Gov. Michael Dukakis gave President-elect George Bush some early praise in his first interview since losing the election, and said he was still "decompressing" from the campaign and wouldn't want to replay it.
"There's not much sense in rerunning the campaign," the defeated Democratic candidate told The Associated Press on Thursday."I mean, we did some things well, we did other things not so well. It wasn't successful. Obviously, I'm disappointed. Lots of people are disappointed. We worked very hard. But I don't think it's something to dwell on."
Dukakis declined an opportunity to criticize Bush, whom he had lambasted during a bitter campaign, saying he would give the president-elect "a good six months to a year" before speaking out.
However, the governor, who attacked President Reagan's policy in Central America during the campaign, said he was pleased by reports that Bush has decided not to ask Congress immediately for renewed U.S. support for the rightist Contra rebels in Nicaragua and that Bush hopes to forge a bipartisan consensus and involve Latin leaders.
"I think it's the right policy," Dukakis said. "When I met with him I strongly urged him to do that. I said I think the present policy is a failure, it's getting worse not better."
"If that's the way the new administration begins, then I think that's hopeful," the governor said.
Dukakis, who held one press conference immediately after his loss to assess the campaign, refused to review the campaign in detail, saying he preferred to focus on the future.
But he also declined to tip his hand about any plans he may have for his own career after his current term as governor ends in 1990. Dukakis has refused previously to say whether he would run for president again.
"It's much too early. At this point, I'm decompressing, working hard on what's happening here, enjoying a certain amount of normalcy in my life," he said.
Seated in his Statehouse office after a week's vacation in Florida, Dukakis appeared relaxed and reflective, more interested in his state's budget problems than in the national agenda he was pushing before losing to Bush 54 percent to 46 percent just six weeks ago.
"It's been quite a year. And I must say it's nice to reflect a little bit on the blessings of life."