Biden pays tribute to ‘American giant’ Bob Dole at the Capitol | WJMN

WASHINGTON (AP) – Bob Dole will be in state Thursday at the U.S. Capitol, as the president and others gather to pay their respects to an “American giant” who served the country in war and in politics with the pragmatism, self-deprecating wit and common sense of civilization of a bygone era.

President Joe Biden is expected to deliver remarks at a morning ceremony with guests and congressional leaders at the Capitol Rotunda for the former Republican senator and presidential candidate. Dole, who served nearly 36 years in Congress, dead sunday at the age of 98.

“For people like me, who have the honor to call him a friend, Bob Dole is an American giant,” President Joe Biden said during a speech Wednesday in Kansas City, Mo. .

Biden, a Democrat, called Dole, a Republican, “a man of extraordinary courage, both physical and moral courage. A war hero whose sacrifice is immeasurable. He almost gave his life for our country during the Second World War. Among the greatest of the great generation. ”

The service will be the first of several in Washington to celebrate Dole’s life and legacy. Thursday events in the Capitol and Friday’s funeral at Washington National Cathedral is closed to the public. But Dole’s funeral will be broadcast live on Friday at the World War II Memorial on the National Mall, and his motorcade is expected to stop later at an event with the actor. Tom Hanks to honor his life and military service before the coffin was moved Hometown Kansas and the capital of the state.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Dole was a “patriot from the start” and an “exemplary person to serve in Congress.”

“He served at a time when there was mutual respect, despite disagreements on many issues, in the aisle, on the Capitol,” Pelosi said Wednesday. “I see him as a man of his word. Everyone did. ”

Black curtains hung over the doorways under the dome of the Capitol in preparation for the ceremony. A podium was positioned so that the statue of another Kansas statesman, Dwight Eisenhower, could be seen in the background behind the speakers of the day.

Sen. Mitch McConnell, now the longest-serving Republican Senate leader, said Dole idolized Eisenhower, calling the former president and general a hero who embodied “the best qualities of the people. America”.

“We can say with certainty that Eisenhower is not the only Kansan who meets those criteria,” McConnell said in a statement earlier this week.

Born a child of the Dust Bowl in Russell, Kan., Dole was paralyzed and near-fatal injuries after being shot during World War II sent him home with a severely damaged right arm. key that he cannot use to shake hands. Instead, Dole held a pen in it and held out her hand to the left as a way of making greetings comfortable.

After earning a law degree, he worked as a district attorney and served as a Kansas state legislator before running for Congress in 1960, joining the House of Representatives for eight years then winning the Senate seat. He was the GOP presidential candidate in 1996, his third and final presidential campaign – a race he never won.

Dole’s quick intelligence was on display after losing the presidential race to incumbent Democrat Bill Clinton, who presented him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom days before his inauguration in 1997.

McConnell said when it came to Dole’s speech, he stood on the podium and began: “I, Robert J. Dole… solemnly swear… oh, sorry, wrong statement!”

But that humor is rarely seen on the campaign trail or in his public statements, where it could have helped him win more votes.

Instead, Dole is seen as a “man of the GOP,” an adviser to Richard Nixon and chairman of the Republican National Committee during the Watergate era. He went on to become a running mate in the vice presidential race with Gerald Ford, another man who lost the race.

But it was during Dole’s long tenure in the Senate, where he increasingly saw the value of reaching Democrats across the aisle and securing his more enduring achievements – worthy of Most notably, the Americans with Disabilities Act to this day guarantees the same level of accessibility as a civilian. right.

At times, Dole forced his party, especially in a landmark tax bill, and helped create the federal holiday Martin Luther King Jr.

In February 2021, the former senator announced his diagnosis with stage 4 lung cancer. Biden visited Dole at his home at the Watergate complex. Biden pays tribute to ‘American giant’ Bob Dole at the Capitol | WJMN

Emma Bowman

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