Bob Dole says he just cannot support Hillary Rodham Clinton’s quest for the presidency.
The former Republican U.S. senator from Kansas said he’s been a Republican all his life. Donald J. Trump, his party’s presumed presidential nominee, is “flawed,” according to Dole, but he’s getting his vote anyway.
“I have an obligation to the party. I mean, what am I going to do? I can’t vote for George Washington. So I’m supporting Donald Trump,” Dole explained Friday on NPR’s “Morning Edition.”
I think I want to reset this for just a moment.
I have great respect and admiration for Sen. Dole. I admire him for his valiant service to the country in the Army during World War II, for his years in the Senate and for his ability to reach across the aisle to work with Democrats; he and fellow World War II hero Sen. George McGovern, for example, were great personal friends and occasional legislative partners, particularly on programs involving agriculture.
He said, though, that he has to put party first and he must support Trump in his upcoming fight against Clinton.
The reset is this: Sen. Dole can say it all he wants — until he runs out of breath — that he’s going to vote a certain way.
But one of the many beauties of our political system is that we get to vote in private. It’s a secret. We all can blab our brains out over who we intend to vote for, but when the time comes we can change our mind.
I think of Bob Dole as more of a patriot than a partisan.
He had been involved with government for many decades. He ran for president himself in 1996, losing in an Electoral College landslide to President Bill Clinton.
I don’t intend to sound cynical about what Bob Dole is going to do when the time comes to cast his vote. However, his party’s presidential nominee is like a volcano waiting to erupt.
I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Sen. Dole changes his mind over the course of the next few weeks and perhaps decide to keep that spot on his ballot unchecked.
A part of me would like to prove it.