Two moderate GOP senators leaving the upper chamber at the end of this term are joining the National Institute for Civil Discourse.
Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) decided not to run for re-election, and Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) was defeated in the GOP primary.
The nonpartisan center for debate, research, education and policy about civility in public discourse was created at the University of Arizona in February 2011, in the aftermath of the Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) shooting.
The honorary chairman are former presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton. The honorary co-chairs are former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) and retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.
Board members include Madeleine Albright, Colin Powell, Bill Richardon, Alan Simpson, Greta van Susteren, and Giffords.
“The goals of the Institute parallel my long-held belief that only by finding common ground can we achieve the results for the common good,” Snowe said.
“I am excited to join the distinguished members of the Board of the National Institute for Civil Discourse. The American people want constructive dialogue from their leaders and recognize the dangers to American unity that are inherent in unrelenting partisanship,” Lugar said. “The NICD shares my conviction that problem solving and good governance depend greatly on the civility of our public discourse and the reinvigoration of bipartisanship in American politics.”
“Both senators have dedicated their careers to working across the aisle to reach bipartisan solutions to our nations’ problems,” Daschle said. “Their strong voices calling for a return to civility in our political discourse will enhance NICD’s ability to accomplish its mission.”