Jim Geraghty (via his email morning Jolt) remembers history a bit better than Bob Dole does.
History will record that it was on January 26, 2012 that the Romney campaign high command looked at their tough spot in their battle against Newt Gingrich, and with a steely glint, exchanged knowing, grim looks, and nodded.
The command was given, “Unleash Bob Dole!” (He’s kind of like the Kraken [or the Cryptkeeper].)
Dole declared yesterday:
I have not been critical of Newt Gingrich but it is now time to take a stand before it is too late. If Gingrich is the nominee it will have an adverse impact on Republican candidates running for county, state, and federal offices. Hardly anyone who served with Newt in Congress has endorsed him and that fact speaks for itself. He was a one-man-band who rarely took advice. It was his way or the highway. . . .
In my run for the presidency in 1996 the Democrats greeted me with a number of negative TV ads and in every one of them Newt was in the ad. He was very unpopular and I am not only certain that this did not help me, but that it also cost House seats that year. Newt would show up at the campaign headquarters with an empty bucket in his hand — that was a symbol of some sort for him — and I never did know what he was doing or why he was doing it, and I’m not certain he knew either.
The ice bucket was because Congress used to have “ice service,” i.e., taxpayer-funded U.S. Capitol employees had the job of bringing ice to offices that requested it. Newt and the class of 1994 ended that service, modest as the cost was, as a symbol of congressional excess and waste.
How am I the only person who knows this? How is it that I know this and Bob Dole doesn’t?
Erick Erickson is incredulous that Bob Dole is the preferred attack dog of the Romney campaign:
Bob Dole, you will remember from George Stephanoupolos’s memoir of his time in Clinton’s White House, totally cut the legs out from under Newt Gingrich and House Republicans during the government shut down. According to the Democrats, they were within twenty-four hours of caving to the House Republicans’ demands, but Bob Dole surprised them all by caving first.
Dole went on to lose to Bill Clinton and still hates Newt Gingrich for it because Gingrich was the face used to attack Dole — a man who would have been the hero in the fight had Dole not caved.
And we’re supposed to hate Newt Gingrich because Bob Dole caved to the Democrats twenty-four hours before they were going to cave to Gingrich?