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Former Gov., Presidential Candidate Dukakis Visits Lasell

November 22, 2010

Michael Dukakis, former Massachusetts Governor and 1988 Democratic Nominee for President of the United States, spoke to the Lasell community this week, providing insight on the 2010 midterm elections and reflecting on the historical foundation for the nation's new health care law.

Dukakis, a supporter of President Obama, said the current administration did not effectively communicate the details of the new health care law to the public or the positive effects of  the national stimulus bill, which Dukakis said kept many people working during the down economy.

"This congressional session was one of the most productive, but you have to be able to explain it," Dukakis said.

He went on to explain the history behind universal health care, stating that the United States has tried to pass this legislation for almost 100 years.

"In their efforts to get us to near universal health care, they [the Obama administration] forgot to connect the people to it," Dukakis said. "You have to remind people how we got here."

During his hour-long talk, Dukakis also offered his opinion on the re-election of Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick earlier this month and current state politics.

Dukakis said Gov. Patrick, in contrast to the Obama administration, was able to communicate a positive message despite a down economy and promote positive messages about successes in Massachusetts.

With self-deprecating humor, he also discussed his experiences as a three-term Governor of Massachusetts and answered questions about tough-on-crime laws, the Massachusetts state legislature, and his beginnings in politics.

"There is nothing more personally satisfying than to be able to make a difference in the lives of your fellow citizens, " he said of his life in public service.

Michael Dukakis served as Governor of Massachusetts from 1975-1979 and from 1983-1991. He ran as the Democratic candidate for President of the United States in 1988, eventually losing to Republican George H. W. Bush. He lives in Brookline, Mass., teaches at Northeastern University and at UCLA, living in Los Angeles during the winter.