Skip to comments.Dukakis and the Tank. . .The inside story of the worst campaign photo op ever.
Posted on 11/19/2013 12:35:32 PM PST by Brad from Tennessee
Matt Bennett can still hear the reporters laughing, all 90 of them. He can still picture Sam Donaldson doubled over, guffawing, on a riser that looked out over a dusty field in suburban Detroit. Bennett was a 23-year-old political rookie in 1988 when he was sent to a General Dynamics facility in Sterling Heights, Mich., to organize a campaign stop for Democratic presidential nominee Michael Dukakis: a ride in a 68-ton M1A1 Abrams Main Battle Tank. The visit, meant to bolster the candidates credibility as a future commander-in-chief, would go down as one of the worst campaign backfires in history.
Following the event, after the reporters laughter subsided and Dukakiss entourage was preparing to leave, one of the candidates traveling aides approached Bennett. Nice event, Matt he deadpanned. It may have cost us the election. But beside that, it was great.
Dukakis and the tank. The image of the diminutive Massachusetts governor pretending to be something he wasnt and, in the process, making a fool of himself on Sept. 13, 1988, has haunted me, as it has every other advance person who has been entrustedfor a few hours or even a few minuteswith a candidates fate.
Like Bennett, I too worked on the Dukakis campaign, and we went on to serve together in the Clinton White House. I sat in countless meetings in which some smartass warned that a stop on the presidents schedule had the makings of a Dukakis in the tank moment. The caution usually came when some type of costume was involved, and the tank ride is still to this day invoked anytime politicians decline to put hats on their headsas President Obama did earlier this year when he was handed a Navy football helmet but refused to try it on. . .
(Excerpt) Read more at politico.com ...
Hah. Beat me to it. GMTA.
Mine’s bigger. :p
Next we’ll learn that Olympia Dukakis only won the Oscar because of political connections.
And The Duke’s nomination acceptance speech punchline was . . “This election’s not (about this, not about that) but about COMPETENCE”
Two months or so later, the stupid grin and wave to the cameras from the Abrams
I think the one photo that show Kerry of who he is NOT is the one he went supposedly duck hunting with “pals”.
But the photo showing somebody else carried the dead ducks or something, iir.
“I lost the election because I made a decision not to respond to the Bush attack campaign, and in retrospect it was a pretty dumb decision.” - Mike Dukakis
You lost because your a weak New England liberal who blew smoke about a “Massachusetts Miracle”.
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