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Archive for Tuesday, October 26, 1999

THE DOLE DECISION

October 26, 1999

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Elizabeth Dole could be an ideal choice for the vice presidential spot in the GOP ticket.

Elizabeth Dole has given us another example of how discretion sometimes can be the better part of valor. The able, talented former Cabinet member and Red Cross leader noted that she would fall far short of contenders such as George W. Bush and Steve Forbes and dropped out of Republican presidential contention.

Dole's aides had determined that she would trail something like 80 to 1 in the fund-raising category. In today's world, that is a stern harbinger of political death. Instead of continuing a futile, frustrating venture, Mrs. Dole pulled up stakes and will turn her attention to other things.

The wife of Bob Dole, former U.S. senator and presidential candidate, doubtless had good advice from her husband in making the decision this early in the game. Bob knows about the agony of defeat, as a failed 1976 vice presidential candidate and a losing 1996 presidential contender. And the Doles have enough projects that they will not want for activity and interesting ventures.

But what about Mrs. Dole's accepting a vice presidential bid on a ticket with Texas Gov. Bush, who seems to be far and away the frontrunner for the GOP nomination? Right now a Bush-Dole ticket for the year 2000 seems to have the potential to get a lot of strong, popular backing. A good question is that if a Bush-Dole ticket should be successful, would that make Bob Dole a "second man," such as the wife of a president's being a "first lady?" We can be sure that the witty Doles will come up with something. Such as Bob Dole's barb after Elizabeth announced her presidential intentions: "After she serves as president, we could move to Arkansas and I could run for the Senate."

At any rate, Mrs. Dole has a great deal to offer a Republican ticket and could well be the first women ever elected as VP. She has intelligence, charm and great experience in governmental circles. She and her husband could become a potent force as the new vice president and her spouse.

The GOP, Bush or anyone else the party chooses to head the ticket could do far, far worse than the accomplished, polished Elizabeth Dole.

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