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Democrat Michael Dukakis, who didn't get to be president, wishes the same for GOP's Mitt Romney

a younger michael Dukakis, fileFormer Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis was pretty clueless about running for president back in 1988.

In the third consecutive landslide for Republicans, Dukakis managed to win almost 46% of the popular vote and barely 20% of the electoral votes in what should have been a major change election after eight years of Grandfather-in-Chief Ronald Reagan.

Now, nearly a quarter-century later, CNN still trots Dukakis out to opine on what he knows least about, defeating Republicans in presidential elections. Monday night Dukakis was on "In the Arena."

You'll never guess what he thinks of Mitt Romney, another former Massachusetts governor.

Romney happens to be a Republican and what passes for a GOP frontrunner in these early days so full of nobodies, who will, coincidentally, be debating in New Hampshire tonight on CNN.

In Dukakis' familiar "I'd-Like-to-Lift-My-Head-Up-While-Speaking-But-You're-Not-Really-Worth-It" drooping chin pose, the Democrat sounded terribly sad to have to say that "Mitt has just been the proverbial weather vane and the last thing we need in the White House is anoth-,  a weather vane."

Dukakis allowed as how he's "just been so disappointed to see this guy in action. He's smart. He's slick. Unfortunately, he's slippery."

Speaking of slick and slippery, you'll never guess who was leading Dukakis through the DNC's current Romney talking points -- none other than fellow Democrat and former Gov. Eliot Spitzer.Eliot Spitzer former NY Democrat governor who resigned after using prostitutes

Fans of New York political sex scandals did not hear these two Democrats' reaction to fellow New York Democrat Anthony Weiner's public confession earlier Monday to serial electronic sex with half a dozen women not his wife. They must have been short of time.

Those fans may recall, however, that unlike Romney or Dukakis, the married Spitzer chose to cut his governor's term somewhat short, something to do with patronizing high-priced call girls after having so publicly prosecuted them on the way up and into the governor's mansion in Albany.

The funniest part of the evening's political skit came when Client No. 9 of all people asked Dukakis about Romney's "character flaw."

"I get the sense," Spitzer offered to Dukakis, "that you view this -- and I don't want to mince words about it. You view this as a character flaw, such that he has forsaken core values and his principles in return for political expediency. Am I seeing this properly?"

Amazingly, Dukakis was still awake. He said that, in fact, Spitzer was exactly right, adding, "And it's one of the saddest things I've ever seen."

Maybe, at least until that segment of the show.


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-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photo: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times (Dukakis gestures about something); Associated Press (happy Spitzer).

Comments () | Archives (7)

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It's too bad Spitzer self-destructed politically, he has the ability to nail how big capitalism is screwing us better than just about anyone else. I don't know if he'll ever be able to run for office again, but he still can play an important role as a commentator.

I didn't see the show, but from the description it sounds like Dukakis tanked.

Dukakis' opinions about Presidential politics belong with Bob Dole's, John Kerry's, and John McCain's. They're best left unheard.

I never heard this guy talk about Clinton's flaws so he has no credibilty on this issue.

This coming from THE biggest LOSER of a Presidential candidate that ever ran for the office!! Sadly, Dukakis is another one of those "well-intentioned", nanny-state idealogues that is actually a decent person, just woefully naive and an eternal pipe-dreamer.........

Was this poll taken in the Northeast or throughout the United States? Romney is as popular as Dukakis was west of the Trump building?

Mitt Romney has to keep lying inorder to make him look good to the American voters, Romney lies will never look good to me because i know he is just another Rich Republican's that trying to stiff the middle class and the poor. Mitt Romney's idea's is the same as the Koch brothers and we all know what the Republicans and so called Koch's Tea Party ran on Nov. 2 2010 and got elected. What have the Republicans produced after their 2010 election,"nothing", no jobs created ,no earmarks cut, but they got a huge sum of money from the Koch brothers and a Bush Tax Cut. What did the middle class and the poor get "NOTHING". Oh don't forget Paul Ryans' is trying to stiff the middle class and Poor with a Medicare VOUCHER and the Republicans' is trying to sales it as a great Budget cut. Give back your Bush Tax and that will be the greatest Budget Cut. Thanks John Boehner.


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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