The PJ Tatler

Lugar Loses GOP Primary, But Gets Knighted

Former Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) is trading Congress for the knighthood.

Lugar lost his seat in last year’s GOP primary to Tea Party candidate Richard Mourdock. Mourdock went on to lose to Blue Dog Rep. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) by nearly six points.

Lugar, who served in the Senate from 1977 to the end of the 112th Congress, announced Sunday the establishment of the Lugar Center to “effect change with a nimbleness that was not possible in the Senate.”

“It is my goal that The Lugar Center will be dedicated to solving 21st Century problems by educating the public, policymakers and future leaders on critical issues,” Lugar said. “We plan to accomplish these goals by providing a timely forum for the best analysis and respectful discussion of remedies.”

Today, the center announced the former senator will be knighted tomorrow at the British Embassy in D.C.

“Her Majesty The Queen of England has bestowed upon retired U.S. Sen. Richard G. Lugar the rank of honorary Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (KBE),” the Lugar Center said.

Only subjects of the crown get to use the title “sir,” but he’s still in a pretty elite group. Americans to be knighted including Presidents Dwight Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush; as well as Bill Gates, Rev. Billy Graham, Alan Greenspan, Rudy Giuliani, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Bob Hope and Henry Kissinger.

Since leaving the Senate, Lugar heads the German Marshall Fund’s Richard G. Lugar Institute for Diplomacy and Congress. He also heads the Lugar Academy at the University of Indianapolis which includes a Washington, DC internship program.

The Lugar Center project includes working with British and European allies on energy security, weapons nonproliferation and global food security.