After the snow ended in the Blizzard of '78, Mike Dukakis went on TV to discuss recovery efforts - wearing the best of his sweaters:
Is there a generational gap in understanding Michael Dukakis? I only know two things about him: that he’s an insufferable scold, and that terrible presidential debate question. Is there anything else worth knowing?
Somehow my mind has always put Dukakis in pretty much the same category as Mr Rogers (and not just because of the sweaters.) Which is also a generational thing, but maybe a younger generation could consider Mr Rogers’ TV show somewhat analogous to the TV show Arthur.
I know he rides the T and he picks up trash while walking around in public. And the soup making, which is very relatable to me because I picked up the same thing from my grandfather.
I met him on the T on the way to Logan with family. He engaged us all in general conversation and light hearted humor. Pleasant and congenial. The good old days.
He was governor in the late 70s and most of the 80s. This is when the state transformed from a dying industrial state (centered largely out of Worcester and the ports) and into the tech and finance era. Companies from MIT jumped on the power of the first microprocessor and ran with it. This gave Boston a huge advantage over other cities in the 80s and weathered the recession in the 90s better. The era became known as the Massachusetts Miracle and Dukakis presided over it.
A bunch of the money from taxation at the time was then pushed into the MBTA to improve Boston transit. So...if you think it's bad today, it could be worse. Dukakis had a hand in keeping it from being so.
Here's a decent overall summary of his time in office: https://www.baltimoresun.com/news/bs-xpm-1990-12-26-1990360099-story.html
I worked on 128 and I kinda remember signs calling 128 America's Technology Highway.
He was too decent and too smart to be President. Carter demonstrated that decent human beings, who genuinely cared about the people of the nation, could be elected as President. Carter loosing the re-election and Dukakis' loss proved that where President is concerned nearly half the nation prefers arrogance, idiocy and bigotry in the White House.
Kennedy - nominal liberal
Johnson - nominal liberal
Nixon - bigot, would be tyrant
Ford - accident, a no body Nixon could ignore
Carter - smart, compassionate, liberal and irony of ironies, "born again" but without a desire to shove his religiosity down the throats of others, or to proclaim to the world how righteous he is
Reagan - liar, bigot, paternalistic, actor, senile in the last years; didn't give a flying goose about anyone but his "caste" of people
Bush I - Reagan Jr.
Clinton - nominal liberal, smart, too charismatic, too full of himself
Bush the 2nd: figurehead for Dick Cheney's rule; servant of his caste and the arms industry
Obama - smart, charismatic; could have done a lot more if wannabe dictator Moscow Mitch had not played dictator in the Senate
Trump - OMG. Just how low can we go?
nearly half the nation prefers arrogance, idiocy and bigotry in the White House.
it's also worth mentioning that to this day it's a result of Republicans and hard-right, radical conservatives manipulating public discourse and literally making it harder for people to vote.
One thing is that "people prefer arrogant bigots", another thing is the long, well-planned, well-funded program that has made them believe that's what they want.
The 2003 President's Day weekend storm snowfall exceeded '78 by about 1/2 inch.
I remember my husband - and the Boston media - making a big deal about Dukakis being casually dressed when he was a visiting prof in Hawaii.
He wasn't casually dressed for Hawaii, where lawmakers sensibly wear shorts.
I will forever be amused by the big deal made (to this day!) about the sweaters being some sort of shockingly casual deal. Where I grew up it was pretty common to see the governor in flannel (maybe that's one reason why Tom McCall never went back to Hingham?) and a mayor who became a cabinet member in DC and then a governor was derided as a clown for trying to impose a formal dress code.
Couldn't ever wrap my brain around the level of pretentious formality that used to be the norm around here. Of COURSE the governor wears a sweater or a fleece during a time where that is just utterly sensible and necessary. I'm just glad that the nerds have eventually won.
It was nice to see our Governor on TV every day reassuring us that we'd all get through the blizzard and its aftermath.
He didn't jet off to sunny Mexico or anything.
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