May 15, 2012

Epilogue leaves unanswered questions

Tuesday night evoked memories of the last day the legendary A.J. Foyt stepped out of a race car at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, a moment that evinced the words “There comes a time …” from the first four-time winner of the greatest spectacle in racing.

There comes a time to retire, or just walk away from your passion, Foyt started to say. He never made it to the end of his sentence.

Emotion overcame the man they called “Super Tex” and anyone who knew him or knew about him and how much he loved doing what he loved most.

For Richard Green Lugar, the moment came Tuesday night in a concession speech that many who have known or covered Lugar thought would never happen.

If most Hoosiers were asked to name the most famous Republican from their state, or the best model of political integrity in their state, or the all-time most popular politician from their state, chances are a majority might answer with the words “Dick Lugar.”

Based on longevity alone, his career in the U.S. Senate makes a case for that answer. He was the first four-term U.S. senator from a state and went on to serve two more terms.

Had some other state elected Lugar to six terms, he might be serving in the U.S. Senate again. But that’s just one of many unanswered questions in the epilogue of the Lugar legacy. Even another former Hoosier, Abraham Lincoln, lost from time to time, as Lugar did in 1974 when Birch Bayh defeated him.

Had Lugar been in Alaska and faced the same situation he faced Tuesday – a GOP primary loss – he could do what Sen. Lisa Murkowski did, or as Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut did after he lost a Democratic primary bid for another term. He could run as a third-party candidate in the general election this fall.

But that’s not Dick Lugar’s style. Like the outcome or not, Lugar will give the candidate who defeated him his best wishes and public party support – and move on, if not move back to Indianapolis.

What at first seemed unlikely, then stunning and then a foregone conclusion – his defeat to State Treasurer Richard Mourdock – was a byproduct of several factors.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • WOLFSIE: Giving a word of advice So, what’s the word? Really, what is the word? With over 250,000 words in the English language, you’d think there would be a word for just about everything. Not so. Therefore, I am on a crusade to find a term for some everyday occurrences for which t

    August 1, 2014

  • PETERS: Have a cup of joe to help your eyes? My day starts with coffee. I’m too cheap to buy it by the cup from baristas, so I just brew my own Folgers by the pot. I have a cup or two as I settle into work each morning, and another cup – sometimes two – in the early afternoon. That may not be w

    August 1, 2014

  • WILLIAMS: America still the dream Is America really in as bad as shape like many people say it is? I’m 67 and when I look around, I don’t see it.Everything isn’t great but believe it or not, there has never been a time when everything was great, not even in those innocent Fifties we

    July 31, 2014

  • WERNER: The mystery of the Indian grave at Dykeman Last summer I contacted Thelma Conrad, executive director of the Cass County Historical Society, to ask her if she had any information on the Indian grave at Dykeman Park. Thelma had heard of it but had never seen the small marker that tells of the I

    July 31, 2014

  • RAMPBELL: Keeping the sick at home Something strange happened here this week: Lots of workers who’ve never done so before got the right to call in sick. And that’s a good thing.The Big Apple, you see, is joining a handful of other trailblazing cities such as Washington, San Francisco

    July 30, 2014

  • KITCHELL: Patacsil was no ordinary Joe Somebody forgot to tell Joe Patacsil that if he wanted to wrestle at a Big Ten university with black and gold as its school colors ... well, most people who know anything about college wrestling today might have said he picked the wrong one -- Purdue

    July 30, 2014

  • MARCUS: The higher education funding mess Public higher education financing is unsustainable as currently configured. This conclusion was reached by two important groups over the past two years. The National Association of State Budget Officers and the State Higher Education Executive Office

    July 29, 2014

  • VILLAGE IDIOT: The state of the reunion “Katy! It’s been so long! How’ve you been?”My God, she’s gained so much weight I didn’t recognize her. It’s a good thing we’re all wearing nametags. I thought it was some distant cousin past due with triplets.“Bob! Long time, no see.”No hair, either.

    July 29, 2014

  • COATS: What to do next with Putin, Ukraine The tragic death of 298 people on board Malaysian Airlines flight 17 in a wheat field in eastern Ukraine marks a moment when words of disapproval and expressions of grief are not enough. This is a moment when action must follow the outrage and rhetor

    July 28, 2014

  • LYONS: The most powerful men in the world? Search the phrase “the most powerful man in the world” and what comes up are photos of grotesquely over-developed weightlifters; also Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin. Awfully ironic under present circumstances. It’s a cant term TV news anchors use to

    July 28, 2014

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide

Should the U.S. impose a travel ban on three West African nations in response to a growing Ebola virus outbreak?

Not sure
     View Results
Featured Ads
AP Video
Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.