Bob Dole, who died on Sunday, represented Kansas in the U.S. Senate from 1969 to 1996, including as Senate majority leader, and was the 1996 Republican nominee for president. This column was drafted early in 2021 to be published around the time of his death. It is reprinted from The Washington Post.
Shortly after I was elected Senate majority leader in November 1984, a friend stopped by the Capitol to offer his congratulations. We toured my office, reviewing pictures of past majority leaders and admiring two portraits of personal heroes: Abraham Lincoln and Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Something about the place, steeped in such distinguished history, touched a common nerve in us. We fell silent for a time, when a smile crossed my friend’s face. With wonder, he said, “Imagine a kid from Russell, Kansas, having an office like this.”