Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Hope and Change Cabinet: Secretary of State

Contender #3: Senator Richard Lugar


Senator Richard Lugar is a 76-year-old Republican from Indiana. He was raised on a farm and went to public school. He was an Eagle Scout. He attended Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. He then served in the U.S. Navy from 1957-1960 as an intelligence officer. His entry into politics was on his local school board. He was mayor of Indianapolis for two terms. He has been a U.S. Senator since 1977.

Career Highlights

  • Working to reduce world stockpiles of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons
  • Working to devolve federal powers back to the states
  • Working to end farm production controls
  • Working to reform the food stamp program



  • Opposes Partial-birth abortions
  • Supports experimentation on human embryos
  • Voted against a ban on human cloning


  • First supported hate crimes legislation for sexual orientation, then voted against it.
  • Supported increased wire-tapping authority
  • Property
  • Opposes unfair punitive taxation

Bill of Rights

Amendment 1:

  • Supports right to pray voluntarily in school
  • Voted to expand government wiretapping and domestic surveillance
  • Voted against recording phone conversations by employers

Amendment 2:

  • Supports almost without exception

Amendment 4:

  • Voted for Patriot Act

Amendment 5:

  • Voted for increased wiretapping/domestic surveillance
  • Silent on Kelo decision

Amendment 9:

  • Mixed record on awarding special rights to minorities and special interest groups

Amendment 10:

  • Supports devolution of powers to the States

Qualifications for Job

Closeness to President? NO

Has an almost opposite voting record from Obama.

Effective communication with diverse audiences? NO

Seems to be more of the quiet type – rarely ruffles feathers.

Appropriate face of American foreign policy? YES

Senator Lugar seems to be a reasonable man who supports American values.

Aggressively pursues American interests? YES

Senator Lugar has voted relatively consistently to support the Bill of Rights, and the principles of Life, Liberty, and Property.

Final Score:

Would probably make a good Secretary of State, but I find it almost unthinkable that President-elect Obama would name him. Their views on the world seem to be about as close to opposite as you can get. About the only thing alike between the two of them is that they have both been Senators.

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