Bob Dole, giant of Republican politics and presidential nominee, dies aged 98




  • In Politics
  • 2021-12-05 17:38:18Z
  • By The Guardian
Photograph: Carolyn Kaster/AP
Photograph: Carolyn Kaster/AP  

Bob Dole, the long-time Kansas senator who was the Republican nominee for president in 1996, has died. He was 98.

In a statement, the Elizabeth Dole Foundation, founded by Dole's wife, said: "It is with heavy hearts we announced that Senator Robert Joseph Dole died earlier this morning in his sleep. At his death at age 98 he had served the United States of America faithfully for 79 years."

In late February, Dole announced that he had advanced lung cancer and would begin treatment. Visiting him, President Joe Biden called Dole his "close friend".

On Sunday the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, like Biden a Democrat, ordered flags at the Capitol to be flown at half-staff.

Born in Russell, Kansas in 1923, Dole served in the US infantry in the second world war, suffering serious wounds in Italy and winning a medal for bravery.

His wounds cost him use of his right arm but he entered state politics and soon became a longtime Republican power-broker, representing Kansas in the US House of Representatives from 1961 to 1969 and in the Senate until 1996. He had spells as chairman of the Republican National Committee and as Senate minority and majority leader.

In 1976 he was the Republican nominee for vice-president to Gerald Ford, in an election the sitting president lost to Jimmy Carter. Two decades later, aged 73, Dole won the nod to take on Bill Clinton.

Against the backdrop of a booming economy, the Democrat won a second term with ease, by 379-159 in the electoral college and by nine points in the popular vote, the third-party candidate Ross Perot costing Dole support on the right.

Dole received both the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest US civilian honours.

In the Trump years and after, Dole came widely to be seen as a figure from another time in Republican politics.

On Sunday, the political consultant Tara Setmeyer, a member of the anti-Trump Lincoln Project, tweeted: "I cast my first ever vote for president for Bob Dole in 1996. A war hero with a sharp sense of humor … another piece of a once respectable GOP gone."

However, Dole remained a loyal Republican soldier, telling USA Today this summer that though Donald Trump "lost the election, and I regret that he did, but they did", and though he himself was "sort of Trumped out", he still considered himself "a Trumper".

Dole called Biden "a great, kind, upstanding, decent person", though he said he leaned too far left.

He also said: "I do believe [America has] lost something. I can't get my hand on it, but we're just not quite where we should be, as the greatest democracy in the world. And I don't know how you correct it, but I keep hoping that there will be a change in my lifetime."

On Sunday, Jaime Harrison, the chair of the Democratic National Committee, said: "Sending heartfelt condolences and prayers to the family of Senator Bob Dole. We honor his service and dedication to the nation. May he Rest In Peace."

COMMENTS

More Related News

How Joe Biden
How Joe Biden's Presidency Has Affected Retirement After One Year in Office

After just one year into his term, President Biden has already had a major impact on how Americans retire -- but not nearly as major as he would have liked. ...

How Joe Biden
How Joe Biden's Presidency Is Affecting Social Security After One Year in Office

Social Security is one of the programs that helped shepherd the most vulnerable Americans through the pandemic. When prices started rising in 2021, the...

Fox News host Tucker Carlson compares vaccine mandates to
Fox News host Tucker Carlson compares vaccine mandates to 'Nazi experiments'

Influential host calls measures imposed by Biden administration 'unethical' and 'immoral' Tucker Carlson in Phoenix, Arizona on 19 December 2021. Photograph:...

A
A 'brutal crosscurrent': Why Biden's immigration policies are making everyone mad

Immigration advocates' frustrations with President Joe Biden have ballooned as he continues Title 42 and "Remain in Mexico" policies along the border.

Republican resistance to Trump rings hollow as
Republican resistance to Trump rings hollow as 'moderates' say no on voting rights

Romney, Cheney and others were hailed as the conscience of the party but their deeds in the Senate have provoked accusations of hypocrisy Senator Mitt Romney...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Politics