"Public relations failure Michael Dukakis on tank Enlarge Michael Dukakis on tank Dukakis has been blamed for allowing "liberal" to come to be considered a derogatory term. He was criticized during the campaign for a perceived softness on defense issues, particularly the controversial "Star Wars" SDI program, which Dukakis promised to scale down (although not cancel). In response to this, Dukakis orchestrated what would become the key image of his campaign, albeit not for the reasons he intended. In September 1988, Dukakis visited the General Dynamics plant in Michigan to take part in a photo op in an M1 Abrams tank. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher of the United Kingdom had been photographed in a similar situation in 1986, riding in a Challenger while wearing a scarf; although somewhat out of character, the image was effective and helped Thatcher's re-election prospects. Dukakis' "tank moment" was much less successful. Filmed wearing a safety helmet that seemed too large for his head, Dukakis looked awkward, out of place, and decidedly uncomfortable in a military setting. Footage of Dukakis was used by the Bush campaign as evidence he would not make a good commander-in-chief, and "Dukakis in the tank" remains shorthand for backfired public relations outings."
Dukakis In A Tank As the votes are counted from todays USA mid-term elections, and inspired by this Simpsons episode, why not take a moment to remember how a single photo-op can affect a campaign.