Richard Lugar is a strong conservative and not known for breaking party ranks. He does speak his mind however and is widely respected on both sides of the aisle. Former Senator Bill Bradley in his recent book called him the finest Senator he ever served with.
The speach given by Senator Lugar tonight will give cover to many Republicans who have been secretly wanting to get out of Iraq while tepidly supporting the Bush White House in public. Senator Lugar is widely recognized as one of the most knowledgeable in Washington on foreign policy and his word is respected. Many Republicans have been worried about what is going to happen in the 2008 elections if something isn't done about Iraq. This gives them the opportunity.
Bush failed to recognize the fact that the people had spoken in the 2006 elections. After six years of hearing about the fact that "elections have consequences" and how he was going to "spend the political capital he earned," I hope he realizes now that elections do have consequences and a failure on the President's part to listen to the will of the people results in a lame duck President with an approval rating of 26%.