This is what bipartisanship sounds like: A bunch of boldface pols enthusiastically singing “Happy Birthday” on a conference call to former senator Bob Dole, who marked his 95th birthday on Sunday.
The both-sides-of-the aisle chorus dialing in Monday afternoon included former Senate majority leaders George Mitchell and Tom Daschle, former senators Nancy Kassebaum Baker and Blanche Lincoln, Sens. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) and Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), former agriculture secretary Dan Glickman and former health and human services secretary Donna Shalala.
So how did it sound, exactly? Well, we have a feeling Carnegie Hall might not be in the singers’ futures, but the recipient of the verse apparently was not complaining.
The group, organized by the Bipartisan Policy Center, which Dole founded, also offered a gift: BPC officials informed the birthday guy they plan to launch “The Bob and Elizabeth Dole Series on Leadership,” a Washington-based series named after the Kansas Republican and his wife, who has served as labor secretary, transportation secretary and a senator from North Carolina. Already confirmed on the lineup are Mitchell; former presidential adviser and CNN senior political analyst David Gergen; author, speechwriter and former senator John McCain aide Mark Salter; and Verizon Communications CEO Lowell McAdam.
There was also plenty of Dole’s favorite treat, chocolate milkshakes, to go around — courtesy of Shake Shack. The shakes were sent by the group to the former senator and his family, and the group toasted him from Washington.