George H. W. Bush Debate with Michael Dukakis (Excerpt) – 9/25/88.
Leaving the 1988 Democratic Convention, GOV. Michael Dukakis left that DNC. With a 17 point lead over Vice President Bush in the Presidential Election. Vice President Bush made the calculation that American Voters don’t like him. And they liked GOV. Dukakis more and decided that they weren’t going to like him as much as Mike Dukakis. And the way to win this Presidential Election. Was to make voters dislike Dukakis more then himself. So they went about the Divide and Conquer Approach. Which is basically if you don’t like me well, you’ll dislike my opponent a lot more. And went about destroying the Dukakis Campaign with Negative Advertising. That the Dukakis Campaign founded so silly and not believable. That it wasn’t worth responding to. But what they didn’t understand is that Negative Attacks that aren’t responded to are considered to be true.
The other problem that GOV. Dukakis had during the debates. Was that he failed to connect with the American People on a Human Level. Which is critical to do even back in 1988 and answered all the questions as a Public Official. And not just as a person and wasn’t able to connect with American Voters. At any point to tell them, that he should be the next President of the United States. George Bush didn’t win this Presidential Election in a landslide. Because America loved him and hated Mike Dukakis. He won because they disliked Dukakis more. And that the country was in pretty good shape after eight years of President Reagan and didn’t feel the need to change course. George Bush was the Vice President and they were familiar with him.
Mike Dukakis had everything that Bill Clinton had but four years earlier. Except for the Clinton Baggage but what he didn’t have that GOV. Clinton had. Was a Human Touch, the ability to communicate with people as a man. And not just a politician and had he had that and took the Negative Attacks seriously. Which he had the resources to do, he probably wins this election fairly comfortably. But instead had this notion that politics is just about ideas and who’s more qualified to lead. And that Negative Attacks aren’t necessary because the American People are better then that. And he was wrong.