In 1995, Lugar announced his candidacy for the Republican Party nomination for president and was considered a potential front-runner. On the day he made his announcement the national news was dominated by the terrorist bombing in Oklahoma City.
He lost a bid for the Senate nomination in 2012 to Richard Mourdock, a darling of the Tea Party movement. Their complaint was that Lugar wasn’t conservative enough and was too willing to compromise on long-standing GOP philosophies.
I always thought that the nation’s and Indiana’s changing attitudes were a leading cause of Lugar’s defeat.
Instead of wanting to elect political leaders willing to compromise by reaching across the aisle and finding common ground, voters wanted ideologues that would oppose compromise at every level. Although candidates from both parties will express during a campaign that they are willing to work together to bring positive change, the reality in most cases is that they will not.
Indiana is fortunate that its current senators, Democrat Joe Donnelly and Republican Todd Young, are able to find common ground on some issues when it comes to legislation.
They have found a way, despite philosophical differences in some areas, to find issues where they can agree and work toward a compromise.