Last July it was Lonesome George without believers versus Dukakis who had enthusiastic friends at every level of his party.
Today, it's Bush looking almost like a winner . . . with GOP friends he's never known before. And Dukakis seems the Lone Ranger.
This Lone Ranger will need three things to win:
1. Silver bullets--simple issues that maim whenever they hit. Dukakis has a six-shooter full: Iran-Contra, Noriega, sleaze, consultants, the Quayle choice.
2. A horse to ride--a way Dukakis can stay close enough to keep his silver bullets from seeming desperate. He badly needs a theme; simple to say, simple to understand, simple to use. 3. A posse with him--the surrogates Bush deputized helped him. So too, Dukakis needs the local sheriffs riding with him. They won't if they're not asked.
With his faithful companion now back at his side--with two TV shoot-outs now in the works--it's too early to count him out. It's not too early to ask: Where is that masked man anyway?
HOWARD O. KIEFFER