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Kitty Dukakis and Beryl Ann Bentsen Campaign Together For First Time

July 13, 1988

WASHINGTON (AP) _ They met for the first time just a day earlier but Kitty Dukakis and Beryl Ann Bentsen could have passed for old friends Wednesday as they appeared together at a luncheon held by the National Democratic Women’s Club.

″It has been quite a 24 hours,″ Mrs. Dukakis, wife of likely Democratic nominee Michael Dukakis, told a throng of female supporters. ″As you can imagine, 24 hours ago we didn’t know each other.″

Only a day earlier, at 6:30 a.m., Dukakis phoned Texas Sen. Lloyd Bentsen to offer him the second spot on the Democratic ticket. After Bentsen joined Dukakis in Boston for the announcement, the two, along with their wives, flew to Washington for a whirlwind of joint appearances.

Mrs. Dukakis, freed of her neck brace a day earlier, appeared well-rested and without pain at the reception held in the historic Victorian mansion.

She was lavish in her praise of the Texas senator.

″Yesterday, my husband described Senator Bentsen’s record this past legislative year as a legislative grand slam,″ she said. ″On virtually every issue of importance to working families, Lloyd Bentsen was there in the lead.″

Taking a swipe at Vice President George Bush, the all-but-certain Republican nominee, Mrs. Dukakis said her husband ″didn’t want to choose someone who was going to be a silent partner. I think we’ve had enough of that lately.″

Mrs. Bentsen, making her debut on the presidential campaign stump, praised Massachusetts’ first couple.

″You can appreciate why Mike and Kitty Dukakis have won the hearts of millions of Americans in the nomination of our party,″ she said. ″Their commitment to equality and opportunity for all Americans could not be more apparent or more important.″

Mrs. Bentsen predicted a Democratic victory in November on a Dukakis- Bentsen ticket and added that she was ″pleased and impressed″ that Dukakis chose to reach out to Texas in his choice of a running mate.

At a press conference following their remarks, the two women said they planned to team up frequently this fall. They said they would be focusing on family issues in their campaign appearances.

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