Profile of Senator Richard Lugar The following report will attempt to provide a brief, yet concise policy profile of Indiana Republican Senator Richard Lugar. Beginning with a short biographical review, the profile will proceed and concentrate on Senator Lugar’s major areas of public policy concern; Foreign Affairs, Agriculture, and in part, his 1996 Presidential Campaign which encompasses a myriad of issues, both foreign and domestic. It would be impossible to include every aspect of Senator Lugar’s political career and personal life within the scope of this paper. Instead, emphasis will be placed on the most important and critical points of his tenure in American politics, at the federal level. However, in the conclusion of this text a rational explanation will be offered to give insight concerning Senator Lugar’s motivations and tendencies to act in the way he does.
Biographical Background Richard Green Lugar was born in Indianapolis, Indiana, on April 4, 1932. Attending Shortridge High School he excelled academically and was the class Valedictorian. After graduation, Dick Lugar (as he is commonly known) attended Denison University, in Ohio, and met his future wife Charlene Smeltzer. In 1954 Lugar received his degree from Denison and went on to be a Rhodes Scholar at Pembroke College on the campus of Oxford University, in England. Richard and Charlene were married in September, 1956, and now have four sons and six grandchildren.
After completing studies at Oxford, Dick Lugar went to the American Embassy in London, England and promptly enlisted in the Navy as an intelligence briefer and was responsible for giving intelligence reports to ‘high brass’, including the President of the United States, Dwight D. Eisenhower. Along with Senator Lugar’s political achievements, he has occupied positions in the private sector, as well as a stint in the United States Navy. As a young man Richard Lugar worked at, and managed the family businesses, a farm, and a food machinery firm started by his Grandfather over 100 years ago, Thomas L. Green & Company. Both are located in the Indianapolis area. In 1964, Lugar obtained his first political office with the Indianapolis School Board.
He then went on to win the Mayoral bid in 1968, and served two terms at the head of city government in Indianapolis. Senator Lugar’s next stepping stone in politics would be a failed attempt for the office of United States Senator in 1974, losing to incumbent Birch Bayh, father of the current Indiana Governor, Evan Bayh. Suprisingly, Lugar lost the election by only 75,000 votes, quite an accomplishment considering the incumbency factor. Lugar ran for the Senate again in 1976 and captured the seat from Democratic incumbent Vance Hartke. Senator Lugar has since been reelected two times (in 1988, he won by an overwhelming 68% percent of the total vote) and is currently in the midst of a campaign for President of the United States where he faces eight other challengers for the Republican nomination. Other achievements by Lugar that are worth mentioning are: His selection to the vice-presidency of the National League of Cities in 1970.
He was appointed chairman, of the Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee for the 98th Congress. Served as chairman for the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations from 1985 to 1987. He is currently the chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry. Senator Lugar also serves on the Senate Select Intelligence Committee, and Foreign Affairs sub-committees; Western Hemisphere and Peace Corps Affairs, International Economic Policy, East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Trade, Oceans and Environment. (101st, 486-489; 102nd,485-488; Directory,1399; Miller, 95′) Foreign Affairs Senator Richard Lugar is acknowledged to be one of the pre-eminent national leaders in the realm of foreign policy. Some have even claimed that he is in reality a “shadow Secretary of State”, being recognized around the globe for his involvement with international politics. Lugar’s involvement and membership to key Senate Foreign Affairs sub-committees, and being the chair of the full committee for one session of Congress shows his willingness and diligence to be involved in this policy area.
Note, however, Senator Lugar was forced out of the chairmanship and did not voluntarily leave. (101st Congress, 486) Lugar has four principle premises for good foreign policy. They are as follows: * ” To defend and advance the cause of democracy, freedom, and human rights throughout the world.” * “To promote prosperity and social progress through a free, open, and expanding market-oriented global economy.” * “To work diplomatically to help resolve dangerous regional conflicts.” * “To work to reduce and eventually eliminate the danger of nuclear war.” Senator Lugar has made an ernest attempt to embrace these ideas and employ their definitions in most all areas of foreign policy. (Lugar, 28) During Lugar’s career in the United States Senate he has been afforded many opportunities to use his foreign policy prowess. Among these instances, some of the most notable shall be recognized within this paper. Again, there are simply too many cases to list each and every account, and one would be pressed to find them all.
Those cases that were most visible to the public will be examined here. The details are at a minimum, but each will be represented by a brief synopsis of the matter at hand and what role Senator Lugar played in the outcome. To begin with, Richard Lugar is a major proponent of the North American Free Trade Agreement. He strongly believes in the free market, and stimulating its growth by increasing market share through unrestricted trade with North American countries. Once criticized for his role in pushing NAFTA through Congress, and its seemingly negative impact following the collapse of the Mexican peso–Lugar defended the free trade accord by pointing out that U.
S. exports had soared to over one billion dollars and Mexico’s woes were due to mismanagement of their monetary unit and not the new agreement. Senator Lugar points out turmoil that many latin countries have faced in recent years, and states unequivocally, these problems cannot be over-looked in order to satisfy the skeptics’ presumption’s to free trade failure. Instead, one must brace for some economic turbulence that was bound to happen, and wait for the end result which will be beneficial to all parties involved.(Times,26) In another aspect of the global market, Lugar has staunchly supported trade, investment, and loan guarantees to the countries of the old Soviet Union. His reasoning is two-fold with emphasis on ensuring the young democracies’ survival in a period of time when they are certainly tested by radical change and reforms in economic and political policies. However, Senator Lugar also insists that Russia needs sufficient supports to help in disarming nuclear warheads, disposing of the lethal components (enriched uranium), and securing all facets …