Former Senator Pressler to attend Bob Dole funeral in nation’s capital

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — When former senator and presidential candidate Bob Dole died on Sunday there were many in the state of South Dakota who mourned, including his friend and Senate colleague Larry Pressler. Pressler says he just talked with Elizabeth Dole and will be attending funeral services at the Washington National Cathedral on Friday.

A Rhodes Scholar from Oxford University and a graduate of Harvard, Larry Pressler served South Dakota in congress from 1975 to 1997, most of that time in the Senate.

“Our system of checks and balances works very well,” said Pressler in 1986.

Pressler and Dole developed a friendship early on.

They served in the U.S. Senate together during the 80s and 90s often enlisting each other’s support on projects important to South Dakota and Kansas.

Tom Hanson: You two had a somewhat of a special relationship because you both served in the military, is that correct?

Yes, Bob Dole once told me he was more impressed that I was a Vietnam veteran than a United States Senator and that’s kind of hard to equate to but he was very much a veteran, he had been wounded in World War II and he was part of the greatest generation,” said Pressler.

In 1987 Dole met with Pressler in Yankton. Dole joked about his upcoming official announcement that he was running for president.

“If I could make it today, I would make it, I mean I’m running.”

The crowd in Yankton laughed and clapped as Dole smiled at Pressler. Dole spent a lot of time in South Dakota, including events with Senator Jim Abdnor, Governor Bill Janklow, and Governor George Mickelson.

According to Pressler, Dole had a lot of energy.

“Bob Dole was a very nice man but kept moving all the time, his span of attention wasn’t the greatest, he didn’t give long speeches he gave fairly short speeches, I always liked that and audiences liked that and I tried to emulate that,” said Pressler.

Pressler says some of the major projects Dole helped him complete in South Dakota were the conversion of Yankton College to a federal prison. A new road to Mount Rushmore, improvements at the monument, and bringing Missouri River water to cities and towns that needed it.

Bob Dole, a son of Kansas and a friend to South Dakota. Dole will lie in state in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda on Thursday.

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