The secret of Bob Dole's success


MAY 15. SEN. BOB DOLE announces he is resigning his Senate seat. He says, "I will seek the presidency with nothing to fall back on but the judgment of the people of the United States, and nowhere to go but the White House or home."

May 16. Bob Dole, wearing an open-neck sports shirt, tieless, a powder-blue sports jacket and chinos, and tan tasseled loafers, tells a Chicago audience, "It is good to be out of Washington, D.C."

June 10. Bob Dole, in blue jeans and T-shirt, announces in Russell, Kansas, that he has formally and officially quit the Senate. "I was never happy there," he says.

A blaze of freedom

July 4. Bob Dole goes to the front door of Brooks Brothers in Manhattan and burns all his dark blue three-button suits, "in the spirit of those revolutionaries we salute today."

August 14. Bob Dole introduces his vice-presidential choice to the Republican National Convention in San Diego, Pat Buchanan. The two appear at a news conference in wet suits, then go surfing.

August 15. Bob Dole accepts the Republican nomination in his 1945 Army uniform, and promises to wear it in all candidate debates. Pat Buchanan, intro-duced by Marge Schott, wears a brown shirt and trousers for his convention address.

September 2. In a Labor Day speech in a Detroit suburb, Bob Dole, wearing overalls, offers a compromise on minimum-wage issue: he urges Newt Gingrich and Trent Lott to support raising it for white employees who are U.S. citizens.

October 1. In the first of two debates with Bill Clinton, Bob Dole, wearing olive-drab fatigues, demands to be called "lieutenant," but the president keeps referring to him as "senator."

Sartorial secrets

October 20. In the second debate Bill Clinton says Bob Dole's campaign uniforms were all made by a tailor in London.

October 21. In an interview, Bob Dole tells Tom Brokaw to "tell Clinton to stop lying about my wardrobe."

November 5. President Clinton is re-elected in a landslide. "The people of the United States have no judgment," Bob Dole says in his concession speech. "I'm going home!"

November 6. Bob and Elizabeth Dole sell their two-bedroom apartment in the Watergate -- and buy a 20-room penthouse there. He becomes a million-dollar-a-year Washington representative for Archer Daniels Midland, General Electric, Philip Morris, Exxon, China and Hart Schaffner and Marx.

Theo Lippman Jr. often predicts the future.

Pub Date: 5/30/96

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