Colleagues Commend Senator Lugar
Fellow Senators talk about Indiana icon ahead of retirement
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (United States Senate photo)
His final term isn't quite over yet, but his colleagues took time Tuesday to commend Indiana Senator Dick Lugar for his service and wish him well.
Listen to Ray Steele's report:
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell says he first got to know Lugar during McConnell's first run for the Senate in 1984, and they have been friends ever since. "He has excelled at everything he has ever done. Most incredibly, he has done it with perfectly smooth elbows. Walk into any office on Capitol Hill, and you won't find a single person who would say a bad word about Dick Lugar.
McConnell choked up near the end of his speech when he wished Lugar and his family well as the six-term Republican begins the next phase of his life in the classroom - Lugar announced last week that he will teach at the University of Indianapolis. "Senator, you are a treasure to the Senate and a model of the public servant. We are sorry to see you so, and I am sorry to lose wise counsel. I know that whatever you turn to next, you'll be a great success, and I look forward to hearing all about it."
Democratic Senator Dick Durbin from Illinois says he and many other Democrats, including President Obama, have enjoyed working across the aisle with Lugar. Durbin commended Lugar for his work with former Georgia Senator Sam Nunn on the 1991 law that helps the former states of the Soviet Union safely dispose of their stockpiles of nuclear weapons. "His work with Senator Nunn in dealing with the proliferation of nuclear weaponry and the dissolution of the Soviet Union was truly historic, and may have saved the world from catastrophe."
Durbin also says Lugar was an important influence on someone who spent just a short time in the Senate before moving on to higher office. "He reached out to a young Senator from Illinois by the name of Barack Obama and took him on a Congressional delegation tour to look into (nuclear proliferation). President Obama notes that it was one of the more important visits he made as a member of the United States Senate overseas."