Bob Dole reflected on losing his 1996 presidential bid and finding renewed meaning in life in an op-ed in Friday’s Washington Post.
The Republican former senator from Kansas recalled overcoming the self-doubt that haunted him following his decisive loss to an incumbent Bill Clinton by launching himself into new projects.
"Sure, losing an election hurts, but I’ve experienced worse," he wrote. "And at an age when every day is precious, brooding over what might have been is self-defeating."
Dole writes of coming out of his shell in a post-election interview with David Letterman, then finding himself an unlikely product spokesman. (He doesn’t regret his work for Viagra. In fact, he says, several women at airports have thanked him).
Dole said he has found the most meaning in his post-campaign work for veterans, which began with planning for the National World War II Memorial and continues in his daily engagement with returning soldiers.
Dole’s reflection comes at the same time as an analysis from The Cook Political Report’s Charlie Cook that sees Mitt Romney’s campaign heading the way of Dole’s failed bid.