Via Jake Tapper, today Dick Lugar became the only Republican to side with Barack Obama in the unsuccessful effort to overcome a filibuster against the nomination of James Cole as Deputy Attorney General. Among other problems with Cole, he is on the record, even after 9/11, as saying that terrorist are civil criminals and should be prosecuted and tried as criminals in the civilian courts (apparently because this policy worked so well during the Clinton Administration). Additionally, Cole’s time as independent counsel for AIG immediately prior to AIG’s meltdown have caused many AIG employees to openly question his effectiveness.
In any event, Dick Lugar has made himself clear: he is just fine being the only Republican to think that a guy who wants to return to the failed terrorism prosecution strategies of the Clinton Administration should be second-in-command at the Justice Department.
Lugar has already made clear that he doesn’t really care for conservatives, now he is apparently taking the next step in his primary campaign and placing lots of distance between himself and all Republicans. I guess he figures maybe Obama can come help him fundraise or campaign for him during the primary; he’s certainly doing more to curry favor with Obama than he is with Republican primary voters at this point.