NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. - Sen. Lindsey Graham on Friday endorsed Jeb Bush for president, a major get for the former Florida governor who has struggled to gain traction in the contest.That's Politico telling us that this is "a major get," an assertion that's preposterous.
I know, I know -- this is supposed to be strategic on Jeb's part, because Graham is from a state with a key early primary:
We are watching Jeb's goalposts being changed. NH was supposed to be his state but now looking for a "reset" after SC with Graham support— Amanda Carpenter (@amandacarpenter) January 15, 2016
Um, have you seen Lindsey Graham's favorable ratings among Republicans?
... according to the most recent poll conducted by Public Policy Polling ... Graham received the highest unfavorables of any GOP candidate, with 50 percent of responders saying they had an “unfavorable opinion” of Graham, with only 22 percent deeming their feelings toward him “favorable.”Oh, but he must have a reservoir of goodwill in his home state of South Carolina ... right?
Apparently not In every primary poll conducted in South Carolina between mid-October and his withdrawal from the race last month, Graham came in at 3% or less. This is his home state!
McCain! The one Republican who's hated by RINO-loathing angry base voters almost as much as Graham!
Graham endorsed Bush but praised Marco Rubio during the announcement, although he said Rubio is too inexperienced right now:
“I think Marco Rubio will be president of the United States someday,” Graham said. “I like him. But I wasn’t ready to be president at 44.”If I'd been Jeb, I'd have begged Graham to endorse Rubio. At the very least, I'd have begged him not to endorse me.
Bush, Graham said, “is ready to be a commander-in-chief on Day One.”
But this is Jeb's problem: He's running his campaign in the way that everyone assumed would guarantee success ... until it slowly began to dawn on everyone but Jeb that all the rules have changed and it doesn't matter how effectively you've cornered the market on big-dollar donors, or how many establishment endorsements you can amass, because Republican voters are furious and want to burn the establishment to the ground.
Everyone gets that now. That's why Marco Rubio dropped the nice-guy act last night and ranted in the debate as if he were a corner-office hotshot who'd just come to a meeting after doing an eightball of blow. That's why Chris Christie kept answering questions as if he'd been possessed by the spirit of Travis Bickle trying out weapons. But Jeb still doesn't get it. He still won't change his approach.
Or maybe Jeb can't change his approach. He seems as if he's possessed by the sort of rigidity common to people on the autistic spectrum -- this is what he set out to do, this is how he set out to do it, and now he simply can't deviate because anything other than a rigid adherence to his original plan is unthinkable and terrifying. He's like Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man insisting that the underwear must be purchased at the Kmart in Cincinnati:
Jeb, you and the rest of your part are miles away from that Kmart in Cincinnati. In fact, angry mobs with pitchforks burned that Kmart to the ground. Go look somewhere else for your shorts-- er, votes.