US President Joe Biden paid tribute to both sides of the US political divide to Republican veteran Bob Dole, who died at the age of 98.
US President Biden described Bob as “a dear friend” and “an American official like few in our history”.
Dole was a longtime Kansas lawmaker who ran for the Republican presidency in 1996, losing to Democrat Bill Clinton. He was also a World War II veteran who almost died on the battlefield.
News of Dole’s death was announced by his wife’s organization, who said he had “served faithfully in the United States for 79 years”.
Dole’s rival in the 1996 election, Bill Clinton, said that Dole’s example “should inspire people today and for generations to come”.
Former Republican President George W. Bush said Dole “stands for American ideology,” and that his successor in the Democratic Alliance, Barack Obama, has called him “a warrior, a political leader, and an official.”
In Congress, the Speaker of the Democratic House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, has ordered that US flagitol flags be flown till half-mast in tribute.
Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell said Dole “lives a full, prosperous and dignified American life that cannot be fully respected”.
Dole grew up in Kansas during the Great Depression and survived an injury that cost his right arm and left arm, before starting a political career that saw him elected five times as a U.S. Senator in Kansas and the Senate. Served as leader of the majority and minority. , ,
He was Gerald Ford’s vice president in 1976, having been defeated by Democrats Jimmy Carter and Walter Mondale.
Dole was second only to Bill Clinton in the 1996 presidential race to bring young people with him as the economy grew.
Politically, he was known as a pragmatist, willing to work with Democrats on bipartisan programs, particularly on disability rights.