July 21, 1988 – One half of The Great National Ritual inched toward conclusion this day. From Atlanta, the Democratic Convention made it official; Michael Dukakis was the appointed Standard-bearer, and Lloyd Bentsen was designated running mate.
All over but the solemn promises and olive branches. Much as many wanted to see Jesse Jackson as the vice-Presidential candidate, whose impassioned address to the convention the night before stirred crowds and inflamed passions, Dukakis went with Bentsen, the Senator from Texas, who seemed to many as the safe choice. It was not, as many observed, a time to be going radical. Enough that one of the more popular nominating speeches came from a relative newcomer; the Governor from Arkansas, Bill Clinton, who captured a number of imaginations and lead pundits to stat placing bets on when this youthful, energetic, slightly-Kennedy-ish looking figure would take center stage and lead the party. Maybe 1992, if things didn’t work out this time.
But speculation over 1992 was too far in the future to contemplate, this July 21st, 1988. The matter at hand was getting Massachusetts governor Michael Dukakis and his running mate Lloyd Bentsen to the White House. And the road could be long and bumpy, with the aura of the Reagan Years looming over the goings on. No easy answers for this one.
But the day was young, and Dukakis hadn’t delivered his much-anticipated acceptance speech – that would come later on in the evening. And the next evening it would be Lloyd Bentsen’s turn – the political machine and the bandwagon were poised and ready. it would soon be up to the Republicans to make their case, and then up to the country to decide it.
There was a lot else going on this day – but, as is often the case, America was preoccupied with the matters of state and the matters at hand. All that, via The CBS World News Roundup for July 21, 1988.