Daniels on Lugar's impact: "So many of us... became better people"

Daniels worked directly with former U.S. Senator Richard Lugar for 14 years during his political career.

Posted: Apr 29, 2019 3:45 PM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI)- Purdue President Mitch Daniels is reflecting on the life of former U.S. Senator Richard Lugar.

Lugar passed away over the weekend from complications of a neurological disorder called Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy or CIDP. He was 87-years-old.

Daniels worked directly with Lugar for 14 years during his political career. The first was during Lugar's time as mayor of Indianapolis, which he served from 1968 to 1975.

Daniels also served as Lugar's Chief of Staff while he was a U.S. Senator. Lugar served as senator from 1977 to 2013 before going on to head the Lugar Center where he focused on his policy priorities.

When News 18 asked Daniels what it was like to work for Lugar he replied, "It was like being in graduate school."

"[I learned] about character and what it means to be a public servant with total integrity," Daniels said. 

Daniels said he did everything with honor, integrity and openness.

"So many of us that worked around him became better people just by that exposure," Daniels said. "You couldn't work for him and not try to be a little bit better, a little bit more like he was, and I hope some of that stuck."

Daniels said he's only witnessed Lugar unable to accomplish a task one time in his life.

"When one of my four daughters asked him to dress her Barbie doll. He had four boys and he had no idea what to do with a Barbie Doll. It was the only time he was ever stumped," Daniels said.

Flags are being directed to be flown at half-staff.

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