I don’t know how many people run for vice president and president and lose both– Bob Dole

Appearing on Fox News Sunday this week, former Senator Bob Dole was quick to criticize the GOP of today.

They ought to put a sign on the National Committee doors that says ‘closed for repairs,’ until New Year’s Day next year and spend that time going over ideas and positive agendas,” said Dole, explaining the party has gotten too conservative and attack-oriented.

“Reagan couldn’t have made it. Certainly, Nixon couldn’t have made it, because he had ideas. We might’ve made it, but I doubt it,” he said on FOX News Sunday.

The first point is that Bob Dole is wrong at least about Regan. He is probably correct about Nixon. Nixon’s price controls would not have been popular with conservatives and in the end they decimated the economy.  Detente was nice but it didn’t work. It was Reagan’s peace through strength which ended the cold war.

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As for Reagan? Dole’s contention is ridiculous.  Every time someone announces for the GOP nomination they are immediately compared to the Gipper. Ronald Reagan is seen as the “ideal,” he would be receive the nomination easily. In fact conservative Republicans feel one of the problems of the party today is that it has moved away from the ideals of Ronald Reagan.

 More important is the question should Bob Dole be the person the GOP goes to for advice? Dole was Jerry Ford’s VP pick in 1976 and lost.  He ran for the presidential nomination in 1980 and 1988, both times losing by a wide margin.

In 1986 Bob Dole was given the nomination not because of his vision or ideas, but like John McCain years later it was his turn.  In the General Election against Bubba Clinton, Bob Dole lost by a landslide, in the total vote, 49% vs 42% and in the electoral college; 379 to 159. The only thing memorable about Bob Dole is that Bob Dole liked to refer to Bob Dole in the third person.

The former Majority Leader of the senate once quipped that “America is where every little boy can become president—except me.”–And this is the guy the GOP is supposed to get advice from?

It would be nice to admire Bob Dole for his years of service to this country, as a soldier in WW2, and for his years in both the House and the Senate. He deserves much praise and thanks for that service.

Perhaps he should rest on those laurels because on Sunday Bob Dole made Bob Dole sound like a bitter old loser.