In a recent, hour-long interview, Lindsey Graham said if he is reelected to the Senate in November, he will begin exploring a bid for the presidency.This is from a Stephen Hayes article in The Weekly Standard about a resurgence of hawkishness in the GOP -- although, Hayes says, the GOP dalliance with noninterventionism "wasn't much of a fling." The people at the Standard would be saying this even if it weren't true, but I think it is -- Republicans always revert to hawkishness as a default position, because they hate most non-Europeans, and because their greatest pleasure is to portray Democrats and liberals as feckless love-bead wearers who put daisies in gun barrels.
Graham has long been one of the most active and outspoken hawks in Congress....
In our interview, Graham repeatedly spoke of the challenges that will face the next president because of the mistakes made under Obama. And he suggested that he might just be the one to fix them.
But Graham? Really? I'm not going to make the gay jokes everyone else makes -- if he's a closet case, I don't care. I don't even think Republicans care -- he gets reelected because he delivers satisfying attacks on the president on an almost daily basis, but the base across the country regards him as a RINO, primarily because he's not an immigration hard-liner. (Google the word "Grahamnesty.") So this would be a fool's errand. Does he not know this? Is he self-deluding? Or are Sheldon Adelson and other hawks just expressing an eagerness to write such huge checks to anyone who'll challenge Rand Paul in the primaries that a race is hard to resist? (I assume that's what Peter King is thinking.)
Um, if there are too many hawks in the race and only one Rand Paul, doesn't that make Paul more likely to win the nomination, while the hawks split the vote?
Yeah, yeah, I know the conventional wisdom: Christie, Perry, and Walker could all be under indictment as the race gets under way; Romney and Jeb probably won't run (though being pro-immigration reform also dooms Jeb in the primaries, as does being a big advocate of Common Core); dark horses like Pence and Kasich could do well, but they may not run. Yes, but if the candidates the insiders are counting on don't run, I think Graham will be outpolled by fringier names -- not just Ted Cruz but Ben Carson -- because they bring the rage much more compellingly than Graham does. (Graham delivers in bulk, but they beat him on quality.)
Ultimately, I think this thing is going to go to someone like Walker or Paul Ryan -- or Romney again, if he gets in. (He's really, really good at the one thing GOP voters care about more than anything, which is bashing Obama in rube-pleasing ways.) Graham? Zero chance.