POLITICAL NOTEBOOK: Dole’s Bus Tours _ Sweet Tooth, Small World
LEBANON, Ohio (AP) _ Bob Dole says he gave up his Senate seat to seek the presidency because true leaders make sacrifices for the people.
But sacrifice wasn’t always paramount for Dole _ at least not when it came to ice cream.
Settling down to the counter at the Village Ice Cream Parlor in storybook downtown Lebanon on Thursday, Dole ordered up a chocolate shake and recalled his own youthful days as a soda jerk in Russell, Kan.
``Thick. And real ice cream, too,″ he said as he poured the shake into a glass. Then, opening his eyes wide like a little boy getting away with mischief, Dole confessed: ``I used to make them this way _ for myself, not the customers.″
In two separate bus tours this week, Dole has rolled across New Jersey and Ohio looking for votes and indulging his sweet tooth along the way.
In Clifton, N.J., Dole’s cruiser, dubbed ``Asphalt I: The American Dream Machine,″ pulled into the Tick Tock diner around breakfast time.
His heated cinnamon roll on order, Dole bantered with Linda Buel, a crossing guard from Nutley who told him her daughter, Jess, has served him coffee at one of his favorite Washington haunts.
``Small world,″ Dole said. He offered to relay a note back to Jess the next time he stopped at her coffee shop _ he even offered some stationery.
A beaming Buel wrote: ``Dear Jess, He’s great. Just like you said. Love, Mom.″
The loudspeakers atop Dole’s bus alternately blare Sister Sledge’s ``We Are Family″ and Willie Nelson’s road trip classic, ``On the Road Again.″
Or they simply boom out Dole himself as he makes small talk with folks on the sidewalk.
Leaving Lebanon, Dole took over the microphone. ``We’re off to Bloomingburg! How far to Bloomingburg? We’ll see the press there, no? Yes?″
And as the bus started to pull away, Dole trailed off with a wave. ``Thank you again for the milkshake. Thanks. Thanks for the milkshake.″