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Dukakis Thinks of Giving Presidency Another Go

August 5, 1990

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Democrats, get out your checkbooks and dig out those 1988 buttons, the Duke thinks he might want to give it another try.

Massachusetts Gov. Michael S. Dukakis, he of the plummeting poll ratings and slumping state budget, hasn’t ruled anything out for ’92.

In a television interview broadcast Sunday, the 1988 Democratic nominee sounded like a man ready to get up off the canvas and go another round.

″Can you ever see yourself running for President again?″ the governor was asked on C-SPAN, a cable TV public affairs network.

″Maybe. Maybe,″ Dukakis said.

″I don’t think you rule it out, I don’t think you rule it in,″ he said. ″Kitty and I are still relatively young, we’ve still got our health, we’ve got a lot of energy, it’s an exciting and wondrous world out there these days, as we read about the cataclysmic changes every day internationally and otherwise.″

The comments were only a slight advance from what Dukakis has been saying all along since his crushing defeat at the hands of George Bush two years ago. ″Never say never,″ has been the consistent Dukakis line.

″I want to keep my hand in public life,″ he said in response to the latest queries. ″What form that takes I don’t know.″

Marty Linsky, a political analyst at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and a longtime acquaintance of Dukakis, found a dry way of depicting the governor’s chances.

″There certainly doesn’t seem to be much external data for it,″ Linsky said. He cited a recent presidential preference poll of Democratic National Committee members in which not a single member mentioned Dukakis.

Dukakis is retiring from the governor’s office in January after three terms. Polling data, editorials and political commentary seem to hold that up as a wise decision.

Since losing to Bush, Dukakis has come home to a state beset by budget shortfalls, the specter of tax increases and an electorate angry with his administration.

For now, Dukakis said, ″I want to finish up my final year as governor as strong as I possibly can, leave a good solid state for my successor, and then Kitty and I will kind of take a look at the world and decide where we go from here.″

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