Johns Hopkins Gazette: October 13, 1997

Dukakis Recounts
'88 Effort

Former presidential candidate Michael Dukakis spoke at Mudd Hall last week as part of the 1997 Milton S. Eisenhower Symposium on religion in America. The Democrat, who lost the 1988 campaign to then Vice President George Bush, talked about religion and morality in politics, a somewhat sore subject for the former Massachusetts governor who participated in perhaps the most vicious battle of words and images in recent presidential campaign history.

When asked to recall his most pleasant memory of the 1988 campaign, he said, "I was overwhelmed by the country and the people. This country is just loaded with good and caring people."

But the media scrutiny and the intensity of the negative campaigning--and his reluctance to engage in it--took its toll. When asked about the lessons he had learned from the '88 campaign, he replied, "I learned that if the other guy runs an attack campaign, you can't blow it off. You have to have a plan, to be ready to respond and to deal with attacks immediately. That's what Clinton did in 1992. They even had a group called-- ironically--the 'Department of Defense,' which dealt with attacks by the Bush campaign."

Dukakis also urged students, especially women and members of minority groups, to get involved in politics. He pointed out that 30 years ago, no one would have predicted that by the mid-1980s, Massachusetts would have a Greek-American senator, congressman and governor.
--Aaron Levin

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