He was Governor of Massachusetts from 1974 until 1978, then again from 1982 until 1990. Dukakis presided over a period of prosperity in Massachusetts. Residents of the city of Boston and its surrounding areas remember him for the improvements he made to Boston's mass transit system, especially major renovations to the city's underground trains.
Dukakis was attacked by Bush before the election as "a card-carrying liberal" for his membership of the American Civil Liberties Union. Dukakis has been blamed for allowing "liberal" to be considered a bad word. He ran for office with Texan Lloyd Bentsen as his running mate.