Matt McDaniel

3 minute read

The Road to 2016: Lindsey Graham

Lindsey Graham, Official Portrait 2006.jpg

Quick Facts:

Senator from South Carolina

Stridently anti-Islamic and pro-intervention

Regularly insists that he was correct about the need to invade Syria and keep American troops in Iraq

Keys to the Party:

Member of the powerful Senate Armed Services Committee as well as the Judiciary and Appropriations Committees

One of the most outspoken critics of the libertarian streak in the party, specifically Senator Rand Paul

Was able to defend his seat in 2014 against Tea Party challengers

Keys to the Press:

One of the chief voices for American interventionism abroad

Senator from one of the early primary states, and the first of the southern primaries

Upside:

Zealously prosecute the War on Terrorism (though this will mean the erosion of civil liberties at home, a constant war footing, hatred for intervention abroad, and soldiers being away from their homes and families on near-constant deployment)

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Downside:

Senator Graham’s mix of social conservatism with hyper-hawkish policies are inflammatory

Generally despised by the part of the party that favors a reduction in defense spending in order to cut fraud waste and abuses

Odds of Running:

2/10

Senator Graham would run in order to make himself a power-broker for potential nominees coming into South Carolina (a la Jim DeMint). Though he did face a primary challenge in his last reelection bid, his odds of winning the early South Carolina primary would be higher than his competitors. His brand of nationalist hawkishness would play well in the neo-conservative circles (especially with the growing threat of organized Islamic terrorism).

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Odds of Winning the Nomination:

0/10

Senator Graham has little pull outside of his own state and would merely run to increase his own power. Likewise, there is little-to-no fundraising apparatus currently in play for Senator Graham beyond South Carolina. Senator Graham is also seen as an inside-the-beltway actor.

Odds of a Cabinet Position:

110

Senator Graham may attempt to broker his way into a position in an establishment candidate’s cabinet in the event he is particularly useful on the campaign trail (or can deliver South Carolina to a moderate candidate flagging after losing both Iowa and New Hampshire).

Bottom Line:

<p style="text-align:justify;">
  Lindsey Graham sees a wide open field and an early state primary in the state where he was just reelected as an opportunity to increase his political standing within a party that had been moving against his ideas in recent years.
</p>

<p style="text-align:justify;">
  <strong><span style="text-decoration:underline;">GovMatt’s Opinion</span></strong>: Lindsey Graham’s policies and ideas are dangerous to our nation. Much of the terrorism we face today has been created by the likes of the policies espoused by Senator Graham. American servicemen die abroad and Senator Graham would have them intervening at the drop of a hat.
</p>

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