A Daily news digest by Jasper van Santen

Richard Mourdock’s Many Pursuits Don’t Include Bipartisanship – NYTimes.com

In News, Politics, Really?!? on May 9, 2012 at 06:36

Richard Mourdock’s Many Pursuits Don’t Include Bipartisanship – 

I don’t understand how you can be Against the Dream Act.. which allows certain illegal immigrants (who moved to the US as children) to gain citizenship. But no doubt this gentleman and I would disagree on many other things. So sad Lugar was gone… The middle ground in the Senate is increasingly hollow… …and it’s not because the Democrats are moving left

The man who deposed the Republican foreign policy conscience of the Senate is a 60-year-old homebody and former geologist who loves riding motorcycles, running marathons and thumbing through history books in bed. He is best known in political circles for trying — unsuccessfully — to block the auto bailout that saved thousands of jobs in Indiana, the state he seeks to represent in Congress.

Should he prevail in November, Richard Earl Mourdock, who defeated Senator Richard G. Lugar in Indiana’s Republican primary on Tuesday, might also replace Speaker John A. Boehner as the man most likely to cry during a floor speech.

“It’s a beautiful thing at 60 to know who you are,” Mr. Mourdock said in a telephone interview, referring to his propensity for tearing up on the stump when he talks about the nation’s debt. “There are things that touch me deeply. And there’s a part of me that wishes I wasn’t doing this. I love nothing more than riding a motorcycle around southern Indiana on a Sunday afternoon, and now I won’t be doing that for a while. But I am doing this for a reason.”

That reason, Mr. Mourdock said, is to cease the efforts at bipartisanship that defined the six-term tenure of Mr. Lugar and push for a more conservative agenda among Republicans on Capitol Hill.

Mr. Mourdock’s support from Tea Party groups — which helped frame Mr. Lugar, 80, as an out-of-touch Methuselah who does not even live in their state — is deep.

But Democrats who try to portray Mr. Mourdock, a two-term state treasurer, as Christine O’Donnell in a necktie may fall short. He is a far more seasoned politician than Ms. O’Donnell, whose Tea Party candidacy cost Republicans a Senate seat in Delaware in 2010. He has run for office numerous times, including three races for the House; easily won his last election; and methodically campaigned to oust Mr. Lugar, who a year ago seemed untouchable.

A more apt comparison may be Senator Mike Lee of Utah, a conservative Republican who picked off Robert F. Bennett in the 2010 primary with the heft of grass-roots supporters. Mr. Mourdock said Mr. Lee, though young enough, at 40, to be his son, was his role model in the Senate.

Mr. Mourdock, whose Democratic opponent is Representative Joe Donnelly, is decidedly to the right of the man he bested. He is strongly opposed to the Dream Act, for instance, a measure that would pave a path to citizenship for some immigrants brought to the United States illegally as minors, and one that Mr. Lugar once supported. Nor would he have supported the bank bailout, which Mr. Lugar voted for, or given nods to judges Mr. Lugar helped confirm.


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