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January 15, 1988 - Image 94

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1988-01-15

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Kitty Dukakis Is Running For First
Jewish First Lady


Special to The Jewish News


itty Dukakis could be
the first Jewish first
lady of the United
States. And in campaigning
around the country, she is
working as if she, not her hus-
band, Gov. Michael Dukakis,
is running for the presidency.
She talks on issues of world
policy, domestic differences
and aid to Israel as if she's a
political scholar. But why
shouldn't she?
Mrs. Dukakis' resume
would stand up against most
in national politics. She has
served on President Carter's
Commission on the Holo-
caust and the United States
Holocaust Memorial Council.
She has actively worked to
bring Cambodian children
out of refugee camps in
Thailand. She has gone to
these camps herself. In
Massachusetts, she is co-
chairman of the Governor's
Advisory Committee on the
She taught dance for more
than 25 years before enrolling
at Boston University where
she received a master's degree
in communication in 1982.
For the past seven months,
she's been using her skills to
get her husband's message
out. But in an interview with
the Detroit Jewish News
last Friday from her Hyatt
Regency suite, one received
the distinct impression that
the message was also hers.
Kitty Dukakis is a striking-
ly beautiful woman with dark
hair and eyes. At the time of
the interview she was wearing
a red dress. Her smile is pene-
trating and strong. She seems
like the type of person who
will let you into her life only
so far. Once you reach that
line, forget it.
Indeed, she was even able
to hide a long-time dependen-
cy on prescription drugs un-
til she underwent treatment
during her husband's 1982 re-
election campaign. There
were stories that cast a
shadow on her behavior. One
newspaper columnist even
went so far as to label her
"The Dragon Lady of Brook-
She was anything but drag-
onlike during her visit to



Baltimore last week, a so-
journ that included a fund-
raising trip to Pikesville.
"The campaign is going
very well for us," she said.
"Michael is gaining support
all the time. We've got to go
out there and do the best that
we can do. We seem to have
more money than any of the
other candidates."
Dukakis said that even
though it's relatively early in
the campaign, the March 8th
"Super Tuesday" primaries
are getting closer.
"Campaigning is a brutal
process," she said. "But we've
worked hard and it's a neces-
sary part of being elected to
work harder than the other
She said that her husband's
success as governor of Massa-
chusetts has cleared the way
for her campaign work. Her
husband has been given cred-
it for his state's booming
economy. As a state legisla-
tor, he initiated what became
the country's first no-fault
auto insurance bill. He was
also behind the country's first
major state tax amnesty.
He pushes a policy of gov-
ernment cooperation with
businesses to produce more
jobs, and he's been successful
at it. He's a liberal of Greek-
Orthodox background who
has proven that government
can help a fast-growing
economy grow even faster.
Kitty Dukakis said that
the country's economy is the
number one issue of this cam-
paign. She is trying to make
it clear that her husband
righted his state's economic
picture and could do the same
for the nation. She also said
she didn't think name recog-
nition would be a problem for
her husband in a field of can-
didates that sometimes re-
sembles the starting gate at
the Preakness.
"Michael never runs his
campaigns against other peo-
ple," she said. "He concen-
trates on his own initiatives
and his own visions. He's got
everything I feel that the peo-
ple are looking for in their
next president. I think he's
someone who comes across as
a leader should."
She added that his name
recognition is nation wide.
She laughed when she re-
counted that her husband

Although she is married to a non-Jew,
the wife of the governor of
Massachusetts feels strongly
about her Jewish identity.

Kitty Dukakis: helping her husband Michael run for the presidency.

Photo By Craig Terkowitz

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