Although Lugar raised over $4 million for his campaign, he didn’t hit the campaign trail until the fall of 2011. His opponent, state treasurer Richard Mourdock, however, announced his candidacy in February 2011. . . . Lugar’s reappearance on the campaign trail also reminded the rank and file that they hadn’t seen him at their Lincoln Day Dinners and their party conventions for decades.
And Lugar wasn’t the most effective speaker, either. When he took the stump, he made a reasonable argument — that, with his seniority, he was an effective advocate for his state’s interests — and he illustrated it with three points: He voted against Obamacare, he wrote a farm bill that would cut $40 billion, and his efforts on behalf of nuclear disarmament were important. Unfortunately, his message was out of tune with the times. And, accustomed to speaking with other pols, Lugar littered his speeches with Washington anecdotes — what Harry Reid had said to him the other day, or how Republicans had delayed Democratic bills with hours of debate. These anecdotes only reinforced Lugar’s image as an out-of-touch politician.