Zionsville Times Sentinel

March 5, 2014

Lugar’s legacy: cooperation to save the world

By Maureen Hayden
CNHI Statehouse Bureau

---- — INDIANAPOLIS – In October 2012, at a dinner with friends, I found myself sitting next to a woman who’d grown up in Russia. Finding out I was a reporter, she demanded to know why Indiana Republicans had months earlier cast aside longtime U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar. She couldn’t understand why Lugar’s decades of reaching across the aisle had led to his vilification by the Tea Party in the Republican primary, ending his long political career. “He saved my life,” she said, and the lives of millions of others. Growing up as the Soviet Union collapsed, her childhood fears were the stuff of nightmares. The forces protecting chemical and nuclear weapons were disintegrating into chaos and corruption, and she feared every day could be her last. That conversation came back to me this week as I listened to Lugar and his longtime Democratic ally in disarmament, former U.S. Sen. Sam Nunn, expound on the virtues of compromise. See Wednesday's Times Sentinel for the full story.