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Bob Dole, R.I.P.

Former Senator Bob Dole pays his respects at the casket of former President George H.W. Bush as it lies in state inside the U.S. Capitol Rotunda in Washington, D.C., December 4, 2018. (Aaron P. Bernstein/Reuters )

Etched in memory: the moment, during the lying-in-state of President George H. W. Bush, when former senator Dole saluted his coffin. Their primary duel in 1988 had been bitter; “quit lying about my record,” Dole had snarled, on network television, after Bush beat him in New Hampshire. And as an infantry lieutenant, Dole probably resented Navy pilot Bush as a flyboy: Bush was shot down in the Pacific, Dole was shot up in Italy and bore the marks of it all his life.

But there, at the head of the lonesome valley, Dole stood up, brushed off a helping hand almost with contempt, and saluted with his left (his right being unusable, thanks to the Nazis).

At ease. And thank you for your service.

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