Lugar also takes a more old-fashioned approach toward his senatorial duties: He believes in a more rigid separation of powers. “By 2006, Lugar was thinking the U.S. needs to get out of Iraq, though he didn’t come out and say it,” the expert says. “His sense was that [it’s] the president’s job to make that call. ‘I can quietly raise concerns, but I’m not comfortable getting out front on that.’ ”
Another analyst agrees. “If you look at the key issues playing out in the national-security space right now, Dick Lugar really isn’t a leader on any of them,” the analyst says. “Senators Mark Kirk and Senator Bob Menendez are more active on issues such as Iranian sanctions. Dick Lugar is nowhere to be found.”
Lugar did raise serious questions about U.S. involvement in Libya. “My guess on Libya is a lot of that was driven by the primary battle,” the analyst adds. “With his amount of experience, he has at least the ability to be a leading voice if he wants to. I think it is just striking you haven’t seen him lead on more of these issues.” In other words, Lugar hews to the mean in foreign-policy thinking and so is unlikely to push his colleagues in any particular direction.