CAIRO, IL—Republican presidential candidate Bob Dole remains stranded on a sandbar on the Mississippi River near the Illinois-Missouri border today after multiple rescue attempts over the past several days proved unsuccessful.

The former Kansas senator ran aground in a mire of thick sand in a shallow bend of the river Friday, soon after departing a potluck fundraiser in nearby Independence, MO. Campaign workers blame the accident on a faulty blade in Dole’s twin-engine outboard motor, which has reportedly experienced similar ensnarements in outcroppings of mud and other sediments.

“Bob Dole needs your help. Bob Dole requires your assistance in getting Bob Dole off this sandbar,” the candidate repeatedly called to his far-off handlers, who yesterday evening continued to debate the best way to extricate Dole from his sandy prison. “Bob Dole is badly stuck in this mud and unable to get free. Bob Dole is going to be the next president of the United States!”

Rescue workers were sent Thursday to remove Dole from the mud, but his blade had sunk so far into the sediment that both chains and simple manpower proved inadequate. A dredger was brought up from St. Louis Friday, but was too large and cumbersome to perform effectively in the shallow waters, its heavy chains too far out of the reach of Dole’s famous Extendo-Grip Super Action Arm™.

“We considered separating Dole from the motor and just leaving it there, but try explaining to our fundraisers why we scuttled a $250,000 component,” Dole campaign manager and chief mechanic Buddy Faust said. “True, we could dismantle Dole to minimize the risk of structural trauma, but it would take a full month to reconstruct him, and he has a stump speech on Wednesday in Pittsburgh.”

The Clinton campaign was critical of Dole’s handlers for letting their candidate be used as a means of transportation.

“First they said they were going to limit his use to presidential campaigning and metal cutting,” Clinton campaign official Trent Pauls said. “Then they added threshing, cement mixing, and soda vending. Now apparently he’s the Mississippi Queen. Bob Dole can’t be all things to all people. When is this gentleman going to finally get down to the business of serious presidential campaigning, address the issues that concern Americans and stop permitting rogue cardsharks and ladies of ill repute to board him?”

Dole remains in fair condition, as large quantities of CastrolMarine are being airlifted to him to ensure that his ball-bearings and pistons remain at adequate viscosity in the hot June sun. Dole himself insists his spirits are good, though sources close to him claim he feels isolated and lonely, and routinely sighs at the memory of the Happy Doodle Goodtime Six, the ragtime band that performed on him during the rally in Independence.

“Bob Dole is as effective an amphibious vehicle as ever,” Dole shouted to reporters.

“Bob Dole fought in the Big One, so Bob Dole knows what it’s like to be in a tough corner. Bob Dole’s built ram tough. Vote for Bob Dole this November. Just as soon as Bob Dole gets off this sandbar, Bob Dole is going to be the next president of the United States.”