Nancy Mace is one of the challengers to Lindsey Graham in the Republican primary, along with Richard Cash. There probably will be others.

Mace is a newbie as a candidate, although she’s been involved as a political consultant for years, and also co-founded the controversial FITS News website.

I don’t know enough about Mace to say that I’ll support her versus the other challengers, but I do know enough to say that I hope a strong challenger emerges and that Graham is forced into a runoff.

Mace seems to have the sound-bite friendly bio (1st female graduate of The Citadel, long family military history) to be an attractive candidate. I’m willing to give her a chance, to find out more, and to see how she develops as a candidate.

The one thing I do not expect is a slick talker, who has a pat answer for everything. So it really troubled me to see Jay Severin attacking Mace as “not ready for prime time” because of an interview she had with Glenn Beck.

Here’s the Beck interview, in its entirety:

Was it a great interview?

Probably not. She seemed to have a few canned answers she kept coming back to, but it wasn’t a terrible interview. And Beck asked some weird questions about her “soul” which probably caught her off guard. Sure, she also should have been better able to answer questions about why she was running, the influences upon her, and so on. I trust she’ll earn from these interview experiences.

But Severin declared her candidacy all but over:

Fast forward to Glenn Beck’s Blaze TV/Radio Network show on Aug. 6. The guest, Nancy Mace, a Republican challenger to U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R)ino, SC.

Many people want Senator Graham involuntarily retired. Conservatives certainly do.

Absolutely Glenn and Pat and Stu and Jeffie do.

This adds up to quite an opportunity for young Nancy Mace: A huge audience including many conservative voters of her own state, most of them “Anybody-But-Graham Republicans,” and a host of the same sentiment, who would presumably enjoy witnessing this candidate acquit herself well.

What’s not to like?

What could go wrong?

Then the Glenn Beck questions started.

And Nancy Mace threw up all over herself….

Glenn’s questions were not in the least hostile, nor were they in any way peculiar.

The candidate was called upon to respond to such trick, nasty, intricate queries as “What are your principles?” and “Tell us of your mother’s influence on you” and “How is your soul?” ….

There is still time for Nancy Mace.

Even so, I’ll bet Lindsey Graham was as happy yesterday after Nancy Mace’s interview as Jimmy Carter was after Teddy Kennedy’s all those years ago.

Because in politics some things change, but many remain the same.

Like “You must be ready for prime time.”

And as of the Glenn Beck Show this week, Nancy Mace isn’t.

No one has to treat Mace or any other challenger with kid gloves, but we also don’t need to try to kill the emerging challenger’s candidacies in the cradle.

Not if we want Lindsey Graham defeated. That is what we want, right?