by Dan Perkins
According to the 2010 Census approximately 112 million people in the United States were probably not old enough or aware of the role that Willie Horton played in the presidential election of Bush 41 in 1988. The Governor of Massachusetts in 1987 was Michael Dukakis. He was an early adopter of the progressive movement and political correctness at the state level. He believed a person who was convicted of a serious crime could be rehabilitated sooner if he or she was allowed to roam the streets unsupervised for months at a time. He created a program called the Prison Furlough. One has to wonder what he was thinking when he concluded, that letting out convicted felons without supervision was a good idea. Wait a minute, is it possible that President Obama’s inspiration for releasing tens of thousands of illegal aliens, who are convicted felons, to go out and commit more crimes on the American people, was inspired by Prison Furlough?
Governor Dukakis became the Democratic nominee for president and by June he had a 15-point lead over Bush 41. Convicted felon Willie Horton was released under Gov. Dukakis’s Prison Furlough program and did not return to prison after his allotted furlough was over. Instead of returning to prison he showed up in Oxon Hill Maryland at the home of Clifford Barnes and viciously attacked Mr. Barnes. Later Barnes’ fiancée, Angela, came home, and Horton viciously assaulted her, raping her twice, tying her up and taking her car to get away, but he was ultimately apprehended by the police.
Are you asking yourself, what does Willie Horton have to do with the current presidential campaign? This is an excellent question. This significant event had an impact on people’s decision and an impact on the outcome of the 1988 presidential race. A Willie Horton type of event for Trump or Clinton could affect the outcome for this election in a similar way. How many of you remember Romney and think of his the famous 47% quote by Mitt, it sunk his election chances. Both campaigns today are frantically looking for the next Willie Horton or 47% statement opportunity.
The Republican Party ran television commercials about Willie Horton and the Democrats ran with the 47% against Romney in 2012. The power of this significant campaign tactics was demonstrated in the outcome where Bush 41, 426 electoral votes compared to Dukakis 111. Bush also won 42 of the 50 states and won the popular vote 53% to 45%.
How was it possible the candidate who had a 15-point lead in June was so soundly defeated? I believe that Willie Horton, during the presidential campaign, had put the spotlight on the impact of the liberal policies in Massachusetts. His Prison Furlough program was responsible for the attack by Willie Horton and Dukakis needed to be held accountable for his actions. The American people rejected Dukakis and his philosophy and today whenever individuals, who were around at the time, mentioned Dukakis, they most surely also mention Willie Horton.
While Mrs. Clinton, has never been in a position to promote a law like Gov. Dukakis, she has been in public office for a long time and there could be her “Willie Horton” moment yet undiscovered. The Clinton campaign has a huge war chest and she is already spending millions of dollars in attacking Trump. The discovery of something akin to Mitt’s 47% remark could turn all of those hundreds of millions of dollars worthless.
If I had to guess, I believe it will come from an email that has not yet been released. The activity of the Clinton Foundation, while she was Secretary of State, may well be her Willie Horton moment. Perhaps it will be like Mitt’s 47%, it just came out and once it did, the election was over. If the Trump campaign can find a Willie Horton moment, its impact will gain traction almost immediately. We won’t know until after the election how significant the impact was on the voter’s decision. Polling data will tell Trump if he has a winner and if he finds a winner he will ride it to the end.
Dan Perkins is a current events commentator who writes for several National blogs including the Daily Caller, and the Hill. He is the author of the trilogy on radical Islamic nuclear terrorism against the United States called the Brotherhood of the Red Nile. Dan’s weekly radio show ‘Two Guys from Verona’ can be heard at 8 PM eastern on Tuesday evenings on W4CY radio.com.