.....stopped by the Triad area today to celebrate the official opening of the "Victory Office" in High Point. A crowd of some 80 supporters, the usual media folks, and yours truly were on hand.
I made it there early in an express attempt to meet the 96 Republican presidential candidate, a man I have long admired. I was rewarded in my efforts with a solid 10 minute conversation with the Senator.
After expressing my admiration and thanking him for his long years of service to the country, we talked in general about policy, and it was clear that he has lost none of the acumen that was used during two terms as the Senate Majority Leader, particularly with his comment that "The conflict in Georgia probably favors McCain. Obama probably doesn't even known where Georgia is."
We were both in agreement that the nation was the only thing that mattered, above all partisan politics.
In his remarks to the crowd, he showed his prowess as a stump speaker, and came across better in person than he did for the cameras during his days at the top of the power structure in our nation's capitol.
Dole told us about his long relationship with John McCain, including the fact that he had worn a McCain POW bracelet while McCain was guest at the Hanoi Hilton, only telling the Arizona senator of that fact in the spring of 96.
He discussed Vladimir Putin ("When you hear his name, think KGB"), and mentioned the seriousness of the Georgia situation, and emphasized the need to "stand for freedom" in the current danger.
But the best line of the day came from Richard Burr, speaking about the national elections and the smugness of certain folks on the other side: "For those who think it's over, that's only the case if we coronate rather than elect."
How very, very true.