Editorial: Determined Dole

Article Author: 
Lawrence Journal-World Editorial Staff
News Abstract: 
Former Sen. Bob Dole already has recruited an impressive group of heavy hitters to help him raise money to complete the Eisenhower Memorial.

Who better than former Sen. Bob Dole to spearhead fundraising for a memorial to honor another World War II hero, former President Dwight Eisenhower?

Dole announced last week that he would launch a campaign to raise $150 million — in private funds, if necessary — to complete the Eisenhower Memorial in Washington, D.C. The design of the memorial has been a matter of controversy for more than 15 years and critics of the design have stalled efforts to obtain congressional approval of funding for the project.

“To heck with ‘em,” Dole told the Associated Press. “We’re going to go ahead and build it.” Eisenhower wouldn’t have wanted taxpayers to pay for his memorial anyway, he added.

That’s the kind of determination and plain talk that the 92-year-old Kansan is known for.

Dole said he would personally write letters and work the phones seeking donations. He and former Sen. Nancy Kassebaum Baker plan to visit the Kansas State Fair this weekend to promote the memorial. Dole also is calling on former presidents, congressional leaders and cabinet officials to support the effort. He already has received commitments from NBC newsman Tom Brokaw, actor Tom Hanks and former Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush to join the fundraising effort.

Hanks, who starred in “Saving Private Ryan,” also worked with Dole to raise money for the World War II Memorial, another project Dole said was not without controversy.

“We can’t satisfy every critic. Every memorial that’s been built, I believe, has had criticism. The World War II Memorial was criticized by some,” he said. “They didn’t like the design, and we finally said OK, we’ll just go raise $170 million and build it. Now it’s the most-visited memorial in D.C.”

Eisenhower and Dole are two of our state’s most noted and admired leaders. It’s only fitting that Dole would lead this campaign. The Eisenhower Memorial has lingered for too long, but we’re betting Dole is the guy who can get it back on track.

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News Date: 
Thursday, September 17, 2015