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Thursday, September 23, 2004

Dukakis moment

A commenter at Daily Kos wants to give President Bush a Michael Dukakis moment in the presidential debates:
"If Andrew Card came to you in that Florida classroom and told you that your family had been carjacked on September 11, would you still have sat there for seven minutes and done nothing?"
In case you do not follow the reference:
In 1988, CNN's Bernard Shaw asked Democratic presidential nominee Michael Dukakis whether he would favor the death penalty for someone who had raped and murdered Dukakis' wife, Kitty. "No, I do not," Dukakis replied and went on to describe the reasons for his long-standing opposition to capital punishment.

It wasn't the substance of Dukakis' answer that made it one of those legendary debate moments. It was the candidate's calm demeanor and refusal to say anything about what personal feelings the rape and murder of his wife might engender. His response reinforced the stereotype of Dukakis as a bloodless bureaucrat.
It wasn't good for the candidate.

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