Dick Lugar wins the award for quickest about-face of the day. Unfortunately for him, he stepped in it mid-pirouette. But when it was all said and done he let on that all Republicans will be voting for the House's larded-up spending cut bill.
"I'm going to vote with the Republicans on the issue when H.R. 1 comes up," Lugar said. "It it's strictly an affirmative vote, I will be for H.R. 1 because all the Republicans will be voting for H.R. 1."
Why all the confusion? On his way into the Republicans' weekly policy lunch today he said exactly the opposite. The House CR includes all kinds of policy riders, and slashes State Department spending in a way Lugar has been clear he finds unacceptable. But Republicans have been putting off this vote because they have a lot invested in showing unanimity on that spending cut package, and they want to get everybody in line.
Over the course of the next hour, and what I assume was an impressive amount of arm-twisting, Lugar changed his mind.
"I'm sorry if I misled people," he said later. "I'm going to vote for the Republican resolution, which is as clearly as I can say it."
Unfortunately for him, his tea party-backed challenger, state treasurer Richard Mourdock, noticed the stumble and released a statement. "Senator Lugar's vacillation betrays his liberal instincts."