Indiana Statehouse standoff could affect national races

Sen. Richard Lugar (R)
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Kevin Rader/Eyewitness News

Indianapolis - The Statehouse standoff may be complicating two important campaigns in Indiana. A US Senate race and a potential presidential campaign could be affected.

It is being called by some the longest legislation walkout in United States history and after five weeks does seem to be taking a toll. Not only on legislation but on Gov. Mitch Daniels presidential possibilities.

"It certainly complicates making a decision. I said all along that one of the major considerations was doing the duty to this job. I will not compromise on that and the fact that it may take longer to do that, yes, it's a complicating factor," said Gov. Daniels.

The governor was honored by Freedom Works, a Tea Party partner, for his work in government during a Statehouse ceremony Thursday.

Ironically, Gov. Daniels' mentor Sen. Richard Lugar, the man many in the Indiana Tea Party have targeted for defeat, even weighed in on the state's legislative stalemate.

"Democracy will not work in Indiana with legislators in Illinois. They have to get over this tendency, wherever it came from, and get down to business," said Sen. Lugar.

Lugar, who just last week challenged the administration's policy in Libya, reiterated that stance before the Bloomington Chamber of Commerce.

"How many civil wars is the United States prepared to be involved in and even know who we are supporting?" he asked.

To Sen. Lugar, the ranking Republican member of the Foreign Relations Committee, it is a charge that is eerily similar to the one he issued to President George W. Bush before the Iraqi conflict.

"Before American troops become involved in Libya we need a definition from the president of what our mission is. What are the benchmarks for success and what will be the cost of all this?" he said.

Gov. Daniels has said all along that he would announce his decision after the current legislative session concludes April 29th. If Democrats stay in Urbana and force a special session, it could delay or waylay a decision all together.