Op-Ed

Sadly, Graham hits GOP campaign exit door

This editorial appeared in the Fayetteville Observer:

We’ll miss Lindsey Graham’s presence in the 2016 Republican presidential tournament. Our next-door neighbor, the senior U.S. senator from South Carolina, was a touch of class in a race that needs it.

But it’s a big understatement to say his campaign never caught on fire. His polling numbers started low, then disappeared. In November, they were so dismal that he didn’t qualify for that month’s “kids’ table” debate for second-tier candidates.

It’s unfortunate that Graham’s campaign never found the spotlight, because he had a lot of good ideas. The veteran senator, a frequent visitor at Fort Bragg, is a longtime member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. He is knowledgeable about defense and homeland security issues. He leans hawkish, but he leavens his view with common sense.

He also brightened the campaign with a knack for telling unvarnished truth with folksy humor – like the time in October when he described rivals Ben Carson and Donald Trump: “On our side, you’ve got the No. 2 guy tried to kill someone at 14. And the No. 1 guy is high energy and crazy as hell. How am I losing to these people?”

Good question. A blizzard of post-election books will try to answer it. Meanwhile, the race presses on, soon to arrive in North Carolina. We’re sorry Sen. Graham won’t be aboard.

Tribune Content Agency

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