Former Republican Kansas Senator Bob Dole is in the middle of a tour through eastern Kansas to meet with friends and supporters.
Dole will wrap up the three-day trek today in Atchison and Leavenworth. Yesterday, the 90-year-old visited the University of Kansas campus and spoke at a facility named after him, the Dole Institute.
Dole didn't shy away from serious topics. He says energy policy and reducing the federal deficit are two of the major challenges facing the country over the next decade. But his trademark wit is still with him. Sitting next to KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little, Dole joked about his time at KU before he went off to serve in World War II. He says there were many students going off to to serve.
"And so we had a lot of farewell parties, but we didn't attend many classes. So I hope the chancellor will bury my transcript,” said Dole.
Around 200 people gathered to see Dole, including Aldean Banker from Russell, Dole’s hometown.
"He was very able to get people to work together, and I think we need that in government right now. He also knew everyone. I was amazed at how he could call people’s names that he hadn’t seen for years,” said Banker.
Dole will continue his tour next month, with another series of stops starting May 12th.