April 30, 2005

Bob Dole wants you to come see Bob Dole

So we did. In case you didn't know, Senator Dole has written a book about his experiences recovering from his injuries sustained on Hill 913 in Italy during World War II. The book is called One Soldier's Story: A Memoir. In promoting the book, the Senator appeared at the McKimmon Center on the campus of NC State last night. Janet got some free tickets by virtue of being a student, and we went and saw the man himself. He started by talking about his role as chairman of the recently completed World War II memorial that was built with almost entirely private funds. He told some stories of his political career and some of the people he talks about in the books. He didn't say a whole lot about the book because, in his words, "I want you to buy the book." He's a funny guy, and he talked a little bit about his famous Pepsi commercial featuring Britney Spears and a dog named Ted. He also mentioned his early campaigns in Kansas where he had a group of women called "Dole's Dolls." He said if he tried that today, he'd be locked up.

After a short talk and some questions, he went to a table in the back to sign copies of the book. Since we had no book, we called it a night. Janet remarked how much he looks to have aged since his presidental campaign nearly 10 years ago. I looked up his age this morning, and Janet and I both agreed he looks pretty good for a man of 81, even if he can't use his right arm and has little feeling in his left.

One last story. When in Washington, he lives with his wife in the Watergate Hotel. Shortly after the 1996 election, he was asleep in bed, and all of the sudden there was a commotion outside and lights shining all around from reporters. He turned to Elizabeth and joked, "There's been a recount." Alas, it was not to be. As it turns out, he had been unknowingly living next door to the most famous intern in White House history. He assured us that he had never even had a conversation with Monica Lewinsky. He's a funny guy. I recommend his book Great Political Wit: Laughing Almost All the Way to the White House, which is a collection of humorous statements by politicians the world over. He took his electoral loss a lot better than Al Gore ever did.

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