Back On Track

How Dukakis took some tips from Bush's message playbook

He will never be mistaken for John Rambo, but Michael Dukakis, clad in an Army helmet and clutching a machine gun, tried to look like the militarist he isn't at a General Dynamics plant outside Detroit last week. It was difficult to tell whether the queasy expression came from his bumpy ride in an M1 tank or his disdain for hokey photo ops. But he was ready to sacrifice dignity in the service of his theme. The message: Dukakis is tough on defense.

"Defense week" was part of a broader strategy to rescue the Democrat's floundering campaign. Since his rehabilitation on...

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