Monday, July 26, 2004

Dukakis Redux? Maybe. Caption Contest? Definitely.

This photo has some pundits asking if we're seeing Kerry's Dukakis-in-the-tank-moment. For those too young to remember (or those who are new to the political thing), Dukakis was our party's last nominee from Mass. who managed to mess up frequently and who was undone by great oppo-researchers who found a little factoid about a guy named Willie Horton . . . . The photo back then was of a mousy Dukakis poking his head through the top of a tank in an oversized (maybe just on him) helmet.

Personally, I don't find it overly objectionable - but I can see how it could fall into the hands of those who'd have a field day with it. (Oops, too late - I got this from Drudge).

I can't help but recall that one of the primary lessons I learned at a campaign management training conference a few years back (besides always spending your last few bucks on direct mail) was: under no circumstances should you ever allow your candidate to try on any hat or t-shirt he is given at an event. Which begs the question: how'd Kerry's peeps let him into an entire suit? Drudge doesn't post a more descriptive caption - so I can only assume the costume was part of a Cape Canaveral visit.

Of course, I also heard his first-pitch at a Yankees-Sox game ended up in the dirt - much more easily damaging, symbolic footage. Of course, Bush ate it again on his mountain bike - so maybe it's a zero-sum day in terms of sports/politics metaphors.

But you know - it's a shame to waste a captionless photo . . . So have it, kids. But let's make it a Convention Caption Special - all captions should be timely, politically relevant, and blatantly partisan on either side.

Update: Seems the Reeps would like to make this Dukakis-y.

By the way - for those unfamiliar with it - here's the pic that launched a 1000 jokes:

(Oddly enough, this doesn't look as bad as it did in my memory. I think I was remembering a political cartoon. I also can't help but think that the only reason Bush didn't get mocked for his full-flight-garb insult was that he's a marginally better looking man with the benefit of incumbency)

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