Last year the conservative movement was energized by Tea Party activists who helped elect new conservative leaders and retire some others. Next on their agenda is removing Indiana Sen. Dick Lugar, a man that MSNBC called “Barack Obama’s favorite senator.” Challenging Lugar in the primary is Indiana Treasurer Richard Mourdock.
For those curious as to whether Mourdock can go the distance against someone who has been in the Senate for more than 30 years, you should know he is a marathon runner who has done six marathons in the last eight years. In his campaign announcement, Mourdock said, “Hoosiers want more than a globe-trotting senator, they want a senator who routinely holds town hall meetings, not to talk but to listen. They want a senator who will walk the parade routes, visit the county fairs and festivals, and who will eat pork tenderloin and an ear of corn. They told me over and over again that they want a senator who comes back home.”
Mourdock received national attention in 2009 for his response to the federal government’s asset grab. When President Obama ordered a bailout and government takeover of Chrysler, Mourdock stood up for Indiana pensioners who owned $42.5 million of Chrysler’s debt and took the case to the Supreme Court.
Thanks to Mourdock’s fiscally responsible budget and garnering more than $1 billion in investment income for the state, he has received accolades from some of the conservative movement’s best leaders, including Steve Forbes, Mark Levin, Herman Cain and George Will.
Lugar is the most senior Republican member of the Senate, making him president pro tempore of the Senate if Republicans gain control in 2012. However, Sen. Orrin Hatch disputes that based on how he interprets the seniority rules. Judging by the current climate in the conservative movement, I wouldn’t be too sure that either of them will be fighting for the title after Election Day.
1. If there were a television channel that only showed one movie over and over, what movie should it be?
MOURDOCK: “A Few Good Men” with Jack Nicholson and Tom Cruise.
2. What’s one of your favorite movie quotes?
MOURDOCK: “The truth? You CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!”
3. In A Clockwork Orange, Malcolm McDowell is strapped in with his eyes propped open and forced to watch images until he is “cured.” If you could give President Obama, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Leader Harry Reid the “Clockwork Orange treatment,” what movie would you make them watch?
MOURDOCK: Easy question. …. Bedtime for Bonzo with future President Ronald Reagan. It would drive them nuts (nuttier) to think THAT GUY would ever be one of the most revered leaders in American history. I’d pay to watch them watch the movie.
4. What pop culture souvenir do you own that people would be surprised to learn that you cherish?
MOURDOCK: A six-transistor radio received as a Christmas gift in 1964. The size of my present Droid, but three times as thick. AM and FM with a little earpiece that still works.
5. What’s your current “guilty pleasure” non-news television show?
MOURDOCK: CBS’ “Survivor.” Never miss an episode. I could win that show … oh yes, I could.
6. Which movie, television or rock star would cause you to lose your ability to speak if you ever met?
MOURDOCK: Sorry, none. They put their pants on one leg at a time too. Although on second thought … being a Hoosier race fan, I would like to meet Danica Patrick.
7. What was the first rock concert you ever attended and where did you sit and who went with you?
MOURDOCK: Haven’t gotten to one yet … ever.
8. What do you remember most about going to the movies as a kid? How has that experience changed for the better or worse for your kids?
MOURDOCK: Seeing the girl I wanted to date with some doofus and thinking, “What’s wrong with ME?” And, come to think of it, that may explain why I don’t have any kids.
9. If Republicans and Democrats had theme songs for 2011, what would they be?
MOURDOCK: Republicans song: “Dream the Impossible Dream” from “Man of La Mancha” because we lead best when causing others to imagine a world yet to be. The Dems’ song: “Imagine” by John Lennon because they don’t live in the real world, only one that they imagine, where there are no countries and “no religion, too.”
10. What books were on your summer reading list?
MOURDOCK: A. Lincoln by Ronald C. White Jr., The Revolt by Menachim Begin, Mad About Trade by Daniel Griswold and Cool It by Bjorn Lomborg.
11. One mainstay in politics are the grip-and-grin photos that line people’s walls and desks. What grip-and-grin photo do you cherish the most?
MOURDOCK: Sorry, don’t save such photos. But I will cherish the memories of meeting Jack Kemp and George Will.
12. Tell me about the moment you decided to enter the political arena.
MOURDOCK: I was a frustrated “any man.” I was angry at my congressman and began to imagine myself as a congressman. One day, I gave a brilliant speech while mowing my lawn and decided maybe I should give it a try.