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