In fact, the Tea Party is extreme only in its ordinariness. It is made of of moms and accountants and shop stewards and small businessmen. Richard Lugar was a career politician. Richard Mourdock spent three decades in business, a few years as his state’s treasurer, and is now seeking senatorial office. If elected, he has promised to limit himself to two terms. He supports cutting government spending, is against earmarks, and would seek a balanced budget.
I was fortunate yesterday to be among a small group of people who met Mr. Mourdock at a semi-secure undisclosed location for lunch. He’s the real thing: bright, articulate, passionate, and level-headed. He is someone of whom one can say without smirking that he is a public servant. People who say the country is in trouble are right. They are wrong, however, to despair. As candidates like Richard Mourdock demonstrate, the hour often brings forth the man. America may have the worst political class in its history. Men like Pat Toomey and Richard Mourdock give one hope. Keep an eye on him. The smart money says he is going to win and keep that seat on the right side of the ledger. But Mr. Mourdock will not have to worry about being called Barack Obama’s favorite Republican.
Of course, there is plenty of reason to hope that by the time he takes office, Barack Obama will be just a bad memory.