Michael Dukakis

Last updated

Michael Dukakis
Governor Dukakis speaks at the 1976 Democratic National Convention (cropped).jpg
65th and 67th Governor of Massachusetts
In office
January 6, 1983 January 3, 1991
Lieutenant John Kerry
Evelyn Murphy
Preceded by Edward J. King
Succeeded by Bill Weld
In office
January 2, 1975 January 4, 1979
Lieutenant Thomas P. O'Neill III
Preceded by Francis W. Sargent
Succeeded byEdward King
Member of the MassachusettsHouseofRepresentatives
from the 13th Norfolk district
In office
January 3, 1965 January 3, 1971
Preceded byConstituency established
Succeeded byJon Rotenberg
Member of the MassachusettsHouseofRepresentatives
from the 10th Norfolk district
In office
January 3, 1963 January 3, 1965
Preceded by Sumner Z. Kaplan
Succeeded byJames Wheeler
Personal details
Born
Michael Stanley Dukakis

(1933-11-03) November 3, 1933 (age 85)
Brookline, Massachusetts, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s)
Kitty Dickson (m. 1963)
Children4, including John
Education Swarthmore College (BA)
Harvard Law School (JD)
Signature M Dukakis Signature.svg
Military service
AllegianceFlag of the United States.svg  United States
Branch/serviceFlag of the United States Army (official proportions).svg  United States Army
Years of service1955–1957
Rank Army-USA-OR-04b.svg Specialist
Unit8020th Administrative Unit [1]

Michael Stanley Dukakis ( /dʊˈkɑːkɪs/ ; born November 3, 1933) is a retired American politician who served as the 65th Governor of Massachusetts, from 1975 to 1979 and again from 1983 to 1991. He is the longest-serving governor in Massachusetts history and only the second Greek-American governor in U.S. history, after Spiro Agnew. He was nominated by the Democratic Party for president in the 1988 election, losing to the Republican candidate, Vice President George H. W. Bush.

Massachusetts State of the United States of America

Massachusetts, officially the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is the most populous state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. It borders on the Atlantic Ocean to the east, the states of Connecticut and Rhode Island to the south, New Hampshire and Vermont to the north, and New York to the west. The state is named after the Massachusett tribe, which once inhabited the east side of the area, and is one of the original thirteen states. The capital of Massachusetts is Boston, which is also the most populous city in New England. Over 80% of Massachusetts's population lives in the Greater Boston metropolitan area, a region influential upon American history, academia, and industry. Originally dependent on agriculture, fishing and trade, Massachusetts was transformed into a manufacturing center during the Industrial Revolution. During the 20th century, Massachusetts's economy shifted from manufacturing to services. Modern Massachusetts is a global leader in biotechnology, engineering, higher education, finance, and maritime trade.

Spiro Agnew 39th Vice President of the United States

Spiro Theodore Agnew was the 39th vice president of the United States from 1969 until his resignation in 1973. He is the second and most recent vice president to resign the position, the other being John C. Calhoun in 1832. Unlike Calhoun, Agnew resigned as a result of a scandal.

Democratic Party (United States) Major political party in the United States

The Democratic Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with its rival, the Republican Party. Tracing its heritage back to Thomas Jefferson and James Madison's Democratic-Republican Party, the modern-day Democratic Party was founded around 1828 by supporters of Andrew Jackson, making it the world's oldest active political party.

Contents

Born in Brookline, Massachusetts to Greek and Aromanian Greek immigrants, Dukakis attended Swarthmore College before enlisting in the United States Army. After graduating from Harvard Law School, he won election to the Massachusetts House of Representatives, serving from 1963 to 1971. He won the 1974 Massachusetts gubernatorial election but lost his 1978 bid for re-nomination to Edward J. King. He defeated King in the 1982 gubernatorial primary and served as governor from 1983 to 1991, presiding over a period of economic growth known as the "Massachusetts Miracle".

Brookline, Massachusetts Town in Massachusetts, United States

Brookline is a town in Norfolk County, Massachusetts, in the United States, and is a part of Greater Boston. Brookline borders six of Boston's neighborhoods: Brighton, Allston, Fenway–Kenmore, Mission Hill, Jamaica Plain, and West Roxbury. The city of Newton lies to the west of Brookline.

Aromanians Romance ethnic group in native to the Balkans

The Aromanians are a Romance ethnic group native to the Balkans, traditionally living in northern and central Greece, central and southern Albania, North Macedonia, south-western Bulgaria and Kosovo. The term Vlachs is used in Greece to refer to Aromanians, but this term is internationally used to encompass all Romance-speaking peoples of the Balkans and Tatra Mountains regions.

Swarthmore College liberal arts college in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania

Swarthmore College is a private liberal arts college in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania. Founded in 1864, with its first classes being held in 1869, Swarthmore was one of the earliest coeducational colleges in the United States. It was established to be a college "...under the care of Friends, at which an education may be obtained equal to that of the best institutions of learning in our country." By 1906, Swarthmore had dropped its religious affiliation and became officially non-sectarian.

Building on his popularity as governor, Dukakis sought the Democratic presidential nomination for the 1988 presidential election. He prevailed in the Democratic primaries and was formally nominated at the 1988 Democratic National Convention. Dukakis chose Senator Lloyd Bentsen of Texas as his running mate, while the Republicans nominated a ticket consisting of George H. W. Bush and Senator Dan Quayle. Dukakis lost the election, carrying only ten states and Washington, D.C., but he improved on the Democratic performance in the previous two elections. After the election, Dukakis announced that he would not seek another term as governor, and he left office in 1991.

The 1988 National Convention of the U.S. Democratic Party was held at The Omni in Atlanta, Georgia, from July 18–July 21, 1988, to select candidates for the 1988 presidential election. At the convention Governor Michael Dukakis of Massachusetts was nominated for President and Senator Lloyd Bentsen of Texas for Vice President. The chair of the convention was Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Jim Wright.

Lloyd Bentsen American politician

Lloyd Millard Bentsen Jr. was an American politician who was a four-term United States Senator (1971–1993) from Texas and the Democratic Party nominee for vice president in 1988 on the Michael Dukakis ticket. He also served as the 69th United States Secretary of the Treasury under President Bill Clinton.

Dan Quayle 44th vice president of the United States

James Danforth Quayle is an American politician and lawyer who served as the 44th vice president of the United States from 1989 to 1993. Quayle was also a U.S. representative from 1977 to 1981 and was a U.S. senator from 1981 to 1989 for the state of Indiana.

Since leaving office, Dukakis has served on the board of directors for Amtrak and has taught political science at Northeastern University and UCLA. He was mentioned as a potential appointee to the Senate in 2009 to fill the vacancy caused by Ted Kennedy's death, but Governor Deval Patrick chose Paul G. Kirk. In 2012, Dukakis backed the successful Senate campaign of Elizabeth Warren.

Amtrak Intercity rail operator in the United States

The National Railroad Passenger Corporation, doing business as Amtrak, is a passenger railroad service that provides medium- and long-distance intercity service in the contiguous United States and to nine Canadian cities.

Northeastern University Private university in Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Northeastern University is a private research university in Boston, Massachusetts, established in 1898. It is categorized as an R1 institution by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. The university offers undergraduate and graduate programs on its main campus in the Fenway-Kenmore, Roxbury, South End, and Back Bay neighborhoods of Boston. The university has satellite campuses in Charlotte, North Carolina; Seattle, Washington; San Jose, California; and Toronto, Canada, that exclusively offer graduate degrees. Northeastern recently purchased the New College of the Humanities in London and plans to open an additional campus in Vancouver, Canada. The university's enrollment is approximately 18,000 undergraduate students and 8,000 graduate students.

University of California, Los Angeles Public research university in Los Angeles, California

The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) is a public research university in Los Angeles. It became the Southern Branch of the University of California in 1919, making it the second-oldest of the 10-campus University of California system. It offers 337 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in a wide range of disciplines. UCLA enrolls about 31,000 undergraduate and 13,000 graduate students and had 119,000 applicants for Fall 2016, including transfer applicants, making the school the most applied-to of any American university.

Early life and education

Dukakis was born in Brookline, Massachusetts. His father Panos (1896–1979) was a Greek immigrant from Adramyttion (Edremit), [2] in Asia Minor, which was then part of the Ottoman Empire. Panos Dukakis settled in Lowell, Massachusetts, in 1912, and graduated from Harvard Medical School twelve years later, subsequently working as an obstetrician. Dukakis' mother Euterpe (née Boukis; 1903–2003) was an Aromanian Greek immigrant from Larissa, in Thessaly; [3] she and her family emigrated to Haverhill, Massachusetts, in 1913. [4]

Anatolia Asian part of Turkey

Anatolia, also known as Asia Minor, Asian Turkey, the Anatolian peninsula or the Anatolian plateau, is the westernmost protrusion of Asia, which makes up the majority of modern-day Turkey. The region is bounded by the Black Sea to the north, the Mediterranean Sea to the south, the Armenian Highlands to the east and the Aegean Sea to the west. The Sea of Marmara forms a connection between the Black and Aegean seas through the Bosphorus and Dardanelles straits and separates Anatolia from Thrace on the European mainland.

Ottoman Empire Former empire in Asia, Europe and Africa

The Ottoman Empire, historically known in Western Europe as the Turkish Empire or simply Turkey, was a state that controlled much of Southeast Europe, Western Asia and North Africa between the 14th and early 20th centuries. It was founded at the end of the 13th century in northwestern Anatolia in the town of Söğüt by the Oghuz Turkish tribal leader Osman I. After 1354, the Ottomans crossed into Europe, and with the conquest of the Balkans, the Ottoman beylik was transformed into a transcontinental empire. The Ottomans ended the Byzantine Empire with the 1453 conquest of Constantinople by Mehmed the Conqueror.

Lowell, Massachusetts City in Massachusetts, United States

Lowell is a city in the U.S. Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Located in Middlesex County, Lowell was a county seat until Massachusetts disbanded county government in 1999. With an estimated population of 109,945 in 2014, it is the fourth-largest city in Massachusetts, and the second-largest in the Boston metropolitan statistical area. The city is also part of a smaller Massachusetts statistical area called Greater Lowell, as well as New England's Merrimack Valley region.

Dukakis off duty at a gun emplacement overlooking UN Command Military Armistice Commission base camp at Munsan-ni Korea 1956. Michael Dukakis Korea 1956.jpg
Dukakis off duty at a gun emplacement overlooking UN Command Military Armistice Commission base camp at Munsan-ni Korea 1956.

Dukakis attended Brookline High School in his hometown, [5] where he was an honor student and a member of the basketball, baseball, tennis, and cross-country teams. [6] As a 17-year-old senior in high school, he ran the Boston Marathon. [7] He graduated from Swarthmore College in 1955 with a B.A. in political science. Although Dukakis had been accepted into Harvard Law School, he chose to enlist in the United States Army. After basic training at Fort Dix and advanced individual training at Camp Gordon, he was assigned as radio operator to the 8020th Administrative Unit in Munsan, South Korea. The unit was a support group to the United Nations delegation of the Military Armistice Commission [1] [8] [9] Dukakis served from 1955 to 1957. He then received his J.D. degree from Harvard Law School in 1960. Dukakis is also an Eagle Scout and recipient of the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award from the Boy Scouts of America. [10] Dukakis began his political career as an elected Town Meeting Member in the town of Brookline. [11]

Brookline High School

Brookline High School is a four-year public high school in the town of Brookline, Massachusetts.

Boston Marathon marathon running race held in Boston, Untied States

The Boston Marathon is an annual marathon race hosted by several cities in greater Boston in eastern Massachusetts, United States. It is always held on Patriots' Day, the third Monday of April. Begun in 1897, the event was inspired by the success of the first marathon competition in the 1896 Summer Olympics. The Boston Marathon is the world's oldest annual marathon and ranks as one of the world's best-known road racing events. It is one of six World Marathon Majors. Its course runs from Hopkinton in southern Middlesex County to Copley Square in Boston.

A Bachelor of Arts is a bachelor's degree awarded for an undergraduate course or program in either the liberal arts, sciences, or both. Bachelor of Arts programs generally take three to four years depending on the country, institution, and specific specializations, majors, or minors. The word baccalaureus should not be confused with baccalaureatus, which refers to the one- to two-year postgraduate Bachelor of Arts with Honors degree in some countries.

Massachusetts governor

First governorship (1975–1979)

Dukakis opening a new MBTA concourse in 1978. Michael Dukakis cuts the ribbon at the Washington Station Concourse, May 1978.jpg
Dukakis opening a new MBTA concourse in 1978.

After serving four terms in the Massachusetts House of Representatives between 1962 and 1970 (and winning the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor in 1970 [12] ), Dukakis was elected governor in 1974, defeating the incumbent Republican Francis Sargent during a period of fiscal crisis. Dukakis won in part by promising to be a "reformer" and pledging a "lead pipe guarantee" of no new taxes to balance the state budget. He would later reverse his position after taking office. He also pledged to dismantle the powerful Metropolitan District Commission (MDC), a bureaucratic enclave that served as home to hundreds of political patronage employees. The MDC managed state parks, reservoirs, and waterways, as well as the highways and roads abutting those waterways. In addition to its own police force, the MDC had its own maritime patrol force, and an enormous budget from the state, for which it provided minimal accounting. Dukakis' efforts to dismantle the MDC failed in the legislature, where the MDC had many powerful supporters. As a result, the MDC would withhold its critical backing of Dukakis in the 1978 gubernatorial primary.

Governor Dukakis hosted President Gerald Ford[citation needed] and Britain's Queen Elizabeth II [13] during their visits to Boston in 1976 to commemorate the bicentennial of the United States. He gained some notice as the only politician in the state government who went to work during the Blizzard of 1978, during which he went to local TV studios in a sweater to announce emergency bulletins. [14] Dukakis is also remembered for his 1977 exoneration of Sacco and Vanzetti, two Italian anarchists whose trial sparked protests around the world. During his first term in office, Dukakis commuted the sentences of 21 first-degree murderers and 23 second-degree murderers.

His first term performance proved to be insufficient to offset a backlash against the state's high sales and property tax rates, which turned out to be the predominant issue in the 1978 gubernatorial campaign. Dukakis, despite being the incumbent Democratic governor, was refused renomination by his own party. The state's Democratic Party chose to support Director of the Massachusetts Port Authority Edward J. King in the primary, partly because King rode the wave against high property taxes, but more significantly because state Democratic Party leaders lost confidence in Dukakis' ability to govern effectively. King also enjoyed the support of the power brokers at the MDC, who were unhappy with Dukakis' attempts to dismantle their powerful bureaucracy. King also had support from state police and public employee unions. Dukakis suffered a scathing defeat in the primary, a disappointment that his wife Kitty called "a public death". [15]

Cabinet

The First Dukakis Cabinet
OFFICENAMETERM
Governor Michael Dukakis1975–1979
Lt. Governor Thomas P. O'Neill III 1975–1979
Secretary of Transportation Frederick P. Salvucci 1975–1979
Secretary of Communities and Development William G. Flynn 1975–1979
Secretary of Environmental Affairs Evelyn Murphy 1975–1979
Secretary of Consumer Affairs Lola Dickerman
Christine Sullivan
1975–1976
1976–1979
Secretary of Human Services Lucy W. Benson
Jerald Stevens
1975–1975
1975–1979
Secretary of Elder Affairs James H. Callahan 1977–1979
Secretary of Administration & Finance John R. Buckley 1975–1979
Secretary of Public Safety Charles V. Barry 1975–1979
Secretary of Economic Affairs Howard N. Smith 1977–1979
Secretary of Energy Henry Lee 1975–1979

Second governorship (1983–1991)

Governor Dukakis with Boston Mayor Raymond Flynn and Democratic vice-presidential nominee Geraldine Ferraro campaigning in the 1984 presidential election. Flynn, Ferraro, and Dukakis.jpg
Governor Dukakis with Boston Mayor Raymond Flynn and Democratic vice-presidential nominee Geraldine Ferraro campaigning in the 1984 presidential election.

Four years later, having made peace with the state Democratic Party, MDC, the state police and public employee unions, Dukakis defeated King in a re-match in the 1982 Democratic primary. He went on to defeat his Republican opponent, John Winthrop Sears, in the November election. Future United States Senator, 2004 Democratic Presidential nominee, and US Secretary of State John Kerry was elected lieutenant governor on the same ballot with Dukakis, and served in the Dukakis administration from 1983 to 1985.

Dukakis served as governor during which time he presided over a high-tech boom and a period of prosperity in Massachusetts while simultaneously earning a reputation as a 'technocrat'. [16] The National Governors Association voted Dukakis the most effective governor in 1986. Residents of the city of Boston and its surrounding areas remember him for the improvements he made to Boston's mass transit system, especially major renovations to the city's trains and buses. He was known for riding the subway to work every day as governor. [17] [18]

In 1988, Dukakis and Rosabeth Moss Kanter, his economic adviser in the 1988 presidential elections, wrote a book entitled Creating the Future: the Massachusetts Comeback and Its Promise for America, an examination of the Massachusetts Miracle. [19] [20]

Cabinet

The Second Dukakis Cabinet
OFFICENAMETERM
Governor Michael Dukakis1983–1991
Lt. Governor John Kerry
Evelyn Murphy
1983–1985
1987–1991
Secretary of Transportation Frederick P. Salvucci 1983–1991
Secretary of Communities and Development Amy S. Anthony 1983–1991
Secretary of Environmental Affairs James Hoyte
John DeVillars
1983–1988
1988–1991
Secretary of Consumer Affairs Paula W. Gold
Mary Ann Walsh
1983–1989
1989–1991
Secretary of Human Services Manuel C. Carballo
Philip W. Johnston
1983–1984
1984–1991
Secretary of Elder Affairs
Richard H. Rowland
Paul J. Lanzikos
1983–1987
1987–1991
Secretary of Labor Paul Eustace 1983–1991
Secretary of Administration & Finance Frank Keefe
L. Edward Lashman
1983–1988
1988–1991
Secretary of Public Safety Charles V. Barry 1983–1991
Secretary of Economic Affairs Evelyn Murphy
Joseph Alviani
Grady Hedgespeth
Alden S. Raine
1983–1986
1986–1989
1989–1989
1989–1991
Secretary of Energy Sharon Pollard
1983–1989

1988 presidential campaign

Michael Dukakis at a campaign rally in UCLA's Pauley Pavilion, the night before the US presidential election of 1988 (Mon, 7 Nov 1988). Dukakis1988rally.jpg
Michael Dukakis at a campaign rally in UCLA's Pauley Pavilion, the night before the US presidential election of 1988 (Mon, 7 Nov 1988).

Using the phenomenon termed the "Massachusetts Miracle" to promote his campaign, Dukakis sought the Democratic Party nomination for President of the United States in the 1988 United States presidential election, prevailing over a primary field that included Jesse Jackson, Dick Gephardt, Paul Simon, Gary Hart, Joe Biden and Al Gore, among others. Touching on his immigrant roots, Dukakis used Neil Diamond's ode to immigrants, "America", as the theme song for his campaign. Composer John Williams wrote "Fanfare for Michael Dukakis" in 1988 at the request of Dukakis's father-in-law, Harry Ellis Dickson. The piece was premiered under the baton of Dickson (then the Associate Conductor of the Boston Pops) at that year's Democratic National Convention. Dukakis won the Democratic nomination, with 2,877 out of 4,105 delegates. He chose Senator Lloyd Bentsen of Texas to be his vice presidential running mate. Dukakis was pro-choice on the issue of abortion. [21]

Dukakis had trouble with the personality that he projected to the voting public. His reserved and stoic nature was easily interpreted to be a lack of passion; Dukakis was often referred to as "Zorba the Clerk". [22] Nevertheless, Dukakis is considered to have done well in the first presidential debate with George Bush,[ citation needed ] but in the second debate, his performance was poor and played to his reputation as being cold. [23] During the campaign, Dukakis's mental health became an issue when he refused to release his full medical history and there were, according to The New York Times, "persistent suggestions" that he had undergone psychiatric treatment in the past. [24] The issue gained further traction after a White House press conference, during which President Ronald Reagan flippantly referred to Dukakis as an "invalid". [25] In the 2008 film Boogie Man: The Lee Atwater Story , journalist Robert Novak revealed that Republican strategist Lee Atwater had personally tried to get him to spread these mental health rumors. [26] Editors at The Washington Times contributed to these rumors when they ran a story headlined "Dukakis Kin Hints at Sessions," suggesting that a member of the Dukakis family had said "it is possible" that Dukakis saw a psychiatrist. A week later the reporter, Gene Grabowski, revealed that Times editors had taken the full quote out of context. The full quote was "It's possible, but I doubt it." [27]

Dukakis' general election campaign was subject to several criticisms and gaffes on issues such as capital punishment, the pledge of allegiance in schools, and a photograph of Dukakis in a tank which was intended to portray him as a sound choice for Commander-in-chief but which was widely perceived to have backfired. Like the allegations of psychiatric problems, these were vulnerabilities which Atwater identified and exploited. In 1991, shortly before his death from a brain tumor, Atwater apologized to Dukakis for the "naked cruelty" of the 1988 campaign. [28] [29]

Crime

Dukakis debating Vice President Bush in Los Angeles in October 1988. Vice President Bush debates with Michael Dukakis, Los Angeles, CA 13 Oct 88.jpg
Dukakis debating Vice President Bush in Los Angeles in October 1988.

During the campaign, Vice President George H. W. Bush, the Republican nominee, criticized Dukakis for his traditionally liberal positions on many issues, calling him a "card-carrying member of the ACLU". Dukakis's support for a prison furlough program was a major election subject. During his first term as governor, he had vetoed a bill that would have stopped furloughs for first-degree murderers. [30] During his second term, that program resulted in the release of convicted murderer Willie Horton, who committed a rape and assault in Maryland after being furloughed. [31] George H. W. Bush mentioned Horton by name in a speech in June 1988, and a conservative political action committee (PAC) affiliated with the Bush campaign, the National Security Political Action Committee, aired an ad entitled "Weekend Passes", which used a mug shot image of Horton. The Bush campaign refused to repudiate the ad. It was followed by a separate Bush campaign ad, "Revolving Door", criticizing Dukakis over the furlough program without mentioning Horton. The legislature canceled the program during Dukakis's last term.

The issue of capital punishment came up in the October 13, 1988, debate between the two presidential nominees. Because she knew the Willie Horton issue would be brought up, Dukakis's campaign manager, Susan Estrich, had prepared with Michael Dukakis an answer highlighting the candidate's empathy for victims of crime, noting the beating of his father in a robbery and the death of his brother in a hit-and-run. [32] However, when Bernard Shaw, the moderator of the debate, asked Dukakis, "Governor, if Kitty Dukakis [his wife] were raped and murdered, would you favor an irrevocable death penalty for the killer?" Dukakis replied, "No, I don't, and I think you know that I've opposed the death penalty during all of my life", and explained his stance. [32]

Tank photograph

The photograph of Dukakis in an M1 Abrams tank from the US presidential election of 1988. Michael Dukakis in tank.jpg
The photograph of Dukakis in an M1 Abrams tank from the US presidential election of 1988.

Dukakis was criticized during the campaign for a perceived softness on defense issues, particularly the controversial "Star Wars" program, which he promised to weaken. In response to this, Dukakis orchestrated what would become the key image of his campaign, although it turned out quite differently from what he intended. On September 13, 1988 Dukakis visited the General Dynamics Land Systems plant in Sterling Heights, Michigan, to take part in a photo op in an M1 Abrams tank. The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Margaret Thatcher, had been photographed in a similar situation in 1986, riding in a Challenger tank while wearing a scarf. [33] Compared with Dukakis' results, Thatcher's picture was very successful and helped her reelection prospects. [34] Footage of Dukakis was used in television ads by the Bush campaign, as evidence that Dukakis would not make a good commander-in-chief, and "Dukakis in the tank" remains shorthand for backfired public relations outings. [35]

Outcome

The Dukakis/Bentsen ticket lost the election by a decisive margin in the Electoral College to George H.W. Bush and Dan Quayle, carrying only 10 states and the District of Columbia. Dukakis himself blamed his defeat on the time he spent doing gubernatorial work in Massachusetts during the few weeks following the Democratic Convention.[ citation needed ] Many believed he should have been campaigning across the country. During this time, his 17-point lead in opinion polls completely disappeared, as his lack of visibility allowed Bush to define the issues of the campaign. Dukakis has since stated that the main reason he lost was his decision "not to respond to the Bush attack campaign, and in retrospect it was a pretty dumb decision". [36]

Despite Dukakis's loss, his performance was a marked improvement over the previous two Democratic efforts. Dukakis made some strong showings in states that had voted for Republicans Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford. He managed to pull off a close win in New York which at the time was the second largest state in terms of electoral votes, he also scored victories in states like Rhode Island, Hawaii, and Dukakis's home state of Massachusetts; Walter Mondale had lost all four, and since then, all three states have remained in the Democratic column for each subsequent presidential election. He swept Iowa, winning by 10 points in a state that had voted Republican in the last five presidential elections. He won 43% of the vote in Kansas, a surprising showing in the home state of 1936 Republican presidential nominee Alf Landon, Republican President Dwight Eisenhower, and future Republican nominee Bob Dole. In another surprising showing, he received 47% of the vote in South Dakota, while in Montana, Dukakis won 46% of the vote in a state that had voted over 60% Republican four years earlier.

The 1988 election with electoral votes by state. ElectoralCollege1988.svg
The 1988 election with electoral votes by state.

Although Dukakis cut into the Republican hold in the Midwest, he failed to dent the emerging GOP stronghold in the South that had been forming since the end of World War II with a temporary reprieve with Jimmy Carter (along with future President and Southern Democrat Bill Clinton, albeit to a much lesser extent). He lost most of the South by a wide margin, with Bush's totals reaching around 60% in most states. He was able to hold Bush to 55% in Texas, though this was most likely due to Texan Lloyd Bentsen's presence on the ticket. He also carried most of the southern-central parishes of Louisiana, despite losing the state. He held onto the border state of West Virginia, and he captured 48% of the vote in Missouri. He also carried 41% in Oklahoma, a bigger share than any Democrat since Jimmy Carter.[ citation needed ]

Dukakis won 41,809,476 votes in the popular vote. He also received 40% or more in Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, and Vermont. Overall, the 1988 election showed a marked improvement in the popular vote for the Democrats. While he lost the popular vote, Dukakis's margin of loss (7.8%) was narrower than Jimmy Carter's in 1980 (9.7%) or Walter Mondale's in 1984 (18.2%).

In 2008, he stated during an interview with Katie Couric that he "owe[d] the American people an apology" because "if I had beaten the old man [i.e. George H. W. Bush], we never would have heard of the kid [i.e. George W. Bush], and we wouldn't be in this mess." [37]

After the presidential run

Dukakis campaigning with US Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren in 2012 178915 10150881879513687 1921452604 n (7482352942) (cropped2).jpg
Dukakis campaigning with US Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren in 2012

His final two years as governor were marked by increased criticism of his policies and significant tax increases to cover the economic effects of the U.S. economy's "soft landing" at the end of the 1980s and the recession of 1990. He did not seek reelection to a fourth term.

After the end of his term, he served on the board of directors for Amtrak, and became a professor of political science at Northeastern University, a visiting professor of political science at Loyola Marymount University, and visiting professor in the Department of Public Policy at the Luskin School of Public Affairs at UCLA. [38] Along with a number of other notable Greek-Americans, he is a founding member of The Next Generation Initiative: a leadership program aimed at getting students involved in public affairs. In November 2008, Northeastern named its Center for Urban and Regional Policy after Michael Dukakis and his wife Kitty. [39]

In August 2009, the 75-year-old Dukakis was mentioned as one of two leading candidates as a possible interim successor to Ted Kennedy in the U.S. Senate, after Kennedy's death. [40] [41] Instead, Gov. Patrick named Paul G. Kirk, the other leading candidate and favorite of the Kennedy family who promised not to run in the special election, to fill the seat. [42]

In 2012 he worked to support the successful candidacy of fellow Democrat Elizabeth Warren to the U.S. Senate. He has also been an advocate for effective public transportation and high-speed rail as a solution to automobile congestion and the lack of space at airports; and for extended learning time initiative in public schools. [43] [44]

Dukakis stated on January 31, 2014, that he was not in favor of an effort to rename South Station as the "Gov. Michael S. Dukakis Transportation Center". He went on to state that he would not object to the naming of the as-yet unbuilt North-South Rail Link after him. [45]

Electoral history

Massachusetts gubernatorial election, 1974 [46]
PartyCandidateVotes%
Democratic Michael Dukakis992,28453.50
Republican Francis W. Sargent 784,35342.29
Massachusetts Democratic gubernatorial primary, 1978 [47]
PartyCandidateVotes%
Democratic Edward J. King 442,17451.07
Democratic Michael Dukakis365,41742.21
Democratic Barbara Ackermann 58,2206.72
Massachusetts Democratic gubernatorial primary, 1982 [48]
PartyCandidateVotes%
Democratic Michael Dukakis631,91153.50
Democratic Edward J. King549,33546.51
Massachusetts gubernatorial election, 1982 [49]
PartyCandidateVotes%
Democratic Michael Dukakis1,219,10959.48
Republican John Winthrop Sears 749,67936.57
Massachusetts gubernatorial election, 1986 [50]
PartyCandidateVotes%
Democratic Michael Dukakis1,157,78668.75
Republican George Kariotis 525,36431.20
1988 Democratic presidential primaries [51]
PartyCandidateVotes%
Democratic Michael Dukakis9,898,75042.51
Democratic Jesse Jackson 6,788,99129.15
Democratic Al Gore 3,185,80613.68
Democratic Dick Gephardt 1,399,0416.01
Democratic Paul M. Simon 1,082,9604.65
Democratic Gary Hart 415,7161.79
1988 Democratic National Convention [52]
PartyCandidateVotes%
Democratic Michael Dukakis2,87770.09
Democratic Jesse Jackson1,21929.70
Democratic Richard H. Stallings 30.07
Democratic Joe Biden 20.05
Democratic Dick Gephardt20.05
Democratic Lloyd Bentsen 10.02
Democratic Gary Hart10.02
US presidential election, 1988 (Popular Vote)
PartyCandidateVotes%
Republican George H. W. Bush 48,886,59753.4
Democratic Michael Dukakis41,809,47645.6
US presidential election, 1988 (Electoral College)
PartyCandidateVotes%
Republican George H. W. Bush 42679
Democratic Michael Dukakis11121

Family

Dukakis with his wife Kitty in 2015 Dukakis (17439145706).jpg
Dukakis with his wife Kitty in 2015

Dukakis is married to Katharine D. (Kitty) Dukakis. They have three children: John, Andrea, and Kara. During the second presidential debate on October 13, 1988, in Los Angeles, Dukakis revealed that he and his wife had had another child, who died about 20 minutes after birth. Dukakis is the cousin of actress Olympia Dukakis. [53]

The Dukakises continue to reside in the home that they bought in the early 1970s in Brookline, Massachusetts, where they both grew up, but live in Los Angeles during the winter while he teaches at UCLA. [54]

See also

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References

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Further reading

Party political offices
Preceded by
Kevin White
Democratic nominee for Governor of Massachusetts
1974
Succeeded by
Edward J. King
Preceded by
Edward King
Democratic nominee for Governor of Massachusetts
1982, 1986
Succeeded by
John Silber
Preceded by
Richard Riley
Chair of the Democratic Governors Association
1986–1987
Succeeded by
Bill Clinton
Preceded by
Walter Mondale
Democratic nominee for President of the United States
1988
Political offices
Preceded by
Francis W. Sargent
Governor of Massachusetts
1975–1979
Succeeded by
Edward King
Preceded by
Edward King
Governor of Massachusetts
1983–1991
Succeeded by
Bill Weld