Sen. Lindsey Graham comes out -- as a maverick
You might recall last December my whining about Republican leaders such as Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who say all the right, bipartisan things in elite settings but don’t dare say those things in a wider forum. Well, I’m happy to report that the “Maverick” mantle that Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) dumped in a desperate (and kinda sad) bid to save his seat has been picked up by his best buddy Graham.
In a rather entertaining profile by Robert Draper that will run in the New York Times magazine on Sunday, Graham reveals himself to be a rather quirky but fun fella who doesn’t cook, loves almond schnapps and is having a ball being the White House’s favorite Republican. (The other one, of course, is Sen. Susan Collins of Maine.)
"My God, look what I'm involved in!" he said. "By default, if for no other reason. How do you close Gitmo without working with me now? How do you do immigration?" He added: "What if I walked away from climate change tomorrow?... You know, all politicians like to be thought of in their own mind as somebody special. I'm past that now. I'm a little worried. This is not healthy for the country. It's really not."
White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel certainly thinks Graham is special. "He's willing to work on more things than the others,” Emanuel said. “Lindsey, to his credit, has a small-government vision that's out of fashion with his party, which stands for no government.... He's one of the last big voices to give that vision intellectual energy."
Such coziness hasn’t gone over well with the rowdy wing of the Republican base. Tea Partyers have branded Graham a RINO -- Republican in Name Only. Whatever. Graham thinks the Tea Party “will die out” because “they can never come up with a coherent vision for governing the country.” Graham has been dubbed “Obama Lite” by Glenn Beck. And Rush Limbaugh mocks him as “Lindsey Grahamnesty” because of his desire to actually do something meaningful about immigration reform. Such commitment caused William Gheen of Americans for Legal Immigration to badger the never-been-married Graham at a Tea Party rally in South Carolina in April. “Sen. Graham,” Gheen taunted, “you need to come forward and tell people about your alternative lifestyle and your homosexuality.”
When Draper asked Graham about this, he had a stellar response.
"Like maybe I'm having a clandestine affair with Ricky Martin," he said. "I know it's really gonna upset a lot of gay men -- I'm sure hundreds of 'em are gonna be jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge -- but I ain't available. I ain't gay. Sorry."
Guess I better pack my bags for San Francisco.
| July 2, 2010; 8:02 AM ET
Categories: Capehart | Tags: Jonathan Capehart
Save & Share: Previous: What Obama didn't -- and couldn't -- say on immigration
Next: Celebrate, America! Political quiz time
Posted by: withersb | July 2, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: theduke89 | July 2, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Noacoler | July 2, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: rcubedkc | July 2, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: screwjob16 | July 2, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: jlhare1 | July 2, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: good_angel | July 2, 2010 6:45 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: nada85484 | July 3, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.