Lindsey Graham’s proposed presidential campaign

I see some of y’all have already raised the topic of Lindsey Graham forming an exploratory committee for a presidential campaign.

Kathryn asked whether he had a chance of beating Jeb Bush (in a way that indicated she knew the answer).

No, he does not.

But I’m pretty sure this is one of those “running to get free media in order to raise certain issues” campaigns. I think he assumes that none of those running will provide the kind of critique of the Obama administration on international affairs as he will. What I’ve been seeing lately suggests that both parties will be trying to out-populist each other on economic issues. To some extent, anyway. Graham’s probably reading stuff like this:

“You talk to any pollster, on the Democratic side or the Republican side, they’re in complete agreement on the idea that there has to be an economic populist message,” said Matthew Dowd, a top strategist for former president George W. Bush’s 2000 and 2004 campaigns.

And if you’re Graham, or John McCain, or me, that makes you think there’s not going to be nearly enough talk about collective security, or America’s relationships with the rest of the world.

I don’t think the campaign-to-be is about trying to beat anybody. But I could be wrong….

12 thoughts on “Lindsey Graham’s proposed presidential campaign

  1. Lynn Teague

    I’m sure you’re right, although I don’t think Graham needs more free media. He already gets a solid sufficiency. In fact, even more exposure might not be to his advantage, or that of his issues.

  2. Silence

    I still can’t see anyone supporting another Bush. Seriously, he may be a fine guy, but why? There’s a world of other candidates out there not named Bush (or Clinton, for that matter.)

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      The Bushes represent the party’s mainstream, and have done so on the presidential stage ever since Bush pere ran (and lost to Reagan from the party’s right wing) in 1980.

      They are the candidates with greater appeal not only to traditional Republicans, but to us swing voters, than, say, the Rand Pauls or Marco Rubios of the world.

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        Just had memory blip on Marco Rubio’s name. I keep wanting to run his names together as “Mario,” and then I can’t think of a surname to go with it, and it takes a moment to realize “Mario” is wrong…

        I need to imagine kids playing “Marco Polo,” instead of picturing Mario Cuomo…

      2. Silence

        However much appeal the Bush name and brand hold for mainstream republicans, (and I dispute that the “moderate” branch is the mainstream) we are talking about people who will likely vote Republican anyways. I would argue that the brand is so severely tainted that it will attract relatively few independent or swing voters, and even fewer traditional Democratic voters. I voted for GWB twice, and believe that he was trying to do the right thing, but the brand is damaged. It’s the equivalent of Enron or Corvair. Fairly or not.
        It’s time to usher in a new crop of post-boomer republican politicians.

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          But Jeb was always the smart one, the one who was supposed to take over the family business.

          A lot of people (including me) think W. was like Sonny, but he was really kind of a Fredo, in his younger days…

  3. Juan Caruso

    I first thought Sen Graham might run solely for the ego-trip it gives guys like Santorum (who may not have decided to run again yet). Run once, and you are memorialized in history as a presidential contender that future college students of American history may have to research for quite some time. Lose often, however, and you get branded another loser footnoted in history by a concensus of serious professionals (not Graham’s style).

    Graham is not a serious contender, so why run? He is certainly a plausible candidate and word on the street is that Graham will run to undercut Rand Paul’s chances, not Hillary’s. What, you did not know Paul was the most serious threat to the Republichan establishment? Not sure I would believe that either.

      1. Juan Caruso

        You may be very close on your calculus, Doug.

        Rand Paul is perhaps the only candidate who CAN bring new voters to the Republican Party without losing a greater number of other Republichan voters.

        The staged dramas (often mutually staged) by both parties (congressional leaderes and the most influential of the 16,000 registered lobbyists has become malicious.

        Like other white collar crimes, however, political corruption becomes a habit thats gets bigger and bigger until detection is eventually unavoidable.

        One day, this house of cards is bound to fall, big heads will then roll, family legacies will be ruined, avenues will be renamed, and tell-tale books will be written. Growing signs of corruption and even red flags have been all about since 9-11.

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