In 1995, when Newt Gingrich first became speaker of the House, Bob Dole was already on the threshold of becoming the longest-serving Senate Republican leader in U.S. history. Relations between the two GOP leaders, which were never chummy, were not helped by Gingrich's openly disparaging Bob Dole as "the tax collector for the welfare state." Barely two years later, after having been chosen Time magazine's Man of the Year, Gingrich had plummeted in public esteem to where, in a CBS-New York Times poll, just 14 percent of voters had favorable personal feelings toward the speaker. This prompted an apocryphal Washington exchange between a perplexed Gingrich and Dole. "Why do people take such an instant dislike to me?" asked a perplexed Gingrich, to whom Dole bluntly explained: "Because it saves them time."I don't particularly care if that exchange happened or not. I choose to live in a world where it did. Dole never gets enough credit for his sense of humor.