The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Dukakis threw mud too - but too late to stick

On September 25, I discussed a paper comparing media coverage of the 1968 and 1988 campaigns - including the infamous Willie Horton ad.

An addendum here [1]:
A poll conducted by Harris found that 60 % of those that were polled remembered the furlough ad. From the first airing of the ad until the time of the poll in October, the percent that reported that Dukakis was soft on crime rose from 52 to 63 %.

The Dukakis campaign responded with a commercial that noted that Bush helped establish halfway houses in Texas while he was a Congressman. One of the paroles committed murder. According to the ad, "In 1968, George Bush helped an ex-convict fund a halfway house for early released felons in Houston, Texas. In 1982, one of those prisoners raped and murdered a minister's wife." The commercial came too late, or had little effect on the campaign.

Caveat lector, natch - the words quoted from the Dukakis ad do not appear elsewhere online, according to Mr Google - but some indication of the intent to play dirty pool being there with the 88 Dems, even though execution was not a strong point.

  1. As my earlier piece pointed out, the Willie Horton ad Weekend Passes was produced by 527s (or their equivalent), but got confused with an ad produced by the Bush campaign on the revolving door furlough that didn't mentioned Horton.


Eleven campaign ads (including Weekend Passes) from the 1952 and later presidential campaigns are available on the CNN site. For reasons passing understanding, they are served up as MOV files - ie, you need Quicktime to play them. Jesus wept!

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