Sen. Lugar makes last public speech
None of the students on stage with Senator Richard Lugar were born when he was first elected to the Senate. And most of the others next to him on the stage at Marian University Sunday night barely remember when he was Mayor of Indianapolis.
But all of them heard Indiana's longest-serving senator give his last public talk.
Lugar has just over three weeks left to serve of his sixth term in the U.S. Senate. After 36 years in Washington, Indiana voters brought him back home. In the last weeks in office he has one more opportunity to leave his mark, "Because if we go over the fiscal cliff, we are going to have a recession and this is going to lead to what has been job gains and job loses apart from high taxation for everybody - every bracket." Lugar warned.
The solution to the looming fiscal crisis, according to Senator Lugar, will require both sides of the aisle working together.
Working across the aisle in a civil manner has been one of Lugar's greatest political assets. As Mayor of Indianapolis, it was his civility that helped him get Market Square Arena built. And in the 70's, unified the county government into UniGov, which many believe sparked the growth of Indianapolis.
His ability to reach across the aisle in Washington generated a great deal of criticism and possibly cost him his seat in congress. "This is tough now because of outside interest groups that spent $2-billion in the last campaign attempting exterminate almost everybody who is visiting with each other," according to Lugar.
Washington and the responsibilities of 36 years in the Senate are not quite in his rear view mirror yet. "At the same time, we have a very tough job to do to get full employment," he said.
Lugar will be working until newly-elected Democrat Joe Donnelly takes the oath of office on January 3, 2013.