Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, who served for 35 years and was the 1996 presidential contender for the Republican Party, passed away on Sunday. He was 98.
Death was reported by the Elizabeth Dole Foundation. In a statement, his family said, “It is with sorrowful hearts that we announce that Senator Robert Joseph Dole died early this morning in his sleep. According to a statement released by the foundation named for his late wife, who was also a former U.S. senator from North Carolina, “he had served the United States of America faithfully for 79 years” before his death at age 98.
Dole was a Man of Few Words but Great Deeds, and his Life Spanned From Rural Kansas to the Italian Battlefields of World War II to Congress.
Dole was a conservative who spent his time in Congress fighting for budgetary restraint, deficit reduction, and a more neutral foreign policy stance, but he never felt obligated to toe the party line. When President Bill Clinton complained about the difficulty of communicating with Newt Gingrich, the obstinate House speaker, during the 1990s, Bob Dole would tell him, “No, you talk to him.” Dole co-authored food stamp legislation with a progressive icon, convinced President Ronald Reagan to push through tax increases, and served as a sounding board for Reagan’s frustrations with Gingrich.
Dole was the Republican Party’s vice presidential nominee in 1976, and 20 years later he ran for president of the United States against Clinton. He was the only politician in American history to lose both of his elections.
On Sunday, President Joe Biden Eulogised a Man he had Worked With in the Senate as “an American Statesman Like Few in our History.”
Biden said in a statement, “Bob was a guy to be admired by Americans.” Truthfulness and honour were constants throughout his life. God bless him, and may his spirit of decency, dignity, good humour, and patriotism live on in the hearts and minds of future generations.
After Elizabeth Dole’s death, President Obama and First Lady Jill Biden called to “offer their heartfelt sympathies,” as the White House put it.
Dole was a familiar face in Washington, but he was cautious of the perks of the Beltway. His tenacity in Congress was recognised by a regular political adversary on the other side of the aisle in 1986 when Democratic Sen. Robert Byrd of West Virginia broke protocol to address Dole on the Senate floor.
I’ve picked up a lot of knowledge from you,” Byrd stated. Your positive attitude and sense of humour lighten up our day, and you inspire us to keep going when the going gets tough. I appreciate the opportunity to serve beside you.
Dole’s run for president in 1996 was the highlight of his career in politics, but his influence spans more than four decades. Dole felt he had done all he could for his country by the early 1990s. Yet, on the 50th anniversary of D-Day in 1994, he visited the Normandy beaches and decided to give it his all.
Later, he reflected on his decision to serve again, saying, “I decided maybe there was one more chance, one more opportunity for service – for my generation — one more mission.”
In June 1996, Dole resigned from the Senate, stating bluntly that he had “nowhere to go but the White House or home.” He made the conservative appeasement move of picking New York congressman and supply-side economics evangelist Jack Kemp as his running mate.
In any case, they were an interesting duo with a shared sense of humour and a dry rapport.
Dole was a caustic and even irascible Republican senator with 11 years of experience at the helm. He was named “Congressman of the Year” by Washingtonian magazine because he has the best sense of humour of any lawmaker.
A technocrat, Kemp was the driving force behind the greatest tax cut in American history, enacted in 1981. Kemp responded to Dole’s criticism of the plan as budget-bloating by saying, “In a recent fire, Bob Dole’s library burned down.” The two books disappeared. The colouring on only one of them was incomplete.
According to the locals in Washington, DC, Kemp has the “worst sense of humour” of any member of Congress.
Clinton began portraying Dole, the GOP nominee’s age at the time was 73, as out of touch and a dinosaur from the beginning of the campaign. In his victory address, Clinton essentially disproved the Republican convention rhetoric that Dole-Kemp would be a “bridge” to a better America. Clinton stated, “We do not need to build a bridge to the past, we need to build a bridge to the future.”
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Even though Gingrich was the strategist behind the government shutdowns that occurred in 1995 and 1996, Clinton blamed them on Dole. After failing to win support for his more radical and progressive ideas during the 1992 election, such as universal health care, Clinton tacked to the centre in 1996, when Dole was campaigning on a 15% reduction in taxes for all taxpayers.
However, Dole’s Self-Reference is Often all that Remains in the Public’s Mind.
During the primaries, Dole remarked, “Make no mistake, Bob Dole is going to be the Republican nominee.”
During the general election, Bob Dole promised that he would not veto the bills in question.
In the first debate, Dole declared, “I think the finest thing going for Bob Dole is that Bob Dole keeps his word.”