The Democrats An Indelicate Balance

In picking Bentsen, Dukakis looked right and needlessly blindsided Jackson

The first principle of vice-presidential selection is to find a fellow who can win his own state (the bigger, the better) and not hurt you elsewhere. Safe, practical politics. Michael Dukakis has often said his first principle in selecting a running mate was more exalted: to find the person, apart from himself of course, who would make a first-rate President. A noble, if slightly disingenuous sentiment.

But in choosing Texas Senator Lloyd Bentsen to share space on his campaign button, Dukakis took a deeply calculated risk, an atypical gamble. Bentsen is not a shoo-in to win Texas, George Bush's adopted state....

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!