Hmm… Does Graham WANT Christie to campaign for him?

Graham, consoling the family after Lee Bandy's funeral.

Graham, consoling the family after Lee Bandy’s funeral.

This morning, the national buzz is all about Chris Christie having positioned himself so well for the presidency in 2016. The talk is so far along that I couldn’t resist joking:


But the very qualities that make Christie attractive as a general-election candidate (Republicans are fairly swooning over his getting 51 percent of the Latino vote) get him in trouble with the national GOP base. Most of it is silly, symbolic stuff, such as his making nice with President Obama (you know, the guy who was rushing billions in aid toward his state) after the hurricane. But you know how the base (in each of the parties) can be about the silly, symbolic stuff.

In fact, the reservations harbored by many of the people who, had they been in Virginia, would have voted for Ken Cuccinelli are such that I find myself wondering about this:

Sen. Lindsey Graham’s (R-SC) re-election bid will evidently get a lift from one of the most popular governors in the country and a top 2016 contender….

According to the Times, Christie informed Republicans in South Carolina he intends to go to bat for Graham, who is facing a GOP primary next year.

poll released last week showed Graham’s approval rating taking a big hit in South Carolina, including a steep drop among GOP voters. …

Yeahhh… that’s the thing. The GOP voters who are mad at Graham are likely to be the ones least charmed by Christie.

So, I ask — is Christie coming here a plus or a minus for Graham? Thoughts?

11 thoughts on “Hmm… Does Graham WANT Christie to campaign for him?

  1. Bryan Caskey

    Maybe he can help Graham. Lindsey definitely needs a mediator with elements of his base. From an interview with Jake Tapper:

    Asked whether he considers himself a member of the tea party element of the Republican Party, Christie sounded conciliatory, telling Tapper, “There are elements of the tea party that are Republicans at their best.”

    Tea partiers, he noted, favor limited government and individual liberty and freedom. They are tough on government spending and question the need for raising taxes.

    1. Juan Caruso

      Christie being faux-conciliatory to “…elements of the tea party that are Republicans at their best”, is not a surprise — he is a skilled politician (lawyer).

      Christie’s problem (and Graham’s) may stem from the southern style vetting he has not yet received. It is one thing to be vetted for Guv of a liberal northeastern state, but quite a leap to expect that would automatically equate to zero political baggage in conservative SC.

  2. Phillip

    It’s a little weird, for sure. May be just a payoff in advance for return help when Christie runs here in the primary two years later. And then Graham may be hoping in turn for a Sec’ Defense appointment in a Christie Administration, Christie being very much of the Grahamish interventionist school of thought.

    Anyway, ain’t never gonna happen, Christie will never be the GOP nominee, not in 2016 anyway. Mark it down and if I’m wrong, call me on it later. But that’s my bet now.

    1. Doug Ross

      I agree, Phillip. He will go the same route Rudy Guilianni went. I also think his health would become an issue on a grueling year long campaign.

  3. Karen Pearson

    Phillip, do you suspect, as I do, that the tea party/libertarian/uberconservative wing of the Republican party is going to ruin any chances of them nominating a person who could appeal to moderates and independents?

  4. Bart

    It is time for Republicans to face hard facts.
    One, they don’t have an attractive candidate to offer to the hard core base who tend to be a little too far to the right.

    Second, they don’t have a clear platform that the majority of voters can support because of the infighting between the Tea Party contingent, traditional conservatives, moderates, and the progressive element.

    Third, while it is admirable to “stick to your guns” over certain issues, it is not a good idea to campaign on some the way it was done in Virginia. C’mon, campaigning to make oral sex illegal using the strawman that it would protect children from sexual predators? The law protecting children is already on the books in Virginia. Republicans need to stay out of the privacy of the bedroom – period.

    Fourth, like it or not, the illegal immigrant issue is rapidly becoming a losing proposition for Republicans and anyone who objects to the fast approaching changes in the law concerning illegals already in the country is literally wasting their time proposing laws that simply will not be enforceable. Too many anchor children to even think for one moment there are enough enforcement officers to round up millions of their parents and ship them back to Mexico or wherever they come from. We are stuck with them and they “ain’t” going away. Now is the time for someone with the wisdom of Solomon to step up and offer something that meets both sides in the middle.

    Fifth, Democrats have been successful in their efforts to register and turn out millions and millions of voters who are dependent on the government for financial support to one degree or another. If anyone with any common sense thinks voters will vote for someone who is for reducing their income is really out of touch. Who would voluntarily support a candidate who wants to take away a benefit that provides assistance to the person or their family?

    Sixth, ACA is here, it is not going away, and eventually, like Social Security and Medicare, it will become accepted as another benefit by the generations to come. Like those of us who grew up after SS was passed and the ones who grew up with Medicare, they are accepted as an essential part of government services by the majority and as many politicians have learned, trying to do away with or drastically changing either one is touching the “third rail of politics”.

    The demographics of the country are changing in ways many never thought possible. Neither party will ever get everything they want unless the government is eventually dominated by one party and if Republicans are not careful, that may be the case in the near future.

    Obama stated in a speech in 2008 that “we are days away from fundamentally changing the United States of America.”…. about the only time he has been totally truthful.

  5. barry

    He won’t need him. Governor Haley will campaign for Graham and that will help him in South Carolina this time around.

    Most of the legislature isn’t going to support a Lee Bright- because most don’t like his ideas anyway.

    and I think it’s becoming pretty obvious that tea party candidates can’t get anything at all accomplished in South Carolina- and especially Washington DC – except to make themselves look pretty silly.

    1. Silence

      I think anyone beating Graham is very much a distant longshot. Even knocking him off in a primary (which would be what would have to happen) would be a super tall order. I don’t think he needs anyone’s help.

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