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How not to defeat Lindsey Graham: Kill challengers’ candidacies in the cradle

How not to defeat Lindsey Graham: Kill challengers’ candidacies in the cradle

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?


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“How’s your soul?” What is Beck, some kind of inverted Christianized Oprah? What an idiot; it’s a question reflective of the extreme and superfluous personalization of politics. Mace should have taken the opportunity to remind him that the state of her soul is not properly answerable in such a format nor in all modesty even by her but only by a higher authority. She’s a public servant whose purpose is to help enable the sovereign people to achieve greater liberty and empowerment according to our Constitution.

I admired Beck when he was perfoming taxonomy on his blackboards in the old days but his increasing religiosity has grown more than a little annoying (and hypocritical — his petty and jealous attack on Breitbart was hardly Christian).

    Joy in reply to raven. | August 11, 2013 at 11:02 pm

    “I admired Beck when he was performing taxonomy on his blackboards in the old days”

    As did I, but it seems that a raven must have more tolerance than an eagle ’cause he lost me the day he spent an entire show slapping a dead fish. 🙁

    mzk in reply to raven. | August 12, 2013 at 6:51 am

    This is his radio show; it is entirely different from the TV show, always was. A lot of the time it consists of the other guys making fun of Glen. Originally it wasn’t political at all.

    Glen Beck is whom he is; I like him – if you prefer someone else, there are plenty of purely political shows.

    Pablo in reply to raven. | August 12, 2013 at 7:59 am

    “How’s your soul?” What is Beck, some kind of inverted Christianized Oprah? What an idiot; it’s a question reflective of the extreme and superfluous personalization of politics.

    No, it’s a standard question of his for those who aspire to Congress, in recognition of the fact that if your are not spiritually healthy and grounded in integrity that DC will eat you alive. See Jeff Flake, Marco Rubio, et al.

    The devil lives in Congress. If you’re going to dance with him, you’d better have your soul in shape.

I haven’t heard Jay Severin mentioned since he was on Boston radio, and a big supporter of Mitt Romney. Back then he thought Romney was so very conservative, believe it or not.

Probably for the same reason he supports Lindsey Graham and opposes anyone who’d oppose Graham in a primary.

NC Mountain Girl | August 11, 2013 at 10:29 pm

Who the hell is Jay Severin and why on earth should I care? Seriously. This is the first I’ve ever heard of him. He seems he has few if ay connections with South Carolina but is in possession of an amazingly large, self aggrandizing ego.

    I believe Jay Severin is a radio talk host who has interviewed the Professor on occasion concerning the “Fauxcahontas” Senator Warren. He may be jumping to conclusions, but his voice could sway some boston area support for or against candidates. I agree with you though, since my first impression was “Who?” and it took me a few minutes to recognize that I had heard the name before.

DINORightMarie | August 11, 2013 at 10:44 pm

It is what these people do. They eat their own!! They want Graham in office, because he does what the Republican Party wants. That is why they don’t support Constitutional Conservative challengers to their establishment candidates. That is why they railroaded Christine O’Donnell and Sharon Angle (BEFORE any “witch” commercials or other trivialities the Dem-loving media and such crooned over and exploited).

That is why Nikki Haley nearly fell to that Dem-o-rat lying smear merchant; plus, most Conservative candidates receive NO funding or real support from the RNC (nor from the RNSC or RNCC). That is why they HATE Sarah Palin. Because she doesn’t play games – or as she says, “go along to get along” – with the Rove-ites.

The establishment RINO Republicans are killing the Republican Party – because they are truly in agreement with the Democrats, not with the Constitution or the people.

They eat their own, to protect their favorites and their fiefdoms.

Glen Beck? Who’s he?

A randomly selected resident from GA would be better than Lindsey Graham.

    DINORightMarie in reply to Skookum. | August 12, 2013 at 12:00 am

    I would prefer someone randomly selected from South Carolina, since that is the state where Graham is Senator; otherwise, he or she wouldn’t be allowed on the ballot to primary Graham. 😉

I find Beck frustrating in that he rambles to the point of incoherency.

A “bad” interview with him might actually be a good thing..

I think the Beck interview went okay. The whole point was to give her a tough interview that she might not do well on – before a friendly audience. Beck’s goal is to make her up her game. A few bad interviews early, before an audience that will be sympathetic enough to forgive her, could be a blessing if she comes roaring back later.

    DINORightMarie in reply to Glaivester. | August 12, 2013 at 12:04 am

    Except for the snakes in the grass waiting to strike them early….. Like they did with so many others, to “crazy” them, Palin-ize them, or “stupid-ize” them – using any and all necessary Alinsky methods – thus killing their chances early on.

Splits the vote. Lindsay Graham walks away with the prize.

Same with Mitch McConnell. They want a few who show up to challenge. And, if it’s only one person? Then, definitely send in Anthony Weiner! The whole system is set up by clowns.

It’s not easy to be a politician. Because you have to glad hand so many people!

The only thing is all other systems are worse.

    “Splits the vote. Lindsay Graham walks away with the prize.”

    Not necessarily. In SC you have to achieve a clear majority to win the primary, so Graham can’t get by pulling 45% of the vote.

[…] How not to defeat Lindsey Graham: Kill challengers’ candidacies in the cradle […]


Glenn Beck to Lindsey Graham (if he had the balls to be interviewed):

Beck: “How’s your soul?”
Graham: “Huh? I ordered the diet plate.”

Beck: “No, not sole, soul”.
Graham: “What’s that?”

Ridiculous? Yes. About as ridiculous as reelecting Graham.

Jay’s no neophyte and no RINO, but I think he is wrong in this case.

Challengers Cash, Mace, and Bright are all newbies to the big media spotlight that Graham has been practicing for over 15 years. If the benchmark is going to be “as strong taking questions ‘on their feet’ as Graham at the launch of their candidacy,” just give Lindsey his certificate, it is over, no one can challenge him.

But the truth is Reagan himself would have trouble unseating Graham. Fritz Hollings kept his seat for more than two decades while siding with every lamebrained liberal Democratic idea in DC. In South Carolina, the key has been constituent service. There is hardly a family in the state who hasn’t had someone helped by the offices of Strom Thurmond or Fritz Hollings, and Graham is doing a pretty good job of carrying on that tradition.

As a practical matter, we don’t have nine months to size up the candidates and then pick one. That would leave Graham coasting home. Time is short. Whoever is to give Graham a run for the nomination needs $2 million, and most will have to come from out of state in small donations.

We need to pick a candidate. Cash would be the best Senator, I think, but he’s already lost a primary for a congressional seat. Bright is a good guy, but clearly not ready for prime time. Mace isn’t going to be any Jim DeMint and probably no Tim Scott either, but she may be the best we can get this year (Sanford being in the early stages of rehabilitation, but he is the founder of the conservative reformer wing in SC, the patron of DeMint, Haley, and Scott).

After actually taking the time to listen to the interview, I have to agree with Jay. Nancy deep-sixed any support I might have had for her with her “dodge the question” answers.

For example, Glenn asked, “Why should we trust you?”

In my opinion, the only correct response to this question is to reply that trust is predicated upon relationships that are mutually beneficial. She should have said, “my record of past dealings” or stating that her word is her bond would have gone a long way to garner my support.

Instead, she rambled on about who’s been sent to Washington since 2010, and how they are doing what they were elected to do, and how she wants to join them. Well, that’s nice, but why should I trust her?

I came to the conclusion during the interview, that I don’t trust her. Jay may have gotten this one correct.

casualobserver | August 12, 2013 at 7:55 am

Part of me worries whenever Senate candidates – or especially candidates for the House – get analyzed and judged through national prisms. Sure, there should be some concern about who is elected from the various states. But at this point it is silly to think that a person who has no local recognition in SC can influence the election. More than many other states, SC has a long history of fierce independence when it comes to politics. In contrast to the steady smearing of Nikki Haley, she continues to poll relatively well and has survived a number of petty, fabricated ‘controversies’. Mark Sanford was clearly able to shed his past and convince voters to give him elected responsibilities again. Some might argue that his district is the least “old South” within the state as it is primarily coastal. But the less repopulated areas of the state are even more resistant to outside influence.

I suggest it will take a lot more than Severin, who probably is not recognized by 99% of the voters, to influence her candidacy. If she gets support from key locals, and learns to polish her message and public persona, it neutralizes a lot of the “outside” negativity. For some in the state, it would be especially true if the outside influence carries the “Y” label (Yankee).

I heard the interview and was embarrassed for her. She sounded like there was “no THERE there.” I could have answered the questions better than she did.

She’s probably been instructed not to get too personal, not to reveal anything, not to say anything at all where possible, but she definitely needs to get better at it. She just sounded as if she had nothing to say, or sometimes, didn’t even understand the question. I came away with the impression that the only qualification she has is being the first woman to graduate from the Citadel. Big whoop.

So she’s basically being challenged on her intelligence by someone who can’t write full paragraphs and whose article is a series of scatter shot, stream-of-consciousness ramblings. She may not be the person to unseat Graham, but Severin’s not the guy to make the case.

thorleywinston | August 12, 2013 at 10:42 am

I would like to see Lindsey Graham defeated in the primary by a better Republican who can then go on to win the general election. If this candidate could not stand up to Jay Severin then it’s best that she be removed NOW rather than suck up time and attention during the debates which would prevent a more viable candidate from breaking out and going on to win. If however this is just a stumble and she recovers from it to go on to be a serious candidate, that’s also good.

The problem with trying to unseat a DC barnacle like Graham is that only “newbies” will take up the challenge. No political veteran is going to risk his career by taking on the Establishment GOP machine.

Henry Hawkins | August 12, 2013 at 1:57 pm

On the other hand…. if a merely ‘okay’ interview went down, we wouldn’t be talking about her. Severin’s assessment helped more than it hurt because it upped her name recognition. Anyone who takes the word of any ‘journalist’ without personal investigation of the candidate ought not be allowed to vote. What Severin did was make a lot of people aware of her, and made those people want to look into her and make their own assessment. For a newbie, it doesn’t get a whole lot better than that this early in the process.

Delighted to see LI covering Nancy Mace! I find her tough, sincere, and a solid conservative. Severin’s slimy attack was unconvincing to say the least he wouldn’t have bothered if she didn’t have the establishment worried.

Meet Nancy Mace.. You’ll be happy you did