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Scott Morgan and Scott Richardson, former Dole staffers.

Interviewed May 1, 1996


FL: What it's like to work for him?

MORGAN:

It's probably true of any employer, I think you don't realize what he's like to work for until you've left the job and are working for someone else and you realize how extreme a person he was to work for. And I mean that in both the good sense and the bad sense.

He's incredibly demanding but yet, he's one of the easiest people to work for because he's incredibly smart. And you don't have to produce as much, you just have to be able to filter it down and provide it in short two, one minute blasts and he will understand it better than you do who has spent months studying an issue. I mean it is remarkable.

My extreme case--when I was on the Senate Judiciary Committee as a staff member of the subcommittee for which he was chairman, we were doing an investigation of this horrible adoption scam, of baby selling and it was not a pleasant thing and we were investigating it trying to get to the bottom of it. We had spent a couple of months really looking at it, having a number of sort of informal investigations, talking to people, trying to collect things, we're going to have a big hearing to talk about it, but we're having a press conference first before the hearing. And there were all these cameras and I had been trying to really kind of sit down with Dole because I was fairly new for him at that point and I really wanted to spend and hour or two going over the finer details of this thing because it was national press.

And l couldn't get in, and looking back I realize that was ridiculous, nobody spends two hours with Bob Dole. Finally it's the day of the press conference, I still haven't gotten in to him and all I've got back are these few cryptic notes on a memo shot back at me and I'm sitting outside his office waiting for him to come out and I think, "Well I can at least explain it to him." And the time I get to explain what I've been spending two months on is the time I have when I leave his office with him to go to the press conference which is probably 75 yards away. And all the while he's greeting people and saying, "Glad to see you." and all this good stuff and then he goes in to the press conference like, as I said, he's been doing it for months. So, that's rewarding, it's frustrating, it's very scary but...

RICHARDSON:

And he gets everything right.

MORGAN:

He gets everything right. And you're just sitting back and wondering how you do that.

RICHARDSON:

Both of us, this was our first job really out of college. When I started working for Dole I was 21, the summer of '78 and then went to work on his staff straight out of college in 1979. And it was the first place I had worked other than McDonalds and as a Resident Assistant in the dorm....But when I was 21 and basically a clerk, go-fer, on one of these judiciary staff, I could send a memo in to him. And I remember one time I sent a memo in to him-- Wichita State puts on a jazz festival every year, so I wrote up a congressional record statement because I happen to like the Wichita Jazz Festival and sent it in to him and put it on his secretary's desk. And he put it in the Congressional Record and from then on I would just send him a memo on anything I wanted. That was kind of how I got to know him. And it didn't have to have anything to do with judiciary committee issues. And the other thing that might seem unusual about it is that I don't think I cleared them with anybody, I just sent them in directly to Senator Dole.

FL: Other ways in which he was sort of at ease in the way it all ran?

RICHARDSON:

I used to travel a lot with Senator Dole. There's a misperception.... he's been around so long that I think people naturally think they kind of understand what he's like. And a lot of times I think when people have perceptions like that the basis of some of that is correct. I mean he is smart, he's a very strong man, he can be very imposing, he's big, tall, dark, very deep booming voice, but the idea that he's like always barking orders at people and always blowing up and real cold and mean and everything, I don't think if you talk to very many people that had actually been around him would say that's the case at all.

In fact he never blows up at anybody. I was there six years. I never heard him blow up at anybody. He hardly ever cusses. He doesn't ever just berate anybody in front of anyone. But he can be real focused and intense when he's at the office which is at the Capital. When you travel with him, and I often went in the car with him heading to National Airport at the last minute because he always will wait until the very last minute so he can just barely catch the plane, we'd be driving off and you could actually see him relaxing under the 14th Street Bridge and he'd start joking around on the way to the airport. And in the whole time traveling with him, he'd be very mellow and laid back and joking around, almost everything he said would be a joke.

After the whole time you're gone, and then you'd get back and he would kind of get back into the serious work mode. And he'd be working on the road and it's certainly grueling and all that. But I think he takes his job so seriously that he seems much more intense when people are watching him than he can be at times. And he certainly can be relaxed and fun actually.

MORGAN:

That quiet harshness, or whatever you want to call it though, it is remarkable. I think most people think of Dole as having this incredible temper that just blows up because I've seen a couple of things on TV where, "Stop lying about my record" or whatever. And this just builds up it's own folklore. And his anger is there. But it is just so intense, until you've been under it you don't really know what it feels like. But there are no words involved. I mean everybody has it.

[Here's] my Woody Woodpecker story--I'm sitting in for some reason.... But I had sat down in your office, of all places, and was just kind of vegging out in the middle of the day and flipped it around and there was a Woody Woodpecker cartoon on, which I happen to think is very good. And I was sitting in hysterics at his desk while he's over trying to work and this is this little office, and I'm over in the corner in hysterics and Dole opens the door. And I'm just kind of sitting about three feet away from this Woody Woodpecker thing just laughing hysterically.

Well, most people think Dole would blow up, lose it and I would be shrapnel on the wall or something. Instead, he just kind of looks at you and in that moment when I see my life flash in front of my eyes, I realize he's not going--death isn't imminent. My career may be over but instead I have to get up, walk in front of him, go excuse me...

RICHARDSON:

Turn the TV off.

MORGAN:

I turned the TV off. I didn't want him watch it if I'd left. You just realize that when you get that glare, it said everything you needed to know about the man.

RICHARDSON:

He never mentioned it to anybody.

MORGAN:

And you go on living. But I think most people think Dole would have just lost it. Dole is a very controlled person. You can't really do it both ways with Dole or you slam him for being emotionless and then at the same time saying he loses control. He doesn't. He is consistent that way. He is contained whether it is good or bad. And it is a very quiet but deep anger that comes out at you if you've done something that deserves it.

RICHARDSON:

But it's not just anger. He's very emotional guy. I saw Senator Moynihan was quoted recently I guess on one of the talk shows and they asked him, "What is Dole like personally?" And Moynihan said, "He's a very sweet man." Something like I don't use that often to describe a man, but he's sweet. That isn't necessarily the word that would come to mind talking about him, but understand what he means because there is a sweet element to Dole, a real playful element. But here also is, just like that "quit lying about my record" type where he, type of occasion when he blows up, or in 1976 when Ford took him back to Russell and he was just talking and he broke down. That's, I think, real Dole.

And I think the wisecracks and the constant joking. The way he thinks that is constantly funny. If you're with him and you're not working or he's not at a committee meeting or something, every single thing he says is funny. It's amazing. I've never seen anybody like that.

I remember going out of the Capital late one night, it was probably about eleven o'clock, for some reason, I don't know why I was there that late, and I wouldn't have usually been there that late but I was that night. And we were in the car and everyone he sees at the Capital was "Hey Grassley, Ed! Working late! Working late!" And everything he says has some kind of a humor to it. And usually its almost so funny that you think about it later. He's like a great comic I mean it's one of the real strong elements of his personality. It's not like he tells jokes. He actually thinks funny.

FL: What does this humor say about him? Some examples.

RICHARDSON:

Off the top of my head I'm not coming up with a joke, but I do remember an instance when the first couple of years I was working for him....we were at a speech in front of a group of doctors, or some trade association over like at the Hyatt or something in Washington. And it was in the evening and he always would open with a couple of jokes and they would be very timely and they would be things that he thought up. I mean occasionally he might be given a joke but not very often. I think he really would come up with these jokes and if they were good he would kind of hone them and just keep using them but a lot of times they were just pure reactions to what was happening that day. They'd be that timely. And these guys, he got them going and it was hysterical. And I remember at the time, it would have been around 1980, I remember thinking, "He's like Johnny Carson" . And in a way he is like Johnny Carson, not Johnny Carson's maybe not the best example, David Letterman or Jay Leno or one of these guys who toured for years doing standup routines and got their twenty minutes down and learned the timing and all that. He's really that good. Especially at these speeches that he gives three or four times a day, sometimes, in Washington.

And this one, it was incredible. And literally people were roaring and screaming and laughing. I remember specifically, he didn't really talk about anything that was happening, he didn't bring up any issue that he wanted to talk about, didn't bring up any of his stock stuff about tax policy or whatever. He just told jokes this time and they were just roaring. They were screaming and shaking hands as we left and we went out and got in the car and I said, "That was just incredible." And he said, "Yeah I had a little bit to drink, and doctors..."

MORGAN:

Not him, the doctors.

RICHARDSON:

They had a little bit to drink. And he said, "I knew they'd be an easy audience." And it was obvious he had decided that there was no point talking about issues to these guys. And he just got rolling and he went and did the jokes and took off. And I asked him, "Did you work on this a lot or is this natural for you." And he said that he had worked on it a lot and he had worked hard to learn timing. Probably along with everything else, because he had to speak a lot when he was a young congressman. So I think it's actually conscious that he worked on it. I'm sure he was a funny guy as a young man, but that's, and he really does, I mean it's him. He doesn't have a bunch of gag writers. I mean he'll occasionally, if it's a Gridiron Dinner or something, but basically it's him.

MORGAN:

It's sort of hard to come up with a specific joke or something because he's always funny. It's not the words that make it funny, it's the delivery. He knows how to work off crowds. I think mainly it's the sign of a quick, bright mind that can read people when he [is] talking to them. I'm not sure it's much deeper than that, it could be but I think it's just that he's a smart man that likes to be funny and likes to watch people react that way. I think he does certainly use the humor sometimes to deflect the attention from him directly, to deflect praise from him. I mean that's probably more meaningful when you use it in that sense. But when he's talking to a crowd he's just being funny. And that's just an odd side of him.

But when he's deflecting attention from him or using self-deprecating humor, I guess that goes back to the whole Kansas thing that you don't want the attention focused on you and just standing there and acting like you deserve because that's not the way you do things. You do the right things but you don't expect to get great praise for it and when you do it's an awkward moment. And I think he uses humor as a defense then and uses it very effectively so that people don't think he doesn't remember his place, which is sort of funny when you realize where he is but I think he's still remembering that he's a boy from Russell, Kansas a lot of the time.

RICHARDSON:

He's one of those guys also that is so funny you can't hardly make him laugh. And most people don't try because you can't really keep up with it and so they're just kind of listening and laugh and go on. And I remember one time I had come up with a joke after the 1984 election when Reagan swamped Mondale and there was already the Dole-Bush rivalry was back under way. And it was evident that these were going to be the two guys vying for the '88 nomination. So I, so Dole was in a position where he was at once supportive of Reagan and he was Senate leader so he was getting asked about the election, but not wanting to say too much that would help out his Vice-President, Bush, these things are all kind of subtle, and it was four years away and you kind of thing about that stuff. So for some reason everyone was talking about the "Reagan mandate" and I came up with the idea that maybe it wasn't so much of a mandate maybe it was more of a "mondate." And so I thought this was pretty funny and so I was going with Dole somewhere during the middle of the day and I remember we were in Georgetown on Canal Road. And Dole, even if somebody else was driving you'd sit in the front right seat and he'd sit in the back and kind of look with his hair down and everything and I was thinking, "Should I tell him this joke?" And I actually thought it was pretty good and it kind of makes the point and all that. And I finally said, "Senator everyone keeps calling this election a mandate. Maybe it's more of a "mondate." And he's going "mondate." And he's kind of looking out the window.

That was like Friday, and then on Sunday he was on David Brinkley I think and he used the joke which was amazing because he had never, probably ever used anything like that that I had ever suggested before. And it got a pretty good reaction. And on Monday it was in Time. It might have been Newsweek, but say it was in Time, they quoted him saying it. This is an example of his playful, prodding kind of thing that he likes to do to people. That morning when I saw him he said, "Heh your "mondate" line didn't get much pick-up." And I said, "Well Senator, it was in Time." And he was storming down the hall and he said, "Wasn't in Newsweek." That's actually true.

FL: What was the routine on that he had developed in the '70's, that just told his life story......

RICHARDSON:

I tell the very end of it. There's a build up to it. Well he goes out to a radio station and he does a radio interview and it's to hype up a campaign appearance by some congressman in Indiana or governor candidate or something. So Dole goes out and gets in the car and somebody's driving and turns on the radio and the announcer's saying, "Congressman Bob Dole," I think he says, "is going to speak tonight in Freedom Hall. They're going to give away a color TV, but they're not going to do it until Dole, I think he says," gets done talking. And in order to get in, you have to pay $10, that $10 for a contest. Dole is from Kansas. Prior to World War II he was a pre-medical student at University of Kansas. Suffered a serious head injury in the war. Then went into politics."

And every night before the "suffered a serious head injury during the war" there would be just a long pause. And I swear to god I think a lot of people in the audience had heard the story ten times before and knew what was coming and so the pause worked even better and it would just basically bring the house down every night. And probably three or four times a day for about five years in a row.

FL: For that long.

RICHARDSON:

And he had the bear joke before that. In '76 there was a story, I don't even know what the joke was, it was the "bear joke" and finally towards the end of the campaign, somebody else should tell this story because I wasn't on the '76 campaign, but the press started chanting "bear joke, bear joke, bear joke" when he came out because it was the exact same thing. It was a really funny, good joke that he told every night that they just got tired of. I don't know what his joke is now. He's got to have something.

FL: You were talking about the difficulty of becoming close to him. You were just finishing up the story about the...

MORGAN:

I was just talking about how it's true. You don't get close to Dole. And part of that may just be generational, that he's so much older than his staff for the most part and...

RICHARDSON:

And he's kind of held in awe.

MORGAN:

He was famous when we all went to work for him. I mean he's been famous for decades. You don't go to work for someone like that and all of a sudden become pals with him. And it's not really what your looking for and it's certainly not what he's looking for. So from a staff standpoint it's what you expect and from a staff standpoint you get what you expect I guess. But I worked for another Senator from Kansas, Nancy Kassenbaum, who you call Nancy, I mean she's very friendly, very warm and after a small break I went to work for Dole and you would never dream of calling him Bob. I mean he's Senator, and always will be Senator until maybe he's President. Even then I don't know what I'd call him. He, it's just different personalities. What it means, I don't know. He's just always relied on himself and it's what makes him strong. I'm sure from most peoples standpoint that's also is maybe a weakness or a fault. That you should be warm with people but he's happy in his world. Is it the kind of happiness that I want, no. But is it the kind of happiness that he wants, yeah. I think he's created the world the way that he wants it. He, it's one of those things that never bothered me. It's not like he was this cold person that I just felt, it made no sense that he was cold. It made sense that he would be distant. And because it always made sense I never really tried to challenge it.

FL: Let's talk a little more about the way he works.......

MORGAN:

You don't go there searching for warm, fuzzy comments. You're going to be remarkably disappointed if you go to work for Bob Dole thinking that it's going to be a real good warm feeling. It's proper to describe him as distant not cold. Because there were ways he let you know he thought you were doing a good job. Or that he, and they would be real cryptic, but you would learn the code, learn the language. You'd see the little TY on a memo, scribbled in there with his hand and it would mean thank you. And you'd get all excited and show people that you got a memo saying thank you on it. Which sort of sounds pathetic, I guess, from a normal standpoint, but within the realm of having worked for Dole you realize that was his way of saying you're doing an o.k. job, that you're doing a good job or whatever, keep it up.

And so, we weren't just depraved starved people clinging for our identities through Bob Dole. We all had lives well beyond Dole. I mean not everybody I guess, but enough of us did that so it wasn't that sort of sick situation. It was just this is how Dole operated, you came to work as an adult, you expected to be treated as an adult and you handled it that way. And but it did take a little bit of getting used to and from an outsider's standpoint it is bordering on the bizarre I suppose. But it is the way Dole works, and it's better that he operates within what he really is, I suppose, than trying to be, I just can't imagine him trying to be warm and fuzzy, it would hurt to watch.

RICHARDSON:

He can be warm and fuzzy with people he doesn't know very well or with constituents, or with old friends in western Kansas. That seems to be a little bit different for him. But if you're on the staff you're working for him. You're not supposed to be a friend. You're supposed to be an employee. You're supposed to work as hard as his dad did. And you're supposed to get there early, and on time, and do your job and not waste his time. And if you're somebody who does waste his time, then those are the kind of people he can be very cold to. And he would storm by them and he just didn't have time to talk to them. I remember there were times he would go out of his way to in the best way he could that he thought you were doing a good job. I remember doing the Reagan inaugural week. I was working around the clock, and he was doing receptions and we were doing all this stuff and he went out of his way to take me and another staff guy over to end up his apartment so that he could give us some tickets to go to some inaugural gala that he couldn't care less about going to.

He wouldn't do it in a way, he wouldn't put his arm around you, or kid around with you or hug you or anything like that, but in whatever ways he could he would let you know that you were doing a good job. And a lot of the way he would let you know was by letting you be around you all the time. Because what people want when they're around a guy like Dole, any Senator or Governor or anybody else, is face time. And basically if he was comfortable with you, you got a lot of face time, and if not, you didn't.

RICHARDSON:

I can believe it. I was with him once in New York. We flew up to give a speech at I think it was a Forbes or Fortune dinner honoring some really big time Wall Street executives. It was a really big deal at the Waldorf-Astoria and he was the main speaker. And we flew in a private plane and we get picked up by a sedan and driven into Manhattan and somebody meets you at the front of the Waldorf and takes Dole in to give his speech. When we got to the airport, there was nobody there to pick us up. And it just seemed odd because they really needed to get him there to do the speech and we couldn't find the person and he asked me to go down and look on another level. So I looked all over the place and finally I found some guy down there with Senator Dole on a cardboard and the wrong place. And when I went up to get Senator Dole he said, "He's going to think we were in the wrong place cause we're from Kansas." And I remember thinking, "I don't think so." I don't think anyone thinks Dole isn't smart. People may hate his politics or may think he's mean or whatever, but I don't think the feeling is that the Senator, Chairman of the Finance Committee who is coming in to give this speech, is dumb. But I think anyone has some kind of a thing about where they're from and that does get back to the Western Kansas thing. I'm sure there's a little bit of that. I'm sure he was in the army with people who were rich, and you know Bush types and that kind of thing. And it's still there. And no matter how sophisticated or worldly, or how many world leaders or popes that he meets with and presidents, and if he is the President of the United States, there probably still be just a little something in there that he assumes somebody from Yale or Princeton might think they are smarter than he is. And they can't be.

FL: This is something the writers from Kansas talk about, this sense of inferiority a little bit. It's a sense that you can fly over, but don't come in. Does that ring any bells with you?

MORGAN:

Oh, yeah. A whole lot. You're from Kansas, you're used to the Toto jokes. I mean that's all anybody can ever tell you once you leave the Midwest and it kind of wears on you a little bit. And in a way it was always kind of refreshing to see it in Dole, that he still had that, I mean, it gets back a little bit to what you were saying earlier Scott, about how people from the East think they understand Kansas and they really don't and people from Kansas know they don't really understand until, they've gone, the East or the West coast, or something. I mean, Kansas is an odd place. It's right there in the middle and it is flat and there's, it's not real bad, it's not real good. I happen to think it's a great place to raise a family, but there is that part of you... I can remember showing people my drivers license just to get a reaction out there. And I guess I always liked the fact that you could see that still in Dole. It's sort of odd. Why doesn't that leave a person after a while? Why don't they get it.

But it's there and in a way the good side of it I guess is that it makes you humble, there's always a part of you inside that knows you are not the absolute best in the world, or makes you think that I guess, because other people are going to be thinking ill of you because you're from this podunk Kansas. And it makes you a little more, we're all supposed to be a little more close to the earth out here. But you got to be close to it because you keep knocking yourself down cause you're from Kansas. We're all happy, we're just all hitting ourselves all the time. I, you do see that in him when he's meeting and hobnobbing about I guess.

FL: The vision thing. Why do you think he has such a difficult time expressing what he wants to do. This is a theme that has been running through the last 15 years.

RICHARDSON:

I think part of it is that his vision a lot of times is what needs to be done today. And if you map out something that tells somebody real clearly, or even have an idea, that goes beyond the problems of today or this week, then you've locked yourself into something that may not work three weeks from now. And I don't know whether that's conscious or not, but you never show your cards when you're negotiating with people. And his whole career he's been negotiating and he's really good at it. But it doesn't necessarily translate to a great visionary idea, or exactly where the country should be going in a big way. I don't think he's faking it, he's not like hiding it. He doesn't have something that he's not telling people. I believe he thinks he's answered that question a thousand times. But he's running for a political office and in his mind, what he says in June it may not make any sense in November. And so it has never made sense for him to lay out sort of a broad picture so you would know exactly where Bob Dole stands. It's never going to change, it's always going to be there and it's going to take him all the way to the White House. Because if he does lay it out and then he tries to change it later, it's going to look like he's vacillating instead of that he's changed his mind or whatever.

MORGAN:

A little of it's probably the Kansas thing again. Look at where he grew up. I mean it wasn't an area that lends you to grand dreams of glory and all these wonderful things. You're dream was if you were a farmer, your vision, was that you planted the crop, you tended the crop, you harvested the crop, you spent your winter doing whatever it is you needed to spend and then you started over again. There's not a completion to it, you just took care of things, you did the right thing and in a lot of ways that's what his vision is. You do the right thing. Which is you get done what needs to be done now.

But it doesn't resonate with people. They want you to paint a picture of what the world will look like in four years after they've installed you as President of the United States. But to him, what he, you grow up thinking, and of course the war injuries and all of that, his thing was to get better, to get back to life. It was just one step at a time. So his vision is one step at a time, do the right thing. That's not defending it, or saying it's right or wrong, I just think that's a little bit of it. It's just not a land that lends itself to glorious dreams. Although a lot of people come from it and tend to do pretty well. You sort of think the big dream picture gets a little tiring after a while, just do it I guess. He's the originator of the Nike ad.

FL: Why does he want so much to be President?

RICHARDSON:

Because it's the next job available. And he is reasonably qualified for it. And he's healthy enough to run for it, and there's no way in hell that he's not going to run for it. When he was running for majority leader in '84, I had a lot of reporters who would ask, "Is he really going to run for it?" And there was a lot of question about whether he would run because it is such a hard race to win because it's internal and it doesn't matter how famous you are. Popularity polls don't mean anything if you run for majority leader. It's all internal politics, and nobody can understand. Reporters don't know what's going on in those meetings and nobody else does either. So Dole couldn't predict whether he was going to win or not. He could easily have lost that race. And because of that people would naturally think, "Well, he's not going to risk that if he wants to run for President sometime cause he might lose this." So we got asked a million times, "Is he going to run?" And it never crossed my mind that he wouldn't run because Baker was retiring. He was Chairman of the Finance Committee and he had a shot at it. And hell, yes he's going to run for it. And each time since then that there's been an open Republican nomination, he's gone for it.

And it's because he believes that he's as qualified as anyone who's been President and he's known them all since Eisenhower, or at least he's had exposure to them. Some of them he's known quite well. He meets every constitutional criteria and he's a reasonable candidate. And I don't think it's much broader than that.

RICHARDSON:

It is kind of amazing that every politician who wants to run for President knows that you are supposed to be able to answer that question. And year after year, every time they ask that 'vision' question and hardly anyone ever has an answer for it. And the guys that are supposed to have the answer for it, because it's been beaten into their heads, "Well you never have an answer for this question." -- Ted Kennedy and Dole are the two that come to mind and they're not the only ones. It's still just really difficult to answer. And I think one reason that those questions are so difficult to answer is because, dammit, you're, everybody's telling him he's got to have an answer for this. He is running things and if he doesn't want to answer it the way you want him to, he's not going to and he cannot bring himself to fake it. And to come up with something, and it should be easy to come up with three or four lines that he would memorize, and he certainly could do it and he's memorized speeches before. And anyone could do that.

And maybe there's a little stubborness in there. But I think he finds it phony cause it's not natural to him and it's now become something I think he feels, he's just not going to do it. He's just not going to give everybody what they want which is some little three or four line really nice sounding visionary statement that doesn't mean anything because he doesn't know how that would help him if all of a sudden the communists take over Russian again and they threaten the borders all around them and he's got to go face to face with the new President of Russia. And I think to him, he's a problem solver. What was that he said in the book?

FL: I'll just show up and serve my country.

RICHARDSON:

Not the worst vision in the world.

FL: Tell your story of how everything went wrong......

RICHARDSON:

Well, the first year I was working for Dole, I was one of the guys that would be called a driver. You're supposed to go drop him off at events or something like that so he can get in and out of events real quickly. Another guy that was working there was the same age, Ed Stuckey, and so Stuckey and I were going to go from the group house that we lived with him in 20 miles south of Washington, go pick up Dole at National airport in Dole's car. We had taken Dole's car because we had a suit in the trunk that he was supposed to change into at the Watergate. He was supposed to literally fly in from Ohio, take a shower, change clothes and we were supposed to pick him up in an hour and take him back to the airport to fly to Oklahoma for a fundraiser or something like that which sounds insane but that's what presidential candidates do. So we go to the airport and I'm driving. Dole had this big ol' Oldsmobile or something. I'm waiting for them at National and Stuckey goes in to find Dole. And Stuckey and I are thinking, "My god it's Sunday. What are we doing here?" We were all bummed out because it was going to take all day to do this ridiculous exercise.

So they come out and Dole's in a great mood. He gets in the car , "Hey, how you doing?" and he's real happy and being real friendly. And Stuckey doesn't say anything, he's just sitting in the back. We drop Dole off at the Watergate, and go over to the Capital to pick up Stuckey's car and go back over and pick up Dole and take him back to the airport. And after we drop Dole off I say to Ed, "You know, it's kind of hard to get mad about working on Sunday when he's in that good of a mood. He's real funny and joking around." And Stuckey said, "Yeah, well you weren't in there at the airport with me. When he got off the plane, I asked him how the trip went. And he said, `You always ask that. It's tiresome and frustrating.' And immediately Dole felt terrible and he said, `Would you go buy me a paper, please?'" And so Stuckey had gone off to buy a paper, and Stuckey is just devastated. He's very imposing when he talks that way. And he was I'm sure exhausted and miserable, and here's this 22-year-old guy with a big, stupid grin on his face, smiling and stuff and it's just not what he needed. And so I'm thinking, "Oh god, this is great." So we get to the Capital, I mean to the Watergate and I'm going up to the front desk to have them tell Senator Dole we're here, and I realize that we don't have the suit and when he gets to Ohio he's not going to have anything to wear. So I'm thinking, "Oh my god!" There's not enough time for him to catch the plane, we can't go back to the Capital, and so I just come out and tell Stuckey that I'll take it, I'll tell him. But I say to Stuckey, "Why don't you go out and see if you can hail a cab, and then we'll run back to the Capital and get the clothes and go back to the airport." And Dole comes out and he's always just moving real fast, and he's still in a really good mood. And he says, "Hey how's it going?" And I open the door and I just said, "Senator, we left your suit at the Capital.' And he just sort of looks at me and Stuckey's out in the middle of New Hampshire just yelling for cabs, and there's not cabs around cause it's Sunday. And Dole just looks at me and says, "No problem, I'll just get another suit." And he turns around and runs back into his apartment, packs a suit and finds another suitcase and gets into Stuckey's little, tiny Mazda, this $900 car that Stuckey had driven out to Washington in, and it's not nearly big enough for a 6'2" guy, and Dole is sitting in the front, and could not be nicer and just keeps going, "No problem. Nice buggy. How many miles this get about 35?" So we drop him off and once again he gets the suit, and he says, "No problem guys. See you next week." He takes off and we're just going, "Whew, boy that was o.k." And we're drive home and the next day and apparently Dole had told somebody on the staff to call Stuckey and apologize. And had said he felt terrible about it. Again, it kind of gets back to the coldness thing. It's not the same thing as working for somebody where you would have a totally open relationship, somebody your own age and sort of a collegial relationship where you'd say, "What the hell were you doing? Why didn't you get that suit?" But he does try to sort of deal with it in the best way he can.

FL: The David Owen story--were you present at the press conference that he gave that day?

MORGAN:

I was certainly part of it. That's the whole sort of odd thing about just Kansas I guess. I mean I know Dave real well, I know his family real well. We all knew each other, we were all trying to get through this thing, trying to decide whether is there anything there? There wasn't as much there as people think is I guess, but you're dealing with perceptions as being all important. And I don't think that anybody handled it terribly well, but I think we all handled it about as well as we could given the situation. But I talked to Dave a couple of times during those two weeks, because I did know him. And continue to know Dave. And you know Dole was in the middle of a campaign that at that time he had a real good chance to win. This was prior to Iowa in '88 which he ultimately won and then came so close in New Hampshire. And so what he had been working for his entire life was right there, and then all of a sudden there's this scandal, one that involves Elizabeth Dole which he absolutely does not want to be part of any kind of problem, and a person he had considered a close confidante, I think would probably be the best way to describe it, was in the middle of it. There was a no-win situation there. You had to cut your losses as a campaign standpoint, and you had to try to deal with personalities and egos at the same time. It was an interesting couple of weeks.

MORGAN:

I guess if what people are looking for in the Dave Owen situation is, "Just how does Dole react with friends or when things get tough?" In a way it's sort of a bad example, but maybe it's the only example because there are just so few folks who Dole, who people consider, as Dole's friends. I think in the category that we put people in, I'm not even sure that Dave Owen falls into the category of friend.

I mean, think about it. There's always the people from Russell who are clearly in a different league. Who are true friends, who are people that Dole feels completely different with. I mean there are other people who for some reason or another that he can relate to, that he feels a certain closeness to, whether it's disabled children or whatever. I know that always sounds odd with Dole, but... Dave was someone who was a close confidante and I choose that word fairly carefully. Dole certainly knew him well, relied on him well, and I don't mean to distance themselves. I just think the nature of their relationship is not what I think most people consider to be a friendship relationship. But that's for them to decide, not me.

During the time, once Dole gets the news that there's a problem out there and how Dole handles it, he decides he'd solve the problem. Here's the problem, we're going to deal with it, we're going to cut it off and move on. And Dave made some decisions, and made some comments and solved the problem to the best that he can, dealing with whatever he's confronted with. And I'm not sure because of all those pressures you really have a good situation on how Dole's going to react. I don't know, could he have said it nicer? Yes. Should he have done the same thing? Probably. Could Dave have handled it differently? Well, we all could have. But, I don't know. Talking to both of them throughout that time period, and actually I talked to Dave more than I talked to Dole, it just, that's the sad part of any thing that Washington loves to call a scandal is the human side of it. And just the way that you realize that there are very decent people involved in it, and I guess from my personal standpoint why I'm not the best person to articulate it, is it's such a miserable thing for me to have gone through. And then of course it extended well beyond that in other areas. But both people are decent people and Dole didn't treat Dave as best as he could of and Dave didn't do some things he should have done.

FL: Are you aware that Dole never called him after that?

MORGAN:

Oh, everybody talks about that. Should Dole have called him? I suppose maybe he should have, but it's not Dole. It's like asking him for his vision. Why can't you give us your vision? Why don't you call Dave Owen. It's Dole. I mean, you get what you got. And he's not going to make that call if it's uncomfortable, if there's not a resolution, if he knows Dave's mad at him, if, you know he will make the call occasionally, but that one according to whomever, was not made. Elizabeth called Dave, but Dole didn't. And it's not the way I would have handled it, it's not the way Dave would have handled it. None of us handle it, I guess, the same way. But that is Dole. People should not believe they get anything but what he is. And he parades it out there and that's how he reacts to things.

FL: David Owen...was he important to Dole's career?

MORGAN:

Dave did a lot of good things for Dole in terms of raising money, in terms of helping run some campaigns. If not for Dave, other people would have done that, maybe not as well as Dave but other people would have filled in. 'Cause Dole would have still been Dole. That's ultimately what led to his success. His success, it's not a but/for case. It's not but for Dave there would be no Dole today.

RICHARDSON:

Dave had a slightly special relationship with Dole in the sense that he was like a super staff guy. He was never on the staff. He was lieutenant governor and ran his vice-presidential campaign. He was competent. Dole often has people that are sort of hot aides at any given time, he's got some that have been in there thirty years, but a lot of times there's a chief of staff who for three or four years is the person Dole goes to regularly on something and becomes the hot guy. And Dave was sort of that around the '76 campaign. And Dave was also a pretty strong character in his own right and was also a politician in his own right. So he was sort of a little bit bigger than the best staff director that Dole ever had. He was still quite a bit younger than Dole, they probably never lived in the same town. They wouldn't have like gone to a movie together or something like that, but he was there off and on pretty regularly especially on political issues for a long time. But it's not, again I don't know if as Majority Leader Dole operates the same way as he did before, but I doubt if Dave or anybody else was advising Dole in the sense of do this, do that. Sort of a friendly kind of where he would be more liable because they had a special relationship as friends or something.

FL: He doesn't describe him as an intimate. He said, "I was with him for twenty odd years. And made a difference in some of his campaigns." But he did feel that in one campaign that he made an enormous difference. But that wasn't the issue for him. The issue was why didn't Dole call?

MORGAN:

Not to make it real mysterious or whatever, but I don't think it would surprise people that Dole would also feel hurt in this thing. I don't think either one of these people came out of it feeling like that it was a grand success. I think Dole probably views Dave as having questionable judgment at times in hindsight, in looking at some of the ways things were handled. That's not to say that they were illegal or anything like that. But you're talking about Elizabeth's money in a blind trust, you're talking about different consulting arrangements, and all this is thrown at you in the middle of a campaign and you react to it.

Six months later after it was all over should he have called? I don't know. It's sort of hard for me to understand why Dave continues to focus on the lack of a phone call or a belief that Dole is somehow trying to skewer him. I mean I don't think, just in the conversations that I've had with Dave, I don't understand why that is what... But I guess if people want to view this as showing the Dole is cold and that he uses people and once they become a liability, he jettisons them, and does so without mercy, you can read it into it. If you can read it as two people, not intimate friends but as people who are close, and a big problem arises and they deal with it as best they can and go separate ways and it doesn't reflect on either one's moral makeup, I mean I think that's another interpretation of it and that's the one I sort of view just having been so close to the whole thing. I mean I'm closer to Dave personally than I am to Dole. It just is an unfortunate situation that doesn't reflect on either one of them in terms of their moral makeup, it just to me is how two professionals deal with a professional situation. It wasn't a friendship situation it was a professional situation.

RICHARDSON:

It was the kind of relationship where they would go years not speaking. Even during their twenty year period. And when they would get together, Dave would call him Bob and I was there a couple of times. One time we flew into Kansas City and they hadn't spoken for probably a year. This was when I was working for him and nobody knew why or what had happened. And Dave picked us up at Kansas City airport and took us to dinner and they got along great. And I never did find out if they hadn't, or if there was any reason or anything. But it's not unusual that they wouldn't speak for a long period of time.

FL: One last question. Can you wrap up some of the complexities you mentioned that make him so fascinating?

MORGAN:

I think Dole is a really great man. I use that not in the sense of good or bad, just great in the sense of larger than the rest of us. He's interesting once you get up close. And once you get up close all the little nicks and bruises that make everybody so interesting are just magnified so much so. And Dole is a remarkable case of that. He is filled with contradictions. As I think we all are, if we were ever looked at as closely as these people are.

I think Bill Clinton must be fascinating when you study him. These are just men, or women if it's a different situation, that have, but with Dole, he has gone to great heights, but he still thinks of himself as this kid from Russell, Kansas. And that is the contradiction that we all live with, who am I and when is the curtain going to come down and people are going to realize that I'm just Bob Dole from Kansas. That's not a failing to me that's just what is fascinating about him. He is reserved and held back but yet he doesn't want to be alone. He is very stern and has this image of being very serious and dark, and yet he's one of the funniest people you'll ever meet. I mean he also makes jokes all the time. He is a very simple man in a lot of ways and yet he has been an enormous success. And I just think it would be remarkable boring to have somebody in a leadership position that didn't have those kind of contradictions because we all have them. And I just think a person who has them and is aware of them is a lot more vital as a leader and that's what I find fascinating.

FL: To what extent do you think those contradictions are rooted in his war injury?

RICHARDSON:

Everyone whose been around him a long time will tell you that every serious psychological question you have about Dole has something to do with the fact that he was in a body cast for three years or whatever it was. You know that happened to him when he was like twenty-two years old. And he's 72 now. And it's been over 50 years. And it has very little effect I think on his day to day life. I never saw any indication that he was in constant pain or horribly uncomfortable. Certainly he would want to eat so that his left hand is available, so he'd want to be on a certain side of the table. But he moves very quickly, he learned to write with his left hand. I think one reason it doesn't seem like he's real emotional when he talks about it, or it doesn't seem like he's opening up, or he doesn't talk about it enough, is because he's already dealt with it.

FL: Scott?

MORGAN:

I guess I agree with a lot of that. I mean he's complex, but whenever you run into these complex or fascinating people, you want answers to them. And you want something nice and neat that explains why they are what they are. And the fact is that you are made up of all the different life experiences you ever had. And he, of course the war injury is an enormous one to him, but I think his only reference point to that is what he's had in his life. And for 50 years he's had that in his life and I think he has dealt with that. Is it why he is the way he is? Certainly it has a part of it. It's like if you go to a different college that makes you a different type of person, or if you go to college at all. For him in his early twenties he had this enormous experience just like so many other people in his generation did, if they weren't wounded at least they had the war experience. It affected every one of them. And it changed every one of them. But I don't think it is just an ongoing demon sitting on his shoulder yelling in his ear, yelling this or that or whatever and making him all that much more complex and foreboding. I just think it is part of him, it affected him and made him very dependent upon himself. It made him look inward for his strength. I think anybody who's had a tragedy in their life does that whether it's the physical one or the family one. He dealt with and moved on, changed because of it, but he did move on 50 years ago. And I think you can look too deep for that answer.

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