What could Dole have done to improve his chances?
CNN Political Analyst
1.No Republican, with the possible exception of Colin Powell, could have defeated President Clinton this year. Clinton's job approval ratings were in the 50s all year. Presidents with job ratings over 50 are routinely elected.
2.Dole made several shrewd decisions, such as his dramatic decision to leave the Senate and his choice of Jack Kemp as his running mate. His biggest problem was one he could not do anything about: having spent 35 years in Congress, he did not look like a 'candidate of change' to most voters. He was too much the insider, too much the candidate of the status quo.
3.Lamar Alexander or Steve Forbes might have had greater credibility as a candidate of change. And they might have done better than Dole. But they would not have beaten Clinton because the market for change was not big enough.
CNN Sr. Washington Correspondent
1.Been Bob Dole, not Jack Kemp or Steve Forbes or, as Dole once put it: If you want Ronald Reagan, I can do Reagan.
2.Defined a purpose for his mission. Ready? Yes. Trusted? Yes. Keep his word? Yes. But what's the word?
3.Picked Christie Todd Whitman as his running mate. Narrowed the gender gap and dared the Republican religious right to go vote for someone else. Even if he'd lost, he'd have done more for the future party.
CNN Congressional Correspondent
Bob Dole could have won if he had had:
1.a coherent, consistent message
2.an overall strategic plan for winning
3.a staff with national election expertise and the courage to tell the candidate when he was wrong.
CNN Special Correspondent
1.Instead of blasting President Clinton for the state of the economy, Dole should have taken credit for it. Message: Republican governors in 32 states (including California, New York, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, etc.) have helped improve the economy; put a Republican in the White House and we'll finish the job.
2.Dole was at his best on David Letterman's Late Show -- after the election. His sense of humor should have been more readily displayed during the election.
3.Dole fought to keep Ross Perot out of the debates, but he should have insisted on including him. Perot's presence would have added an effective Clinton critic and possibly even improved the debates' low ratings.
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