1988 Democratic National Convention

Infobox National Political Convention
year = 1988
party = Democratic
date = July 18 - July 21
venue = The Omni
city = Atlanta, Georgia
presidential_nominee = Michael Dukakis
presidential_nominee_state = Massachusetts
vice_presidential_nominee = Lloyd Bentsen
vice_presidential_nominee_state = Texas

The 1988 National Convention of the U.S. Democratic Party was held at The Omni in Atlanta, Georgia from July 18–July 21, 1988 to select a candidate for the 1988 United States presidential election. At the convention Gov. Michael S. Dukakis of Massachusetts was nominated for President and Senator Lloyd M. Bentsen of Texas for Vice President. The chair of the convention was Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Jim Wright.

Notable speakers

* Texas state Treasurer Ann Richards gave a keynote speech that put her in the public spotlight and included the line that George H. W. Bush was "born with a silver foot in his mouth".
* Massachusetts senator Edward M. Kennedy's remarks contained the famous iteration "Where was George?"
* Arkansas governor Bill Clinton gave a widely jeered 32-minute long opening night address that some predicted would ruin his political career, a source of much satisfaction to him 4 years later.
* Texas Agriculture Commissioner Jim Hightower, who called Bush "a toothache of a man".
* Former President Jimmy Carter of Georgia
* Former Vice President Walter F. Mondale of Minnesota
* Former Senator George S. McGovern of South Dakota
* John F. Kennedy, Jr.
* Jesse Jackson

In one of the subsequent presidential debates, when questioned about the general alleged "negativity" of the campaign, Bush cited the "ad hominem" attacks against him at the Convention as the root cause, an assertion not rebutted by Dukakis then or subsequently.


The organizers for the convention infamously chose pastel colors as a background in the belief that they would appear better on television. They were patterned after the colors of the American flag in salmon, azure, and eggshell.cite news |first=R. W. |last=Apple |authorlink=R. W. Apple, Jr. |title= THE REPUBLICANS IN NEW ORLEANS; BUSH CHOOSES SENATOR QUAYLE OF INDIANA, A 41-YEAR-OLD CONSERVATIVE, FOR NO. 2 SPOT |url=http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=940DE7DB1F3CF934A2575BC0A96E948260&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=all |publisher="The New York Times" |date=1988-08-17 |accessdate=2008-03-06 ] Republicans mocked the choice and used it to buttress their case that the Democrats were "soft" on the issues. [cite news |title=Democrats sell themselves as party of strength at every opportunity |url=http://www.usatoday.com/news/politicselections/nation/2004-07-27-strong-slogan_x.htm |publisher="USA Today" |date=2004-07-27 |accessdate=2008-03-06 ] New Jersey governor Thomas Kean claimed at the Republican Convention that "The Dukakis Democrats will try to talk tough, but don't be fooled. They may try to talk like Dirty Harry, but they will still act like Pee Wee Herman." Kean continued that Democrats and Republicans alike "have no use for pastel patriotism... The liberal Democrats are trying to hide more than the colors in our flag; they are trying to hide their true colors."



Delegate totals for presidential candidates: [ [http://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=58504 Our Campaigns - US President - D Convention Race - July 18, 1988 ] ]
* Michael Dukakis - 2,877 (70.09%)
* Jesse Jackson - 1,219 (29.70%)
* Richard Stallings - 3 (0.07%)
* Joe Biden - 2 (0.05%)
* Dick Gephardt - 2 (0.05%)
* Lloyd Bentsen - 1 (0.02%)
* Gary Hart - 1 (0.02%)


With Jackson's people demanding that he receive the Vice Presidency as his reward for coming in second, the Dukakis campaign decided to nominate Senator Bentsen by voice vote, rather than roll call vote.


San Francisco
list=Democratic National Conventions
New York

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