Shell Suber joining Graham campaign

Shell Suber, former Richland County GOP chair, will join the Lindsey Graham re-election campaign Monday as political director.

Crack sleuth that I am, I learned this today by a judicious application of blind, dumb luck.

I was working on a column for Sunday about Lindsey Graham and the fallout from the immigration debate. Naturally, I called Katon Dawson, since there’s all that talk about folks wanting him to challenge the senator.

Actually, technically, I called party HQ, and they were going to call Katon and ask him to call me back. Which he didn’t do. Make what you will of that.

So I was trying to think of some other party activists. I had spoken to6a_2 two who had given me all kinds of nifty quotes, but not for attribution. Sensitive subject, you know. One of them said Graham was right about racism underlying much of the anger over immigration, and that his big mistake was that "Lindsey said it out loud." I asked him whether it would be too specific to attribute that to "a leading Republican activist who’s too chicken—- to say it out loud." He said that would be fine, because it stated the case.

Anyway, I went through this free-association thing, thinking "Katon Dawson, state chair … no call back … how about a local party chair? … who’s the Richland County chair? … I know who used to be the Richland County chair…," so I called Shell. Very scientific. (Another association: I first met both Katon and Shell at the 2004 GOP convention in New York, back in my "Rolling Stone" days. That’s Shell on the last night of the convention, with the balloons.)

Shell didn’t call me back before I finished the column, but he was tempted to call me back and go on about what a great guy Lindsey is, and let me use it, and then find out on Monday about his new job. But he’s too nice a guy for that.

Anyway, he’ll be the fourth paid staffer. He’ll be reporting to Campaign Manager Scott Farmer, who is the one campaign worker to have stayed on all this time since 2002. He’s been, needless to say, raising money.

Shell has spent the last two years over at the State House as a lobbyist, working with Capitol Consultants. He had quit the county chairmanship to take that job. He’s hoping this new gig will at least last through November 2008.

I tried, with little hope, to get him talking about possible opposition, but he said he couldn’t give me anything but the usual boilerplate: "The senator is not taking anything for granted," we’re going to get out there and move the football down the football field, it’ll be a good clean fight, yadda yadda.

I’ll have more on the unfolding 2008 campaign as I stumble across it.

6 thoughts on “Shell Suber joining Graham campaign

  1. Ready to Hurl

    One of them said Graham was right about racism underlying much of the anger over immigration, and that his big mistake was that “Lindsey said it out loud.”

    At least some Grand Ole Hypocrites don’t live in denial.

  2. terri

    Hi Brad,
    Lindsay called us racist because we did not agree with him on a political issue. Now u quote an unnamed guy that confirms racism…and somehow think it matters.
    Well, I suppose there is at least some percentage of people against the immigration bill that are racist and in any large group of people there are bound to be some racist …even in a large assembled group of newspaper editors there is bound to be some percentage of people with racist attitudes…so what’s your point in mentioning it?
    Lindsay will never get my vote again. I will vote against him, or leave the ballot blank. Many in the GOP feel the same way because we are thinking people, not racist. Lindsay will also have to deal with the fall out from the rank and file disillusionment our republican leadership…from TRav to Sanford to Katon Dawson, none of them seem to listen to us…nor respect us.
    I believe Lindsay is in deep trouble, and a well run primary candidate can beat him.
    Time will tell.

  3. Mike

    Um, Brad – your article title says Suber is joining the McCain organization, but then the article itself says he’s joining Graham’s staff.
    Which is it?

  4. Brad Warthen

    Wow, I was really tired when I did that. Thanks, MIke. I’ve fixed it.
    How does something like that happen, I ask myself?
    — I had just posted something about McCain.
    — Shell and I had talked about McCain, and Graham, and the effect the immigration issue had had on them both. (Shell, by the way, won’t commit on a presidential candidate. He says he’s concentrating on getting Graham re-elected.)
    — I had spent a good piece of the day writing a column for Sunday about Graham and McCain (although particularly Graham) and immigration. It was in connection with that that I had called Shell to start with, not knowing about his new job.
    Long ago, in my news days, I could have said, “We don’t write the headlines; copy editors do.” And boy were there a lot of misunderstandings as a result of that. Most reporters probably have a story like that — just as they could tell of copy editors saving their butts (if they will admit it). But in editorial, we write our own headlines. As editor, I sometimes rewrite behind people, but in consultation with them.
    And finally, on the blog, there is NO ONE checking ANYTHING between my writing it and publication.
    Hence errors.
    And I rely on y’all to point them out. So thanks again, Mike.

  5. Ronald Abrams

    2 spellings for losers.. M-c-C-a-i-n or G-r-a-h-a-m. Both are correct and both are through.

  6. Roy

    Shell Suber joins the sinking ship!
    Eat and spend well on Lindseys campaign, you wont need it after he loses the primary!

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