The Washington Post

Lugar trips were no junkets, Obama recalls

Sen. Richard Lugar, a rock star? (SAUL LOEB/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

“It was Dick who took me on my first foreign trip as senator,” Obama reminisced at an event commemorating a program to deal with nuclear weapons in the former Soviet Union.

The trip was to Russia, Ukraine and Azerbaijan. “We were there to see the . . .program in action,” Obama said, “and the first thing I learned is that when Dick Lugar travels overseas, it’s not a junket.

“You know, we didn’t stop and look at a lot of beautiful sites and sort

of lounge around on a lot of shopping excursions,” Obama recalled, implying that this is somehow the usual routine on such trips.

And “the more remote the place is,” Obama said, “the bigger a rock star Dick Lugar is. They love him in these places.”

Hey, that’s what we wrote back on Feb. 8.

Al Kamen, an award-winning columnist on the national staff of The Washington Post, created the “In the Loop” column in 1993.


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