Monday, June 01, 2015

Election 2016: What's Up With Lindsey Graham?

English: Official portrait of Senator LIndsey ...
US Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC)
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
He formally threw his hat into the presidential ring today.

He will not be the next president of the United States, nor will he be the Republican Party's 2016 presidential nominee.

He knows this. You know this. I know this. There's nobody on the face of Planet Earth who doesn't know this.

He's only popular with two voter demographics: South Carolinians and the So Completely Batshit Insane on "National Security" That We Consider Dr. Strangelove a Commie Pinko Pacifist voter bloc.

He's not popular enough with South Carolinians to carry his own state in the presidential primary -- in fact, he came in behind his self-designated nemesis, Rand Paul, in an April poll of the state's presidential preferences.

Nor is the SCBIoNSTWCDSaCPP bloc large enough to put him over the top anywhere else.

So what's up with the presidential campaign? Here's my take:

He can't win South Carolina in the presidential primary, but in anything remotely resembling a horserace he can decide who wins South Carolina in the presidential primary. His endorsement can move at least high-single-digit, and probably double-digit, vote percentages into a candidate's column.

In states with a significant SCBIoNSTWCDSaCPP presence as things tighten up, his endorsement could conceivably move 5% of the "undecided as to which candidate is batshit insane enough for me" vote to the candidate who has that endorsement.

South Carolina is the third state in the presidential preference parade -- its primary follows the Iowa caucus and the New Hampshire primary.

So on the night of the New Hampshire primary, we can expect Lindsey Graham to go have a talk with one of the guys who looks set to maybe go the distance and offer to get that candidate on a roll with South Carolina in exchange for ...

Maybe he wants to be Secretary of Defense. Or possibly Secretary of Energy. Even if you didn't already have these two picked out as likely, you would after looking at his historical campaign contribution base.

But you probably already had that first one in mind, and I consider it most likely. Maybe veep, but I don't think so. As crazy as he is, he's not stupid, and he knows he would hurt the ticket in the second slot.

He's looking for a cabinet post, and running for president puts him in a better position to deal for one than just being the senior US Senator from South Carolina does.

So know you know what that's all about.

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