Tom Davis not running: Am I the only person in SC who missed this? (Apparently so)

Not only did I miss it, but I only found out about it now because I saw a 12-day-old reTweet of a Gina Smith item on a mutual friend’s Twitter feed. Here’s the story, from Gina’s current paper, the Island Packet:

State Sen. Tom Davis, R-Beaufort, said today he will not run for U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham’s seat or any statewide office in 2014, including governor.

Instead, Davis said he can do more good in the state Senate, where he has recently gained appointment to powerful committees that include the Senate Finance Committee, a force in shaping the state’s budget.

“I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t tempting (to run for Graham’s seat,)” Davis said. “But when you get right down to it and realize you have a limited amount of time, a limited amount of energy, and you sit down and figure out where you can make the most difference, it’s a clear-cut decision. I can make far more of an impact in the (state) Senate.”…

Speculation has run high since the summer that Davis would seek the Republican nomination for Graham’s seat. During a Tampa rally for then-presidential contender Ron Paul, Davis blasted Graham and called for the defeat of the senior senator.

Actually, the speculation goes way back earlier than the summer.

So does this mean Lindsey Graham can relax now? Not really. In any case, he probably won’t.

21 thoughts on “Tom Davis not running: Am I the only person in SC who missed this? (Apparently so)

  1. Doug Ross

    Davis announced he wasn’t running for Lindsey’s seat and Lindsey joins the immigration amnesty cabal. These two events are not unrelated. Lindsey will tilt whichever way he needs to in order to get 50.1% of the vote.

  2. Brad Warthen Post author

    Now that I’ve been assured thrice on Twitter that I’m a complete idiot for having missed this — by Tyler Jones, Wyeth Ruthven and Corey Hutchins — let’s move on…

    So why do I get the feeling that Lindsey still assumes he has opposition? Who else is out there? Or is he just trumpeting his conservative bona fides — on Hagel, Benghazi, gun control, etc. — as a general precautionary tactic?

    Maybe it’s purely to give himself room to maneuver on immigration. I don’t know.

    Mind you, in raising these questions, I’m not suggesting what Doug or our other resident cynics would say — that this is all hypocritical posing.

    No, Graham sincerely holds these positions and has these concerns. And it’s perfectly legitimate to stress things that you believe in common with your base, especially if it gives you capital to take risks doing the right, but unpopular, thing on something else. I’m all for that.

    I’m just trying to figure out why Lindsey is suddenly so ubiquitous on all of this. Could be the luck of the draw — these issues all coming to the fore at the right time?

    I don’t know…

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      That the federal government is WHICH problem? What’s the problem? I mean, it has to be pretty hairy to be making speeches about how awesome John C. Calhoun and nullification were.

      1. Doug Ross

        A broken tax code, excessive waste of tax dollars, intruding into policies that should be left up to states, grandstanding on issues, excessive spending on military, excessive spending on social programs.

        Other than that, it’s running on all cylinders.

  3. Mark Stewart

    Graham has been a major disappointment as a Senator. That’s the bottom line.

    South Carolina is systemically incapable of producing a nationally relevant political figure. That’s also the bottom line.

      1. Mark Stewart

        I should have said constructively relevent.

        Getting lots of airtime for saying stuff that amuses the rest of the country is not the same thing as leading on the national issues of the day.

        1. Kathryn Fenner

          Constructive is in the eye of the beholder!

          Mind you, I am no fan of most of what Graham does, nor anything DeMint does.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Absolutely. It doesn’t matter what you or I think of them or what they do. One thing that Graham definitely is is relevant, on issue after issue — particularly national security, but also on domestic issues. And DeMint was, too, as a kingmaker interfering in elections all over the country.

      Right offhand, I can’t think of any other state recently that has had two senators simultaneously at the center of so many national discussions. Maybe when Kennedy was alive and Kerry was running for president…

      1. Doug Ross

        Kentucky: McConnell, Rand
        California: Boxer, Feinstein
        Alabama: Shelby, Sessions

        I don’t think Graham is “relevant” – what are his major accomplishments in terms of legislation he has championed and passed? He’s certainly more impressed with himself than the rest of the country is. The only reason he’s a Senator in SC is because there isn’t anyone better.. he replaced a Senator who was also “relevant” but even more useless for more than a decade.

    1. Doug Ross

      And you can book Paris Hilton on the late night talk shows. Doesn’t make her relevant. Relevant in my definition means having some power or prestige. Lindsey Graham has neither. He’s an inside the Beltway diva. If there’s a camera, he’ll show up.

    1. Doug Ross

      Shelby is the ranking member of the Appropriations committee. That’s extremely relevent. Sessions is the ranking minority member of the Budget committee. That’s very relevant.

      Here’s the list of Lindsey’s committee assignments. Which of these are more “relevant” than the two held by the Alabama senators? He’s like the middle manager who always tries to make himself look important at team meetings.

      Graham Committee assignments

      Committee on Armed Services
      Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities
      Subcommittee on Personnel (Ranking Member)
      Subcommittee on Strategic Forces
      Committee on the Budget
      Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
      Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management, the Federal Workforce and the District of Columbia
      Ad Hoc Subcommittee on State, Local, and Private Sector Preparedness and Integration
      Ad Hoc Subcommittee on Disaster Recovery (Ranking Member)
      Ad Hoc Subcommittee on Contracting Oversight
      Committee on the Judiciary
      Subcommittee on Administrative Oversight and the Courts
      Subcommittee on Crime and Drugs (Ranking Member)
      Subcommittee on Human Rights and the Law
      Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Property Rights
      Committee on Veterans’ Affairs
      Special Committee on Aging

  4. Phillip

    Lindsay Graham (like John McCain) established their political relevance by being relatively independent, occasionally iconoclastic voices within the GOP. In both cases, though, they’ve tacked hard to the right perhaps out of the desire to survive politically within a party structure that itself continued to move rightward, yet they do get a lot of face time on air still as Kathryn points out.

    I have to reluctantly agree with Brad on Graham’s relevance. The derailment of the Susan Rice nomination had a lot to do with him, just to name one thing. And probably much of our general drift in foreign policy does as well (with the help of many others to be sure). If you wake up one day in 2026 and we still are saying after 25 years that we are “at war” (with all that implies for our society) simply because it’s impossible to eliminate every single terrorist threat out there in the world, you’ll definitely have Lindsay Graham to thank, among others.


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