Every young person should do some kind of public service, says John Dukakis, son of Democratic presidential candidate Michael Dukakis, who was in Salt Lake City briefly Friday afternoon.
Dukakis, 30, who flew into Salt Lake International Airport about 3:30 p.m. Friday on his way from Boise to Boston, held a press conference at the airport administration office.He said he has been campaigning for his father for the past 17 months and, he said, "I'm used to a hectic schedule, short stops and lots of plane rides."
The young campaigner said he is for a strong military but doesn't believe every young man should serve in the military in peace time. "I do believe, however, that every young person should do something for his country - some kind of service to others such as VISTA, the Peace Corps or something else.
"Joining the military, except in wartime when there might be a draft, is up to each individual."
Asked how his father might appeal to Utah's conservatives, Dukakis said his father "believes in paying the bills and doesn't want government to get in peoples' way. He believes in the American dream. One of the central themes of his campaign is to bring back to America its pride in work and manufacturing.
"He wants a strong economy and he wants to stop America from being pushed around in world trade. He wants the label `Made in USA' to be important again and to be a benchmark of durability and quality."
Dukakis said the November election is a new opportunity for people to break the old molds and break with tradition. "My father has been compared to so-called old time Democrats, but he is not Walter Mondale or Lyndon Johnson. He is himself. He's had a lot of good experience, has had to make a lot of tough choices and has plenty to offer the American public."
Dukakis said he and his father have not written off Utah as a campaign spot because, he said, "we think people in the West are looking for something. There is no Westerner on the ticket, and I think my father has the qualities that people out here are looking for.
He said his father is planning to visit Utah as soon as possible.
Asked what qualities he possesses to represent his father in the campaign, the young man thought for a second and said, smiling:
"I was an actor for 71/2 years."