Dole Named as President Ford’s Vice-Presidential Running Mate
August 16,1976


On opening night of the Republican Convention in Kansas City, Dole wielded the gavel and welcomed the delegates as temporary chairman. Three nights later President Ford was raising Dole's arm in triumph as his running mate. Dole's popularity in the Farm Belt, as well as his sense of humor and reputation for plain speaking, made him an attractive prospect. Senator Dole didn’t expect to be running for Vice-President in 1976. He had expressed interest in the position, but assumed that former Texas Governor John Connally would be Gerald Ford’s choice of running mate. The Ford camp deliberated for days about the choice, but in the end it was a recommendation from President Ronald Reagan that tipped the balance in Dole’s favor. Upon finding out he was chosen as the Republican candidate for the nation's second highest office, Dole said he was “humbled by this new opportunity.”