Michael Dukakis became a 'Town Meeting' member in Brookline. He served the Massachusetts House of Representatives four times, between 1962 and 1970.
Dukakis lost his bid for the attorney general of Massachusetts in 1966 and for the lieutenant governor as a ‘Democrat’ in 1970.
He resumed his law practice and became a partner at the law firm 'Hill and Barlow.' He served the firm from 1960 to 1974. Meanwhile, from 1971 to 1973, he also worked as the moderator for the TV network 'The Advocates.'
In November 1974, Dukakis defeated incumbent Francis Sargent in the gubernatorial election. He assumed his duties as the 65th governor of Massachusetts during a period of fiscal crisis. His campaign agenda included balancing the financial crisis but without imposing any new tax. He, however, did not keep his word after assuming office in January 1975.
In his first term, Michael Dukakis relaxed the sentences of 21 first-degree murderers and 23 second-degree murderers. In 1977, he reversed the controversial conviction of Italian anarchists Sacco and Vanzetti, who had been accused of murder.
His first term was also marred by his inefficiency in balancing the fiscal crisis. He thus faced criticism for increasing sales and property tax rates. He also failed to cancel the authorities and powers of the 'Metropolitan District Commission' (MDC), which aided political patronage employees. The ‘MDC’ apparently used its influences in the legislature. Dukakis faced the consequences, as the ‘MDC’ declined to support his 1978 gubernatorial primary campaign. The 'Democratic Party,' too, refused to re-nominate the incumbent candidate.
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Dukakis lost the election to Edward King, and his tenure as the 65th governor of Massachusetts ended on January 4, 1979. He then served as a lecturer and director of intergovernmental studies at the 'John F. Kennedy School of Government' of 'Harvard University' until 1982.
Dukakis's first book, 'State and Cities: The Massachusetts Experience,' was published in January 1980.
After he reconciled with the 'Democratic Party' and the ‘MDC,’ Dukakis announced his electoral candidature for the governor of Massachusetts in 1982 and defeated King in the ‘Democratic’ primary. He won the November gubernatorial election, defeating ‘Republican’ opponent John Winthrop Sears.
He assumed his duties as the 67th governor of the state on January 6, 1983. His tenure witnessed a technology boom, which earned him the tag of a ''technocrat.'' In 1986, the 'National Governors Association' named Dukakis the most effective governor.
In June 1986, his second book, 'Revenue Enforcement, Tax Amnesty and the Federal Deficit,' was published.
He defeated George Kariotis in the November 1986 re-election.
In April 1987, Michael Dukakis announced his candidature for the 1988 presidential election. The following year, he named Senator Lloyd Bentsen (D-TX) as his running mate.
Along with his economic advisor Rosabeth Moss Kanter, he authored 'Creating the Future: the Massachusetts Comeback and Its Promise for America,' which released in February 1988. The book chronicled his tenure during the period of the economic growth popularly termed as the ''Massachusetts Miracle,'' which helped him promote the presidential campaign.
Unfortunately, the campaign was spoiled by several factors such his mental-health issues and his past treatment for the same, which he had concealed. President Ronald Reagan referred to him as an "invalid." Similarly, his controversial photograph in a military tank and his stand on capital punishment and the pledge of allegiance in schools, too, affected this campaign.
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In July 1988, Michael Dukakis was nominated for the position of the president at the 'Democratic National Convention' in Atlanta. He was named the chairman of the 'New England Governors' Conference' and the 'Democratic Governors' Association.'
In November, he lost the presidential election to George. H. W. Bush. Even though he started well, Dukakis's last two terms as the governor of Massachusetts were mostly unsuccessful due to his abrasive policies to recover the fiscal crisis. His term ended in 1991, and he did not seek a re-election.
Dukakis is currently a “Distinguished Professor” of political science at the 'Northeastern University' in Boston and a visiting professor at the 'Luskin School of Public Affairs' of the ‘UCLA,’ where he has been serving since 1991.
He has been on the board of directors of the 'National Railroad Passenger Corporation' ('Amtrak') and a visiting professor of political science at 'Loyola Marymount University.'
Dukakis is also a founding member of 'The Next Generation Initiative' leadership program and a member of the 'ReFormers Caucus' of 'Issue One.'
He co-authored the book 'How to Get into Politics and Why: A Reader' with Paul Simon. The book released in 2000.
In 2009, Dukakis was announced as a potential candidate to fill a vacant position in the ‘Senate’ after Ted Kennedy's death. He lost the nomination to Paul G. Kirk.
He co-authored 'Leader-Managers in the Public Sector: Managing for Results' with John H. Portz. The book released on July 9, 2010.
In 2012, Dukakis endorsed the ‘Senate’ campaign of Elizabeth Warren.