Former Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis spoke with students, staff and local community members Tuesday about how the 2012 election will affect politics over the next few years.
Dukakis ran for president in 1988 as the Democratic nominee, but lost the election to former President George H. W. Bush. After the election, Dukakis went on to serve as governor of Massachusetts for three years and later became a teacher.
“There is nothing in particular that I am looking for (him to talk about) tonight. He just always has something interesting to say,” said Tom Hogen-Esch, political science professor.
Community member and avid supporter of Dukakis since 1988, Scott Gitlen, said that before Obama, Dukakis was the only other nominee that he wanted to win an election.
“I did not want Bush to win. I did not want Romney to win,” Gitlen said. “There is a difference between actually wanting someone to win and just voting for them.”
Dukakis made sure to hit on a few key points throughout the night. The first was his passion and belief in grass roots campaigning and highly supports door-to-door campaigning.
“You must be more committed by systematically making ongoing contact with those in the community,” Dukakis said.
Attendees asked questions about health care, foreign affairs, education and the presidential election.
In response to a question about whether he agrees with Obama Care, Dukakis said that “it is a national disgrace that every American doesn’t have decent and affordable healthcare.”
Francine Castanon, junior political science major,wanted to know why after losing the election to Bush, Dukakis did not try to run for office again.
“I served three years, and the last two were not pleasant,” Dukakis said. “There comes a point where you can’t just keep running. I enjoy teaching, I want to inspire students to be passionate about politics and it’s a hell of a lot of fun. These kids are an inspiration.”
Dukakis also spoke about American intervention in foreign affairs.
“We will not solve problems without the participation of the national community. American intervention (alone) will not solve the problem,” Dukakis said.
Jason Morin, political science professor, said Dukakis shed light on grassroots campaigns and how it shapes major campaigns.
“He was really relaying the point that electoral power can come from below,” Morin said.
Dukakis wanted students in the audience to get serious about public service.
“It is a great career and you can do great things,” Dukakis said. “It won’t make you that much money but there are more important things in life than money.”