(by Quin at the Examiner);

The late Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana, who died Sunday at age 87, was one of the finest public servants America has ever known.

My colleague Erin Dunne has written in these pages about Lugar’s most celebrated accomplishment, that of being one of the most effective nuclear weapons de-proliferators in history. She, and all the others who have praised those efforts, are absolutely right that the world is tremendously safer because of his singular work on that issue.

Important as the de-proliferating successes were, though, they do not come close to encompassing Lugar’s massive record of public leadership. An Eagle Scout, a Rhodes Scholar, a Navy vet, a farmer, and a manufacturing executive, Lugar became perhaps the finest big-city mayor in the country from 1968-1976, implementing major reforms that set up Indianapolis as a model for municipal governance — a reputation it continues to hold today.

Elected to the Senate in 1976, Lugar immediately made an impression for level-headed, thoughtful conservatism, and Ronald Reagan seriously considered him for months on his short list of possible running mates in 1980. Eight years later, he was thought to be high on George H.W. Bush’s list for the same post, but again, his modest style was seen as too unexciting to inspire voters nationwide.

Throughout his 36 years in the Senate, Lugar served as an ideologically conservative, but cautious, leader on foreign policy not just on confronting the Soviet Union and then arranging for peaceful elimination of many of its nuclear weapons but on a whole gamut of diplomatic issues. His wise counsel aided greatly U.S. influence, human rights, and prosperity across the globe from Central America to the Philippines to Bosnia. He also helped focus attention on, and increase protections against, the dangers of chemical and biological weapons.

Yet, Lugar’s influence was significant on domestic policy too….

[The rest of the column is at this link.]



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