In the three-way race for U.S. Senate, one candidate stands out as the kind of moderate Indiana needs.
Democrat Joe Donnelly, Republican Richard Mourdock and Libertarian Andrew Horning offer the voters distinct choices about the direction the nation is headed.
Mourdock offers a "my way or the highway" alternative. When we asked him to give an example of when he exercised bipartisanship and collaboration, he told of when he was a Vanderburgh County commissioner and persuaded two Democrats to go along with his idea. Compromise implies each side moving toward middle ground. That wasn't compromise.
The Chrysler bankruptcy also shows this philosophy. Mourdock fought against the prepackaged bankruptcy that saved the company and thousands of jobs in Indiana alone. Mourdock was taking a stand on principle, trying to protect pension assets invested in Chrysler.
Donnelly noted that even Toyota wanted to keep Chrysler intact because Toyota relies on some of the same suppliers and wanted to keep those companies in business, too. Had Chrysler collapsed, Donnelly said, Indiana would have lost 150,000 jobs. That would have been devastating.
Donnelly, the current 2nd District congressman, is very familiar with Northwest Indiana and its issues. That includes protecting American manufacturing interests.
"I have given floor speech after floor speech — and (Rep.) Pete (Visclosky) is big on this too — to put a fair value on Chinese currency," Donnelly said.
If you think of Donnelly as a Barack Obama disciple, think again. He's pro-life, although, unlike Mourdock, he would make exceptions in cases such as rape and incest. And he wants to get the Keystone XL pipeline construction started pronto, too.
Donnelly, who has visited Iraq and Afghanistan and seen conditions there, wants the nation to become energy independent.
"It's a national security challenge," he said. "I want to make sure the military decisions we make are not based in any way, shape or form on our need for energy."
Mourdock, the current state treasurer, is a geologist by training and background. He not only wants the Keystone pipeline built, but also wants to open more federal lands for drilling.
Horning talks of the nation being run not only by the military-industrial complex President Dwight Eisenhower warned Americans about but also by bankers. He wants to be strong on national defense but says the Constitution doesn't permit standing armies or a central bank. The world is much different now than in the 18th century, however.
Donnelly pegged his competition perfectly when he said, "The last thing we need is someone who's going there to blow the place up."
Indiana needs to send a moderate senator willing to compromise in order to get things accomplished.
In the days when Indiana had Democrat Evan Bayh and Republican Dick Lugar in the Senate, they worked in concert — and with great trust — to benefit their constituents. Donnelly and Sen. Dan Coats could fulfill that same role.
We endorse Donnelly.