The sons of Massachusetts' governor and its senior senator addressed a Democratic rally on the State House steps yesterday, then withdrew as the Democrats swapped political insults with a rival group of Republicans.
John Dukakis, son of presidential nominee Gov. Michael S. Dukakis, and Edward Kennedy, Jr., son of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy '54 (D-Mass.), addressed about 100 members of Students for Dukakis '88 at the predebate demonstration. Meanwhile, about 40 Republicans picketed on the other side of the building.
The Democrats stood on the steps, brandishing a half-dozen flags. After a few dispirited "Where was George?" chants, they began shouting, "One, two, three, four/ Bush Quayle out the door/ five, six, seven, eight/ Dukakis-Bentsen '88."
Edward Kennedy Jr. told the group that students are upset about their chances of buying homes after college and providing college educations for their own children.
"Several months ago, Mr. Bush woke up and decided he wanted to be the 'Education President'," said John Dukakis. "He can start by sending Dan Quayle to college." And he added, "you can't pull strings to get into the Electoral College."
Dukakis used many of his father's gestures and the characteristic licking of the corner of his mouth. The governor's son also showed his own acting experience. John Dukakis starred as the sheriff's son in Jaws II, and was a regular on Family Ties.
'Raising Some Hell'
About 40 Bush supporters, mainly from Boston University, with others from Tufts and Northeastern, demonstrated on the other side of the State House. The Bush supporters then decided to "raise some hell" near the Dukakis demonstration.
One Bush demonstrator wore a striped prison suit and a sign proclaiming, "Willie Horton"--a reference to a convict who committed a murder while on a Massachusetts furlough plan under the Dukakis administration.
Bill Spadea, a senior at Boston University, told the crowd, "Start chanting, 'Willie Horton.' It'll look good--Channel Four is there." Another organizer said, "We have to wait a few minutes to get an American flag--we'll look stupid without one."
The Dukakis demonstrators apparently had a similar idea in mind, so two lines of opponents marched towards each other, the Bush side chanting "Keep the killers in jail, vote for Bush and Quayle," while Students for Dukakis '88 shouted "We like Mike!"
Both groups regrouped on the steps, and proceeded to trade character smears. The Bush people opened up with "Dukakis--Socialist!" and the Dukakis enthusiasts yelled back "Bush-Noriega!"--countered by "Dukakis-Ortega!"
Both sides, however, relished their chants and most shouts were accompanied with smiling faces. Then both demonstrations began to fade: the Democrats marched off, and the Republicans gathered to recite the Pledge of Allegiance.