News: Lugar reaches Senate milestone


This just in from Washington D.C . -- 'Few Americans have more to brag about than Senator Richard Lugar."

So says Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell who sent us a press release touting Lugar's 12,000 votes in the US Senate and replicating the short speech he made in Lugar's honor:

"It's customary in the Senate to acknowledge one's colleagues on the occasion of a major legislative milestone, and so today we honor the Senior Senator from Indiana on the occasion of his 12,000th vote. In our nation's history, only 12 men have cast more votes in this body than Senator Lugar, and this is well worth noting.

"But it's a special pleasure to recognize someone who has always been so reluctant to speak about himself. Few Americans have more to brag about than Senator Richard Lugar. Yet I know of no one who is less likely to do so. So it's an honor for me to take a moment to brag about my colleague, my neighbor, and my friend ...

"As a measure of Senator Lugar's reputation for bipartisanship, historians will note that when our current President launched his presidential campaign at the Illinois statehouse two years ago, he mentioned just one politician by name: Richard Lugar. No one in the Senate commands more bipartisan respect.

"As a measure of Senator Lugar's reputation as a foreign policy expert, ask any television news producer for the first senator they would think to book to discuss an important international story. They will tell you that it's Richard Lugar.

"As a measure of Senator Lugar's effectiveness as a lawmaker, just take a look at the results from his last election: during a year in which Democrats made significant gains in both the House and the Senate, Senator Lugar won with 87% of the vote - a victory so convincing that the state chairman of the Democratic Party in Indiana made the following statement: 'Let's be honest,' he said, 'Richard Lugar is beloved not only by Republicans, but by Independents and Democrats.'

"Never has anyone provided his or her political opponent with a better script for a campaign ad than that - particularly since the comment had the added virtue of being absolutely true.

"As a measure of my own personal esteem for Senator Lugar, I would note that I have 12 framed photographs in my office in the Capitol marking my own career, dating back to my days as a college Republican. One of those photographs is a picture of a young Senator Lugar helping me out in my first Senate campaign. Whenever I see it, I am reminded of what a public servant should be.

"Senator Lugar's life has been a life of high achievement - high school valedictorian ... straight A college student ... Eagle Scout ... Rhodes Scholar ... big-city Mayor at the age of 35 ... U.S. Senator. He has been a counselor to Presidents, and one of the most widely-respected voices on foreign relations within the Senate for decades. Before he finishes out his current term, he will have served almost twice as long as any Indiana senator before him - a milestone he has approached with characteristic humility.

"In a long Senate career, perhaps none of Senator Lugar's achievements have been as far-reaching as the Nunn-Lugar Cooperation Threat Reduction Program, which has led to the dismantling of thousands of nuclear warheads, and contributed immeasurably to the promotion of peace. For this achievement in particular, he has been considered for a Nobel Peace Price.

"But ask Senator Lugar, and he will probably tell you that his greatest achievement was his marriage to Charlene. Senator Lugar was recently asked about the demands of his work. Here's what he said: 'I've been especially fortunate that my wife, Charlene, has shared my enthusiasm. It would not have been remotely possible if that had not been the case.'

"Senator Lugar and Charlene have been married more than 50 years. They're proud of their four sons and their 13 grandchildren. And they can be proud of the teamwork that has produced a brilliant career, carried out in the best traditions of the Senate and of our country.

"Senator, you are a treasure to the Senate and a model for anyone who wishes to pursue a career in public service.

"It is an honor and a great privilege for me to recognize my esteemed colleague on this latest of so many accomplishments in a truly distinguished Senate career."


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