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Robin Dole first campaigned for father as a 5-year-old Now 41, she again joins the campaign trail; CAMPAIGN 1996; REPUBLICAN CONVENTION


SAN DIEGO -- Robin Dole's speech last night praising the Republican nominee as only a daughter could marked the latest, highest-visibility stop on a campaign trail that began when she was just 5 and turned up on the stump in a skirt with a homemade elephant patch emblazoned with the pitch, "I'm for my Daddy -- are you?"

Now 41, Dole still has the old elephant skirt in a closet, she said, and she is still willing to put her own unpolitical life -- as a therapist for troubled teen-agers in Washington -- on hold to help her father on the hustings.

She does not forsake her comfortable, single woman's routine of home, work and friends without reluctance as she steps into the brightest spotlight of her father's political career.

"Everything's kind of escalated, the lights have gone up, everything's gone up, so I think the exposure has increased, but I'm willing to do that to help him," she said.

"I'm willing to do whatever it takes to help him become president, and then once we achieve that goal I'm going to try to slink back in -- or backtrack -- back to the normal."

For 14 years, Dole's normal life consisted of running the lobbying office of Century 21, the real estate chain, on Capitol Hill; but last year, after the company was bought, she was laid off.

The downsizing accelerated Dole's move into counseling, she said, which allowed her to apply her master's degree in psychology and work at something that has meaning for her.

Robin Dole now works as a full-time Dole campaigner, with press secretary and staff.

Pub Date: 8/15/96

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