Local Politics

Dole keeps busy year after Senate loss

Posted November 3, 2009 5:57 p.m. EST
Updated November 3, 2009 7:58 p.m. EST

— A year after she lost her bid for a second six-year term in the U.S. Senate, Elizabeth Dole continues to serve North Carolina residents.

Dole runs a charitable foundation that works statewide on issues of hunger, homelessness and domestic violence. She also recently accompanied dozens of veterans on a trip from Charlotte to the World War II memorial on the National Mall in Washington.

"What could be a better legacy than to save America and the world for freedom and democracy," she told WRAL News during the visit to the monument. "I want them to realize what a special group they are."

Dole said she doesn't miss the day-in, day-out work of the Senate, but she does miss her former colleagues and remains confident in their abilities.

"They've got a lot of challenges before them. It's a tough time, and so I pray they'll be able to come up with the right answers," she said.

The 2008 campaign was brutal, with attack ads fired from both her camp and that of Democratic challenger Kay Hagan.

A Dole ad questioning a political contribution to Hagan from noted atheist proved to be the most controversial, and most political observers agreed the ad backfired.

"That ad was quickly clarified with another as that unfolded," Dole said recently, reiterating her stance that the ad was never meant as a personal attack on Hagan.

"Truly, that was in no way intended to be hurtful. I certainly would not in any way want to bring any harm or hurt," she said.

Hagan cruised to victory amid strong Democratic Party wins nationwide.

A year later, Dole says she has moved on in her life beyond the Senate.

"As I look back at various positions that I've been in, each time I would get so involved in the next phase that there wasn't time to really look back and miss it," she said.