Sunday, October 4, 2015
Mike Dukakis was the Governor of Massachusetts from 1975–1979 and the Democratic presidential nominee in 1988. During his presidential run, Dukakis was criticized for being too soft on defense. To prove that he took his countries defense very seriously, someone had a brilliant idea to get a picture of him in a tank. The plan was for the picture to become his key image for the campaign. However, it didn’t quite turn out that way. The now famous photo op was such a disaster that the Dukakis tank picture was used in television ads for George H.W. Bush’s campaign as evidence that Dukakis would not make a very convincing commander-in-chief. “Dukakis in the tank” is still used to describe a backfired public relations campaign.
Interesting Fact: In 1986, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher had been photographed in a similar situation riding in a Challenger tank. For some reason, even though it was somewhat out of character the image was effective and helped her reelection prospects.