He's badly in need of showcasing his distance from Democrats, but Donnelly's warm comments towards him don't help matters.
What's the relationship like between Lugar and Donnelly? "I think it's a good relationship," Donnelly said. What about Mourdock? Donnelly said he has only met Mourdock once and does not know him that well. But Donnelly said that he clashed with Mourdock on whether to give domestic auto companies bailouts -- Donnelly supported the president's plan, while Mourdock was a vocal opponent.
Meanwhile, the Lugar camp is going to try to use a Mourdock tactic against him, and point out the game Democrats are trying to play. Mourdock has said Lugar has been labeled by MSNBC as "President Obama's favorite Republican," and Lugar adviser Mark Helmke tweeted
Sunday that "with Donnelly in the race, Mourdock becomes Obama's favorite GOP candidate."
Head spinning yet? Things are only getting started in the Hoosier State.
-- 5:48 p.m. CORRECTION: The previous version of this post incorrectly described the way Mourdock has referred to Lugar. He said in an interview that "MSNBC has labeled Senator Lugar President Obama's favorite Republican."
5/10, 3:46 p.m. CLARIFICATION: The previous version of this post indicated that Lugar appeared in an ad for then-Sen. Obama in 2008. To be clear, a depiction of Lugar was used in the ad, without Lugar's prior knowledge or consent.