Dole served as majority leader of the Senate (1985–87, 1995–96) and as minority leader (1987–95), gaining a reputation as a pragmatic conservative with an acerbic wit. In 1980 and 1988 Dole ran unsuccessfully for the Republican presidential nomination. In 1995 he again announced his candidacy for his party's presidential nomination, and he subsequently triumphed in the primaries. In June, 1996, Dole resigned from the Senate in order to devote more time to the presidential race, and in August he chose Jack Kemp as his running mate. He proved unable to reduce President Clinton's significant lead in the popular vote, however, and was soundly defeated in the November elections. In 2007, President George W. Bush selected Dole to co-chair a commission charged with investigating problems in the military health-care system.
See his One Soldier's Story: A Memoir (2005).
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