‘Mike, you need to get out to Wilson County. There’s a fellow running for county commission out there who’s a good man and he needs your help.” I’d gone to see Bob Dole after I had been elected to Congress in 2010, and this was the first mission the former senator sent me on as a brand-new representative. I wasn’t sure I knew where Wilson County was, but I knew that Dole loved Kansas, loved politics and valued public service to America. Where those three passions intersected, he was sure to be leading. So I followed Col. Dole’s orders and headed for Wilson County.
When President-elect Trump nominated me to be Central Intelligence Agency director in December 2016, one of the first calls I received was from Bob and Elizabeth Dole: “Mike, we saw the news—America couldn’t have done better.” They sounded like grandparents to my wife, Susan, and me. They were proud a Kansan was chosen to lead, but mostly they wanted me to know that this was a big job and they were all in to help me—and America—succeed. We sensed their love for each other—an amazing American couple.