Lindsey Graham is soon to join the GOP primary field that so far (officially) consists of Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina, and Mike Huckabee.  According to Fox News,

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham plans to announce his presidential campaign on June 1, GOP sources tell Fox News.

Graham, a three-term senator from South Carolina, is known as a foreign policy hawk in Congress. Though he is considered a long shot — and ranks near the bottom in recent polls of declared and potential Republican presidential candidates — Graham could help drive the debate on national security among a GOP field that includes candidates who sharply question policies ranging from drone strikes to NSA surveillance.

While it’s true that Graham’s views on national security are more palatable to the conservative base than (say) Rand Paul’s, there are areas that may not be reconcilable.  Graham is trying to establish himself not as the squishy “RINO” (Republican in Name Only) but as the “realist” in the field who will work in bipartisan fashion to accomplish his agenda.  It seems reasonable, in that case, to recall some of his bipartisan efforts in recent years:

Remember the “Year of Immigration Reform“?  That was 2013, in case you missed it.  The Gang of Eight is often evoked in discussion of Marco Rubio’s amnesty flip-flop, but it’s worth remembering that Rubio was not the only Republican member.  Lindsey Graham was right there, effectively leading the GOP side:   “We’re going to be aggressive in marketing the bill. This is an all hands on deck approach.”

Remember him joining Harry Reid in response to the Florida pastor who burned a Koran in 2011?:

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), a military lawyer, is the first member of Congress to say the legislature needs to explore the possibility, however unlikely, of limiting some kinds of free speech – like Terry Jones’ Quran burning – that help America’s enemies.

“I  wish we could find a way to hold people accountable. Free speech is a great idea, but we’re in a war,” he told CBS’s Bob Schieffer on “Face the Nation.”

So free speech really does have a big but?  Is this that much different than the way that the media and pundits piled on Pamela Geller for “inciting” last Sunday’s jihadi attack?

Remember his enthusiastic role as part of the climate change triumvirate dubbed “The Three Amigos,” consisting of Graham, John Kerry (then still a senator), and Joe Lieberman (also then still a senator)?:

Kerry, the de-facto leader of the triumvirate, assured [Rahm Emanuel] that there were five Republicans prepared to vote for the bill. One of them, Lindsey Graham, was sitting at the table. Kerry listed four more: Susan Collins, Olympia Snowe, Scott Brown, and George LeMieux. With five Republicans, getting sixty votes would be relatively easy. The Obama White House and the Three Amigos would be known for having passed a bill that would fundamentally change the American economy and slow the emission of gases that are causing the inexorable, and potentially catastrophic, warming of the planet.

While Graham doesn’t win many points with the base on immigration reform, free speech, or climate change, he is relatively strong not only on foreign policy and Common Core but also on the Second Amendment.  Watch him address the NRA-ILA Leadership Forum:


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