Former Senator Bob Dole was renowned for a sense of humor that could be self-deprecating, good natured or quite barbed.
He wrote “Great Political Wit: Laughing (Almost) All the Way to the White House,” a book of anecdotes of political humor. “Irreverence is in my blood,” he said.
The day after he lost the 1996 presidential election to Bill Clinton, Dole appeared on David Letterman’s late-night comedy show, where he got big laughs. Shortly after came appearances on Jay Leno’s show, a cameo role on the sitcom “Murphy Brown,” a bit on “Saturday Night Live” and television commercials for Pepsi, Dunkin’ Donuts and the impotency-fighting drug Viagra.
Dole said he made the appearances to show that there is life after politics and that “losing an election does not mean losing your sense of humor.”
Here are some examples of Dole’s humor:
* “Tomorrow is the first day of my life when I have nothing to do.” – his 1996 concession speech.
* “There they are – See No Evil, Hear No Evil and Evil.” – upon seeing, respectively, former presidents Jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford and Richard Nixon together at the White House.
* “I, Robert J. Dole, do solemnly swear … Sorry, wrong speech.” – pretending to be sworn in as president when he was accepting a Presidential Medal of Freedom from Clinton in January 1997.
* “OK but it would have been better had they served some donuts.” – response to a reporter who asked how things went in a meeting at the White House.
* “I thought I was a conservative but we’ve got some in Congress now who are so far right they’re about to fall out of the Capitol.” – during a sentimental tour of Kansas in 2014.
* “My main concern about those (2016) elections is that, well, I just hope I’m still around to vote then. If not … I plan to vote absentee.” – while touring Kansas. (This story refiles to fix typo in “renowned” in lede)
(Compiled by Bill Trott; Editing by Daniel Wallis)