Former Georgia Sen. Sam Nunn wore a proud smile on his face when the Democratic Senate campaign of his daughter, Michelle Nunn, announced that his old Republican pals, former Sens. Dick Lugar and John Warner, were among her 10,000 mostly small dollar donors.

“That says a lot about them,” he told Secrets.

Many in media and political circles chalked up the contributions from the two GOP old bulls to their resentment of today’s divided politics and a shot across the bow of the Tea Party, which pushed Lugar out of his Senate seat in 2012.

But Sam Nunn, 75, said it was more about putting friendship over politics, and a wish by out-of-power politicians to repair Washington. “I think it says a lot about where we are politically today. People are really looking for different approaches and putting the country first,” said Nunn. “There’s a growing sentiment in that direction.”

Dad has been promoting his 47-year-old daughter to his friends and donors, but apparently not putting the strong arm on them. For example, he invited Warner, the former Virginia senator, to hear Michelle speak recently in Washington, but didn’t ask for the donation he gave.

“I think he may have come because of me, but I don’t think he gave because of me. I think he was interested in hearing what she had to say,” said Nunn.

With help like that, she might have a chance of winning the Republican state. “It’s going well, I mean, in a red state,” said the senior Nunn. “It’s uphill, it’s a steep hill, but it’s not impossible.”

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at