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Politics 88 : CAMPAIGN '88 : Dukakis Gets in Gere

February 07, 1988|Douglas Jehl

In the spirited competition for media attention in the last weekend before the Iowa caucuses, it takes more than a speech to make the evening news.

Massachusetts Gov. Michael S. Dukakis, who has relied recently on Sen. Edward M. Kennedy and Rep. Joseph Kennedy to add celebrity to his candidacy, turned for help Saturday to a new-found booster, actor Richard Gere. This time, Dukakis found himself upstaged.

Dukakis likes to remind his audiences that Playgirl magazine last year listed him as one of the 10 sexiest men in America. But it was for Gere, who starred in "An Officer and a Gentleman" and spent much of last year filming "Farm of the Year" in Iowa, that teen-age girls jumped up and down and squealed as Dukakis and Gere swept through a Council Bluffs shopping mall.

And it was Gere who was the target of the massive media ambush, including 45 television cameras, that descended on the entourage in an East Des Moines neighborhood where Dukakis and Gere spent 15 minutes pumping the hands of prospective voters. By mid-afternoon in Cedar Rapids, it was clear that Dukakis knew his place. "Here's the moment you've all been waiting for," said the candidate in introducing the actor.

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