Bob Dole pays respects to Daniel Inouye in Capitol Rotunda

Bob Dole, 2009. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais — Associated Press)

Former Senate Majority Leader Robert Dole (R-Kan.) visited Capitol Hill Thursday to pay his respects to his friend and former colleague, the late Sen. Daniel K. Inouye (D-Hawaii), who is lying in state through Thursday night in the U.S. Capitol.

Dole and his wife, former Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R-N.C.), arrived at the Capitol around 3:30 p.m. and were escorted to the Rotunda by Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

Though Dole usually moves with the assistance of a wheelchair, he opted to walk, with the assistance of Elizabeth Dole, from the Rotunda entrance to Inouye’s casket. He walked up to the casket, briefly touched it and then saluted Inouye with his left hand. Dole’s right hand was injured during World War II.

Dole and Inouye first met while recovering from wounds during World War II. They met at Percy Jones Army Hospital in Michigan, where they also met future Sen. Philip A. Hart (D-Mich.). While seeking treatment, Dole shared with Inouye his plans to one day run for Congress. As mourners recalled earlier Thursday, Inouye was elected to Congress shortly before Dole, and often joked that he “followed the Dole Plan” by running for office and still managed to beat the former Kansas senator to Capitol Hill.

In 2003, the hospital was renamed the Hart-Dole-Inouye Federal Center in honor of the three senators.

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Ed O’Keefe is covering the 2016 presidential campaign, with a focus on Jeb Bush and other Republican candidates. He's covered presidential and congressional politics since 2008. Off the trail, he's covered Capitol Hill, federal agencies and the federal workforce, and spent a brief time covering the war in Iraq.

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