Graham on Sanford, S.C. politics


Sen. Lindsey Graham made headlines today by rather dramatically breaking with his friend and fellow Republican Mark Sanford. Far from having a "list" of Republican lawmakers he’d like to get rid of, Sen. Graham gave a thumbs-up to the whole GOP field of officeholders in South Carolina.

So when he came by today to talk about Iraq, Iran, Europe and nuclear proliferation, before he left we inevitably got into S.C. politics, starting with a question from reporter John O’Connor about to what extent Mark Sanford is actually a veep contender.

Mr. Graham was careful only to say positive things about the governor, he did say something about himself that drew a contrast between the two of them. He said he was backing Republicans, regardless of whether he agreed with them totally or not, is because "I’m a party leader." Which of course suggests that certain other people are not, but he wasn’t going to say so.

He was much more forceful and articulate when talking geopolitics, of course. I plan to go back through the more substantive parts of the interview and see if I can can pull out a clip or two from those parts later. For now, I thought I’d share the part that dealt with today’s news story.


16 thoughts on “Graham on Sanford, S.C. politics

  1. Doug Ross

    I guess you’d call Senator Graham a partisan Republican then, eh?
    My party, right or wrong. That’s the kind of leadership we need, correct?

  2. david

    Money quote: Graham says “I’m a party leader.”
    Yep…this arrogant and insufferable suit is a definitely a legend in his own mind.
    I frankly haven’t seen much leadership. The main thing I remember about this yahoo during the last six years is his incessant yapping at McCains’ heels. My strongest impression of him is the he wears McCains’ undershorts as an ascot. And when he HAS attempted to lead, look where he’s tried to go: Exactly where McCain had already been for years.
    I vividly remember the tantrum Gramnesty threw on the senate floor during which I was told that I’m one of the “loud people” who always gets my way. Why? I just happen to think a secure border is a good idea, that’s why. This quaint belief held by us little people was so upsetting to such a wise and powerful leader like Gramnesty that he couldn’t help indulging in some condescension.
    Every time I reconsider and mull over what this snake has done, I get angrier and more determined to vote against him. At any price. David

  3. Harry

    Few people in SC doubt that Mark Sanford is correct on the issues of the day. The problem is that his arrogance as a man makes him unable to actually DO anything about the issues. He continually raises political capital, but in typical Sanford fashion, he never spends that capital unless it benefits him.
    Under his leadership government has ballooned, taxes soared, and the inefficiencies of our government have grown. Of course, none of this is Sanford’s fault…as he has been saying since the day he was elected.
    But real men (and women) realize that leaders lead, and fundamental to that is the ability to care about those around them, and the honesty to admit mistakes. Mark Sanford has neither virtue…so we as a state suffer.
    The promise of Mark Sanford was great. The reality is sad.

  4. Lee Muller

    How would you have implemented Mark Sanford’s reform agenda against the resistance of the corrupt legislature?

  5. Harry

    I would have acted, not talked.
    I would have used the resources of the state to further my agenda…not my reputation.
    I would have made allies, not enemies.
    I would have cared more about the people’s agenda, not my own.
    I would have realized that people are the reason for politics, not policy.
    I would have thanked God for the opportunity to serve my fellow man, not rewarded myself for being so special.

  6. david

    Harry, generally I agree with you that one should be careful about throwing around words like “corrupt” when characterizing people. However, when it comes to the legislature in this state, I gotta go with Lee. Corrupt would be one of the nicer things to say about this bunch of yahoos.
    It’s pretty clear that we aren’t likely to get any better legislators up there, let alone any real statesmen, any time soon. I sincerely wish we could get some momentum rolling for the idea to only allow these losers to meet biennially as is done in Texas. That might be a way to limit the damage and mayhem they cause. David

  7. Bill C.

    Instead of trying to figure out how you’re going to slam the governor of this state yet one more time. Why not do a blog entry on your staff photographers. What I mean is I noticed yet again today that the front page photo is of a grieving family member who’s just been notified of a death of an immediate family member. Today it’s a wife who’s husband had been shot by a sheriff’s deputy, not long ago it was the mother of a child who slipped off a dock an drowned. As an editor of a newspaper, I know you dream of front page photos like this because it’s what sells papers. My question to you, is would you appreciate your or your wife’s picture plastered on the front page of The State immediately after hearing of the death of your/her spouse or child?

  8. Bill C.

    To add to my last comment, I should add that photos like this are truly tasteless photos in my opinion. The family member(s) are experiencing the worst experience of their life and to have an insensitive cameraman shove a camera in their face and then plaster that picture across the front page is inexcusable.
    When I saw the photo of the mother who had just been notified that her child drowned, I did two things. One, immediately e-mailed the photographer and story writer, and secondly, picked up the phone and canceled my subscription to The State.

  9. david

    Brace yourselves.
    Brad will next explain at long length how he and the other editors have a detailed and compassionate process for deciding which photos they publish. Of course, this gobble-de-gook explanation will include the pro forma and obligatory references to:
    -Publics’ right to know
    -In deep consideration for the family (blah blah)
    -The human side of pain
    -Careful consideration of all sides
    Translation: Hey! It sells papers.

  10. bud

    I agree with Bill C. and David on this one. The afore mentioned photos were truly tasteless. The State should be ashamed of itself for showing that.

  11. Victor Michaels

    It appears that Grahamnesty will coast to victory in November. I know that voters are opposed to amnesty, so I am perplexed as to why they will vote for Grahamnesty. Is it because they don’t know about his support for amnesty? Is it because the voters are misinformed or uninformed? (Please help me with this answer.)

  12. david

    Victor, I don’t think he’s coasting anywhere in November. I think you either misjudge or wrongly discount just how many people he has angered in this state.
    Interestingly, I don’t think HE’S missing that point, as even in the absence of a clear and credible challenger Gramnesty is campaigning his a$$ off. He knows very well he’s in deep doo doo.
    The elite politicrats in the senate (of whom Lindsey is kith and close kin) have so stacked the incumbency deck in their favor that it is a wonder any of them ever get unseated unless there are other factors at play. This year there are definitely other factors in play against Miss Lindsey: He has a record that most people in South Carolina are disappointed in, and that many are outright mad about.
    It is my fervent hope that his record does him in. It should, and I intend to do whatever I can to ensure that it happens. You should too. David

  13. Jim

    Sanford’s problem is that he has very little political skills. He is right that we need to reform state government. However, insulting the legislature in a state that is run by the legislature is not going to get him anywhere.
    His second problem is that he is pursuing too many policy goals at once so that he can’t build any viable political coalition. There are plenty of people, including myself and The State editorial board, who strongly support state Government reform, but strongly oppose Sanford’s voucher scheme. His failure to build ad-hoc coalitions to get elements of his agenda passed is his biggest failure as governor. Sanford goes for “all or nothing” and usually gets “nothing.”

  14. Pat

    What is a state voucher scheme? We have one of the worst education systems in the nation. How do you convince people to move jobs here if the schools are so bad. I guess you tell them about all the great private schools, and they are only $6000 to $15,000 a year. And by the way you can’t take any of that off your taxes. And look at the legislature, they have been in office for ever, and the schools have not improved. Vote them all out.

  15. Lee Muller

    Not all the public schools are bad, but the state education system tolerates a lack of performance among black students, teachers and administrators which is the primary source of low scores and high dropout rates.
    No one who talks about gross averages in any statistic is serious about solving the problem. We have to look at the individual students, schools, and faculty who are excellingn and those failing and try to identify the common characteristics. If that involves race, then we need to find out what social factors among those racial groups contribute to success and failure.

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