Bob Dole, former senator, vice presidential candidate, and presidential candidate, celebrated his 91st birthday on Tuesday the Washington Examiner noted. He is ailing and clearly physically frail. But that did not stop him from cutting an ad for a Kansas republican, Rep. Lynn Jenkins. Dole was able to take the time to express his concern about modern issues.
“America faces big challenges. The IRS and VA scandals. Medicare in trouble and Obamacare making things worse. But I believe in America because I believe in leaders like Lynn Jenkins. She works hard on the big issues. Lynn sticks to her conservative principles but she gets things done, it's the Kansas way,”
The Washington Post briefly noted some of the remarkable highlights of Dole’s lengthy life and career. He was horribly wounded while fighting in Italy in World War II. He might have lived he rest of his life almost totally disabled had it not been for the support of his fellow residents of his beloved Russell, Kansas and the years long work of surgeons. Even so he permanently lost the use of one of his arms.
He was first elected to public office in 1950 when he ascended to the Kansas House of Representatives. He was elected to the United States Senate in 1996 and became its majority leader in 1985 until the Republicans lost control of the Senate in 1987. He ascended once again to the post of majority leader in 1995 after the Gingrich Revolution allowed Republicans to take back Congress in 1995. He resigned from the Senate in 1996 to focus on his last presidential campaign.
Dole run for vice president as Gerald Ford’s running mate as part of the latter’s unsuccessful bid to win election to the presidency to which he had ascended in the wake of President Nixon’s resignation. He ran unsuccessfully for the Republican nomination for president in 1980 and 1988. He eventually won the nomination in 1996, but was beaten handily by then President Bill Clinton.
Though Dole describes himself as a conservative, he is actually considered to be on the moderate wing of the Republican Party. This caused clashes between him and then House Speaker Newt Gingrich during the government shutdown crisis of 1995. Many conservatives blame Dole’s more moderate stance for his defeat in 1996, though it should be noted that turning out a sitting president during a time of peace and prosperity is an almost impossible task.