Welcome to the 2016 GOP presidential primary, a magical place where dreams can come true. Or so hopes South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham. Speaking on Fox News, Graham suggested that he’s pretty close to making a decision and all signs indicate that he’ll be tossing his hat in the ring.
South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham said Sunday that he’s “91 percent sure” he’ll get into the 2016 presidential race — inching closer to a longshot challenge to the well-funded Republican front-runners.
Graham, a Republican and a military hawk, told “Fox News Sunday” that his foreign policy will be better than the plans put forth by Republican candidate Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.
“I think I’ve got a good message,” he said. “I’ve been more right than wrong on foreign policy.”
There’s really no choice other than to take him at his word and assume that he’s really thinking about doing this, but three things pop out from this conversation. First, “91 percent” is a rather specific set of odds to pick, but perhaps that’s a Southern colloquialism I’m not familiar with. Second, having confidence in your foreign policy positions in an election such as the one we’re likely to have is a great idea. But saying that you’ve been right more than you’ve been wrong doesn’t really come across as brimming with assurance. Might want to work on that line a bit.
Finally – and this is something that’s come up before – Lindsey Graham doesn’t really sound like he’s running against Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio. He constantly takes very specific jabs at Rand Paul as if he’s considering getting in the race just to make sure that Rand can’t win it. That’s sort of odd because even though Rand has stayed within striking distance of Hillary Clinton in a hypothetical match up for the general election, he’s still coming in behind three of them in the primary polling (Bush, Walker, Cruz) and we expect to see Rubio getting a decent bump when the next sets of numbers come out.
Of course, if Graham is actually going to get in this thing there’s something else he’s going to need and he seems to realize that.
Still, he acknowledged that challenges of financing a campaign while not being among the handful of leading candidates in early polling.
If I raise the money, I’ll run,” Graham also told Fox News.
Has Graham shown any real juice in terms of fundraising? I know there’s a super pac set up on his behalf, though I haven’t seen much in the way of specific numbers out of them. Even some poll watchers who were impressed by Graham’s potential early on were saying that money would be his major barrier and he might need to pick up a sugar daddy such as Sheldon Adelson if he wanted to make it out of the bottom tier.
I don’t know. I’m reserving judgement on this one. I suppose it’s still possible that he’ll declare and run, but I’ll believe it when I see it.