"In the understandable nostalgia for Ronald Reagan, who restored Republicans to the White House and led the final, successful stages of the Cold War, it's been too easy to forget that for much of the 1970s and into the 1980s, it was the young Jack Kemp who fired up the grass roots on his weekend speaking forays and who gave a thoroughly beaten minority party the ammunition for its comeback — even as he built cherished friendships across the aisle," wrote David Broder. Kemp also believed that if conservative principles were valid, "they must be tested and applied, not only in gated suburbia but in the inner cities," Broder said, noting how he drove the Bush I White House crazy lobbying for programs to revive blighted areas. Broder also recalled this anecdote that showed Kemp's empathy:
"He and Bob Dole had quarreled bitterly about economic policy; Dole was never a supply-sider. But when Dole invited Kemp onto his ticket and made him his traveling companion, Kemp was moved by the simple courage Dole showed every day in coping with his grievous war wounds. When I saw him in his hotel room at the San Diego convention, Kemp asked me, 'What’s the first thing I do when I make a speech?' 'You take off your jacket and roll up your sleeves,' I said, having seen the ritual a hundred times. 'You know,' he said, 'Dole's wounds — he can't even do that for himself.' And Jack Kemp wept."