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Michael Dukakis: What Obama Should Do Next

Barack Obama is slumping. Poll numbers are down. Enthusiasm is down. Democrats, once again, are freaking. So, we asked a few folks, from different walks of life, to offer their opinion on what Obama should do to improve his standing. Here's what former Massachusetts Governor and 1988 Democratic presidential nominee Michael Dukakis had to say:

On campaigning:
"I think this thing is going to be won in the field, with basic grassroots organizing ... and I don't think McCain has anything out there. Obama is attempting to do that more thoroughly and better, in more states, than I think anybody I can remember, including the guy you're talking to."

On experience:
"I think this experience thing is phony as a three-dollar bill. This guy's been in elected office for twelve consecutive years. That's more than Reagan was, more the Carter was, more than George Bush was, in fact double the amount of time Bush was in elected office, the same as Clinton and Bush One, and a couple of years less than John Kennedy. Some of that was in Illinois which is hardly the minor leagues of American politics, and he represented more people in his state senate district than live in the entire state of Alaska. He was an extremely effective state legislator. He's been an extremely effective United States senator. And frankly I don't know exactly what John McCain's executive experience is, to tell you the truth."

On fighting back:
"Obama should continue to do what he has been doing for the past few days, which is to address major issues in ways that obviously make the difference for people between him and McCain. And at the same time, he has to make sure that they don't do what I did, which was to not respond to what has been a very tough attack campaign that's been going on for weeks."

On the issues:
"I think it's important that he emphasizes that McCain has never voted for the working guy in his life. It's not just minimum wage votes; it's everything: Privatizing Social Security and Medicare, he's anti-union, he hasn't lifted a finger for public education, his health plan is a joke. I mean, this guy--he doesn't really believe that working people and their families in this country ought to be guaranteed basic health insurance. So, I think you want to draw those contrasts, and I think he will do so and has already begun to do so."

--As-told-to Max Fisher