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Chapter 7. Topspin in Action (Martial Ar... > Michael Dukakis Misses a Free Kick

Michael Dukakis Misses a Free Kick

Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis had his big moment in the media spotlight during the U.S. presidential election of 1988. As the Democratic candidate, Dukakis had twice debated George H. Bush, the incumbent vice president, but was still behind in the polls. Eager to have another chance, he accepted an offer from ABC television for a joint appearance 13 days before the election on its Nightline series. The Bush team declined the offer, and Dukakis, liberated from television's equal time requirements or a rebuttal from his opponent, had the equivalent of what in football is known as a free kick.

However, during the live broadcast, when host Ted Koppel asked Dukakis a challenging question about his ability to lead the country, he replied:


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