The Defeat of a Man of Reason
Tea party advocates in
The 80-year-old Lugar is being kicked out in part because of his age, his alleged failure to keep a real residence in
But more significant in terms of good governance, Lugar's defeat will deprive
In his nearly 36 years in the
Lugar's greatest achievement was his bipartisan work with then-Sen.
Lugar sought to bring greater prominence to harnessing nuclear weapons after the Cold War by making it the centerpiece of a short-lived bid for the Republican presidential nomination in 1996. He ran a well-reasoned campaign with a strong television ad on the threat of loose nukes, but his own low-key style and persona never connected with voters outside
There, however, he was a phenomenal vote-getter until this year's
Lugar himself cited his votes over the last six years as what enabled the tea party to defeat him. He listed his support for the auto industry bailout, approval of a new START arms control treaty with the Russians, his votes for the two most recent Obama nominees to the
Lugar first won national attention as mayor of
As chairman of the
Analyzing his own defeat, Lugar said his opponent's "embrace of an unrelenting partisanship mindset is irreconcilable with my philosophy of governance and my experience of what brings results" in the
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