Related Content: Greg Fettig

The Big Straddle: Why Compromise Can Be Hazardous to One’s Political Health

Gwen's Take

“There’s nothing in the middle of the road but yellow stripes and dead armadillos.”

Jim Hightower, a committed liberal and former Texas Agriculture Commissioner, liked to say this so much that he finally used it as a title for a book.

I was reminded of this tart assessment this week as I watched two skilled politicians attempt to negotiate a growing chasm opening under their feet. One of them, Indiana GOP Sen. Richard Lugar, slipped and fell. The other, President Obama, appeared to leap nimbly to the other side of the sinkhole just before it swallowed him up.

PBS NewsHour: Assessing the Indiana Senate Race After Lugar's Loss

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Indiana voters sent Richard Lugar to the U.S. Senate six times, but not again this year. He lost Tuesday to Tea Party-backed state Treasurer Richard Mourdock. Gwen Ifill, Greg Fettig of Hoosiers for a Conservative Senate and political analyst Brian Howey discuss why Lugar lost and preview the race to fill his seat in the Senate.