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Reflecting Back: A Conversation Between Senator Lugar and Mayor Pete Buttigieg


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Ted Frantz: So on October 9 2013, former Indiana Senator Richard Lugar sat down with an up and coming Mayor from South Bend named Pete Buttigieg. Their conversation served as the keynote for the first annual Richard M. Fairbanks Symposium on civic leadership at the University of Indianapolis. The discussion covers an overview of lugares entrance into politics pointers about how to build governing coalitions. Robert Kennedy’s April 4 1968 visit to Indianapolis as well as a memorable exchange about how much lugar in Buttigieg valued their training in the humanities listeners can be reminded of lugares photographic memory as well as Buttigieg unique ability to frame issues of leadership. Finally, the to discuss the ways in which executive experience is necessary in politics in 2019. Two events conspire to increase interest in the lugar Buddha judge conversation. First Buttigieg became one of many Democrats vying for the 2020 presidential nomination. Second on April 28. Senator Lugar died at the age of 87. The longest serving and most distinguished senator in Indiana history Lugar was renowned as an unparalleled statesman his close relationship with the University of Indianapolis was one of his many lasting legacies. Together with symposium partner, Indiana humanities, the Institute for Civic Leadership and mayoral archives is proud to release the entirety of this memorable keynote, the University of Indianapolis is thankful for the support provided by the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation, the Lilly Endowment and other individual philanthropic sponsors. If you like this conversation, be sure to check out all of our other podcasts on your favorite podcast provider.

Pete Buttigieg: Well, thank you for the opportunity to to be here. And it’s it’s polite. I think in a situation like this to say that you’re humbled when often a politician means they feel the opposite of humble, they feel proud. But but I’m seriously humbled to find myself in this context. Some similarities were mentioned. Senator Lugar, studied at Pembroke College and Oxford. So did I. Senator Lugar was a young Mayor as I am. He was a naval intelligence officer, as I am, Senator Lugar also more responsible than any other individual through a great diplomatic triumph, for the destruction of over 7000 nuclear weapons from the United States and Russia. Meaning he’s one of the people walking this earth most responsible for having perhaps prevented a nuclear disaster in our time. And I read a book about Russia not long ago. All of which is to say that this is very humbling. So in order to try to level the playing field a little bit at the beginning of the conversation, I was hoping I could pull you back to the, to the first days of your administration, as a young mayor, when there’s something that I think we would have had in common, which is that experience of coming through the door of the mayor’s office the first time something you’ve prepared for, for quite a while you’ve campaigned for the voters have trusted you with it, you know exactly where you want to take the city generally. But you’ve got to figure out how to spend your first moments and first days in office. And I was very interested to know how you saw the challenges shaping up and how you prioritize your first few days. When you were actually at the helm.