Bob Dole, Longtime Senator, Republican Leader, Dies at 98

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This article originally appeared in Wall Street Journal.

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Bob Dooley traveled from the plains of Kansas to the battlefields of Italy, where he was left for dead with grievous wounds, before a dog’s recovery saw him become widely regarded as the Senate and Republican nominee for both President and Vice President. Capable of becoming a respected leader.

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The Elizabeth Dole Foundation said he died in his sleep on Sunday morning. He was 98 years old.

Mr Dooley has been a fixture on the Washington landscape for more than half a century and nearly as long as the national leader of the Republican Party. As a legislator, and eventually leader of the Senate, he played a part in a staggering list of legislation touching every aspect of American society: voting rights, Social Security, food stamps, child-nutrition programs, rights of the disabled, the North American Free Trade Agreement and more. As Congress’s chief tax writer, he was instrumental in the Reagan-era tax cuts as well as an overhaul of the nation’s tax code in 1986.

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During a career spanning 36 years in Congress, Mr. Dole underwent a steady but dramatic transformation. He was once viewed as a partisan slasher, his time as chairman of the Republican National Committee growing in reputation when he was a fierce defender of former President Richard Nixon during the Watergate crisis. Over time, however, his partisan edge softened, and he worked with liberal icons George McGovern and Ted Kennedy on major legislation.

For two decades he was also involved in Republican contests for the White House, beginning with his nomination as Gerald Ford’s running mate in 1976 and through unsuccessful quests for the Republican presidential nomination in 1980 and 1988. was progressing. after all he received the presidential nomination He longed for 1996, but it was a bad time to carry the GOP banner. Democratic President Bill Clinton was seeking re-election amid a period of peace and prosperity, and the incumbent won an easy victory.

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