought of during the heat of the primary battle, can be a reality in 2012. If it happens, 2012 and the third time a female is on the ticket (2nd time for both parties) could be the charm.