Jeb Bush lands the coveted Lindsey Graham endorsement

posted at 11:21 am on January 15, 2016 by Allahpundit

Bad mojo here for center-righties and Trump/Cruz-haters, not because adding Graham’s three voters to Jeb’s total will make Jeb a contender but because it suggests the 40-car pile-up in the moderate lane won’t be sorted anytime soon. Graham could have tried to winnow the field in his own small way by backing Rubio or Christie, the two strongest center-right candidates in New Hampshire, and signaling to the rest of the establishment that it’s time to unite. Instead this guy’s propping up lost-cause Jeb Bush, which will encourage Bush voters in New Hampshire and South Carolina to dig in rather than defect to Rubio or Christie. That’s the real consequence of today’s announcement, I think — not that Bush is likely to pick up new votes but that he’s more likely than he was yesterday to hold onto some of the ones he’s already got. The only winners from a deep stalemate in the center are Graham’s two least favorite candidates, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, and yet here we are.

What tipped the scale? Among other things, it was — what else? — immigration. If only Rubio had remained a proud defender of the Gang of Eight bill instead of the reluctant defender he is now, he too might have landed the Grahamnesty seal of approval.

Here’s another clue to what may have tilted Graham away from Rubio and towards Bush:

“It’s not enough to criticize Obama,” Graham said [earlier this month], according to The Greenville News. “All of us do it. But are you willing to criticize Trump? Are you willing to say Ted Cruz’s approach to immigration is not practical? Are you willing to say — when Ted Cruz says we’re going to eliminate the IRS — it’s not going to happen.”

That echoes a criticism of Rubio that Graham made in 2014 in an interview with the Weekly Standard: “He’s a good guy … but he’s so afraid of the right, and I’ve let that go.” Jeb’s the guy who’s been punching Trump in the face for the past few months, and Jeb’s the guy who jumped in early last year vowing that he was willing to “lose the primary in order to win the general,” which was his awkward way of saying that he wouldn’t pander to the right simply because it would improve his chances at the nomination. In Graham’s mind, I guess, Bush is more of a “fighter” than Rubio is — at least when it comes to fighting conservatives — and that’s more important than the fact that he’s a really bad fighter who’s doing more damage to Rubio lately than he is to Trump.

Meanwhile, as Graham is telling the world that Jeb Bush is alive and well and intends to soldier on to South Carolina after New Hampshire, Bush donors are waiting for Jeb 2016 to die.

POLITICO talked to nearly two dozen major donors, and most say they are waiting for what one veteran Republican and former Bush 43 administration appointee described as the “family hall pass” to jump to another campaign after the New Hampshire primary.

“I’m resigned to it being over, frankly. It’s really disappointing,” said one top Bush Wall Street donor. “I’d urge him to get out after New Hampshire if he doesn’t do well, but he probably won’t.”…

“Hey, I need you to throw away money on Jeb — out of loyalty,” a Bush fundraiser has told donors recently.

Add “backing Jeb after watching him circle the drain for eight months” to Graham’s long list of good ideas, like citizenship for illegals and promoting U.S. intervention every time there’s a conflict abroad.

None of this matters much, though. Jeb was probably set on soldiering on whether Graham backed him or not, as his only chance to win (and to sink Rubio) is through a war of attrition. What may matter is what Graham’s support suggests about John McCain’s intentions. McCain won New Hampshire twice and he’s a former party nominee. His endorsement will mean something to casual Republican voters in NH who haven’t made up their minds yet. Rubio could use his support and Mitt Romney’s if he’s going to surge past Christie and Bush in New Hampshire to become the consensus establishment choice. But … that support may not be coming:

“This is a time of turmoil, the likes of which we’ve never seen no matter how long we’ve been in the game,” said Sen. John McCain, the party’s 2008 presidential nominee. He said in an interview that he’d back the eventual nominee but “obviously (Trump) would not be my selection.”

“I think I prefer others who have a better grasp in my view of the challenges we face,” McCain said, adding that he will stay neutral through the duration of the primary.

That’s not quite as good as an endorsement for Jeb but it’s almost as good in that it denies Rubio any splashy eleventh-hour momentum before the big vote. I wonder what Romney will do. He’s friendly with Rubio and Chris Christie, despite Christie having shivved him via that photo op with Obama right before the 2012 election. If Romney sits out too, Rubio’s going to have to find a way to break out in NH on his own. Are we past that point now?

Here’s the announcement, in which Graham notes how “eerily silent” other Republicans are about Trump’s proposal to ban Muslims from entering the U.S., another dig at Rubio for not confronting the right aggressively enough. Incidentally, after McCain said he was unsure about Ted Cruz’s “natural-born” status, Cruz claimed that’s because he’s in the tank for Rubio. Can we dispense with that theory now?


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Comments

Jeb!/Ms. Lindsey — 2016

Schadenfreude on January 15, 2016 at 11:23 AM

Faux pushed this thusly “Yuuuge endorsement for Jeb Bush coming up”

Then this :)

Schadenfreude on January 15, 2016 at 11:24 AM

BFD…

OmahaConservative on January 15, 2016 at 11:24 AM

Bob Vander Plaats will not be pleased to hear about this.

Graham better watch his back.

Paperclips on January 15, 2016 at 11:25 AM

Hey, Jeb I have your back!

Oil Can on January 15, 2016 at 11:25 AM

Game changer!

mankai on January 15, 2016 at 11:26 AM

Lindsey just wants to fight conservatives.

Flapjackmaka on January 15, 2016 at 11:26 AM

Ms. Lindsey introduced poor Jeb! as “r next president” and said that “SC will reset this race”.

He was right on the latter, but not as he thinks.

But, thanks for the laughs, dear Lord!

NO more Bushs!

NO more Clintons!

NO more Kennedys!

NO more obamas!

If you want royalty, got to Europe or to hell, no diff.

Schadenfreude on January 15, 2016 at 11:26 AM

See AP, “the centrists finally unite” :)

Schadenfreude on January 15, 2016 at 11:26 AM

DRUDGE POLL: 3 LEFT STANDING…
TRUMP RENTS OUT IOWA THEATER TO SHOW BENGHAZI MOVIE…
Hands out free tickets…

POLL: Quarter of Republicans think Cruz birthplace disqualifies him for president…
‘Natural-Born Citizen’ Status Tested in Birther Suit…
RNC member urges party to rally against Trump…

RETAIL COLLAPSE
WALMART TO SHUT 100S OF STORES

The USA at this moment in time.

Schadenfreude on January 15, 2016 at 11:28 AM

The center-left is coalescing …

ShainS on January 15, 2016 at 11:29 AM

Here’s the announcement, in which Graham notes how “eerily silent” other Republicans are about Trump’s proposal to ban Muslims from entering the U.S., another dig at Rubio for not confronting the right aggressively enough.

“Eerily silent”? Haven’t they all come out and said they disagree?

Doughboy on January 15, 2016 at 11:29 AM

girlyman supports girlyboy. All bets are off now.

Neitherleftorright on January 15, 2016 at 11:30 AM

The center-left is coalescing …

ShainS on January 15, 2016 at 11:29 AM

The center corrupt are coalescing… they may be left, they may be right… whatch you got?

Neitherleftorright on January 15, 2016 at 11:32 AM

Lindsay looked like he just got the bad news. Trump will be the nominee

rik on January 15, 2016 at 11:32 AM

All the other candidates are thinking “but for the grace of God it could have been me Lindsey endorsed”.

whatcat on January 15, 2016 at 11:34 AM

The USA at this moment in time.

Schadenfreude on January 15, 2016 at 11:28 AM

Rail freight volume is dropping.
Dry Baltic Index is at records lows
All the energy jobs created in the previous 5 years a disappearing.

But never fear, Obama is worried about your gun.

Oil Can on January 15, 2016 at 11:35 AM

The center-left of the democratic party is coalescing …

ShainS on January 15, 2016 at 11:29 AM

rik on January 15, 2016 at 11:35 AM

lol. This is a game changer./sarc

voiceofreason on January 15, 2016 at 11:37 AM

The interesting thing that is happening, as everyone with a clue has said all along, is that Republicans will not go to support Trump as the other candidates drop out. Trump already has his ceiling.

Those votes will go elsewhere, or not vote at all. This will really begin to pick up after SC.

You people that have bragged for months about Trump’s poll numbers won’t be seen around here this time next year.

Moesart on January 15, 2016 at 11:38 AM

Does this … even help in South Carolina?

Aizen on January 15, 2016 at 11:38 AM

Meanwhile the energizer, with no sleep.

Schadenfreude on January 15, 2016 at 11:39 AM

but because it suggests the 40-car pile-up in the moderate lane won’t be sorted anytime soon.

…and that’s bad?

Rogue on January 15, 2016 at 11:39 AM

Does this … even help in South Carolina?

Aizen on January 15, 2016 at 11:38 AM

Yes, but not the way they think.

Schadenfreude on January 15, 2016 at 11:39 AM

‘Graham Endorses Bush; Hilarity Ensues’.

Now, all Jeb! needs are those coveted endorsements from Bob Dole and Jon Huntsman, and he’s on the path to VICTORY!!

orangemtl on January 15, 2016 at 11:40 AM

Moesart on January 15, 2016 at 11:38 AM

You’re not very smart Moesart. Go back to collecting trash at that trailer park.

Schadenfreude on January 15, 2016 at 11:40 AM

This is like winning the coveted Eastern Pennsylvania Stamp Collectors’ Association endorsement.

DarthBrooks on January 15, 2016 at 11:41 AM

This is just awesome.

Even as a staunch cruz guy. And believe he might win the nomination. I will always be thankful for trump for destroying bush and the amnesty crowd. Even if he doesn’t win. He gave them the biggest heart attack possible

OrthodoxJew on January 15, 2016 at 11:42 AM

The center-left of the democratic party is coalescing …

Let’s not think of it as coalescing; more like congealing.
Like stale potato salad, left out at room temperature.
Guess what the next step in the degradation process is?
Hint: Bad smell.

orangemtl on January 15, 2016 at 11:43 AM

You know who this hurts?

Yeb.

Fallon on January 15, 2016 at 11:45 AM

This is like winning the coveted Eastern Pennsylvania Stamp Collectors’ Association endorsement.

DarthBrooks on January 15, 2016 at 11:41 AM

It was between Jeb and Pataki.

It was an ugly power struggle, but Jeb pulled it out. The rest is history.

mankai on January 15, 2016 at 11:47 AM

Meanwhile the energizer, with no sleep.

Schadenfreude on January 15, 2016 at 11:39 AM

The guy wears me out just watching him. Don’t know where gets his energy. The DNC must be crapping in their pants

rik on January 15, 2016 at 11:48 AM

Obviously, at least ideologically, Graham is no cracker.
He seems a lot like Mark Kirk of Illinois.

KW64 on January 15, 2016 at 11:50 AM

Jeb Bush lands the coveted Lindsey Graham endorsement

Graham endorsing Bush was an act of Christian love. Now, the Bush family needs to gather at Kennebunkport and stage an intervention for Jeb!

Happy Nomad on January 15, 2016 at 11:51 AM

This is just awesome.

Even as a staunch cruz guy. And believe he might win the nomination. I will always be thankful for trump for destroying bush and the amnesty crowd. Even if he doesn’t win. He gave them the biggest heart attack possible

OrthodoxJew on January 15, 2016 at 11:42 AM

Don’t sweat it. When Yeb drops out, he and Graham will endorse Teddy. When that happens, you’ll know the end is near

rik on January 15, 2016 at 11:51 AM

Yeb cannot bring himself to admit that his father and his moronic brother queered his political future for him. If his last name wasn’t Bush, he probably be doing better. Yeb isn’t helping either.

rik on January 15, 2016 at 11:54 AM

Bush/Graham ’96!

portlandon on January 15, 2016 at 11:55 AM

I think this summer the DC democrats are going to get the same feeling the GOP had in 1996 with Dole. They’ll have a loser on their hands and it will be every man for himself. Delicious!!

rik on January 15, 2016 at 11:58 AM

How about a Haley/Graham ticket? Ducks.

TerryW on January 15, 2016 at 11:59 AM

To out-beta Jeb, now that’s one epic achievement. Bravo, Ms. Lindsay!

Rix on January 15, 2016 at 12:01 PM

Yeb cannot bring himself to admit that his father and his moronic brother queered his political future for him. If his last name wasn’t Bush, he probably be doing better. Yeb isn’t helping either.

rik on January 15, 2016 at 11:54 AM

While I agree the Bush moniker doesn’t help, I doubt Jeb would be doing better if his last name was Smith. He’s a terrible candidate (simply in terms of campaigning) who is completely out of touch with the primary voters on issues.

The real truth is, if his last name weren’t Bush, he’d already have dropped out for lack of funding and he’d be even lower in the polls.

Monkeytoe on January 15, 2016 at 12:03 PM

Bush/Graham ’96!

portlandon on January 15, 2016 at 11:55 AM

Graham/Bush ’69.

Rix on January 15, 2016 at 12:04 PM

T H I S

C H A N G E S

E V E R Y T H I N G !

Oh wait. No it doesn’t. It only hurts the centrist Rubio.

Soldier on, Graham.

hillbillyjim on January 15, 2016 at 12:04 PM

Monkeytoe on January 15, 2016 at 12:03 PM

That’s probably true

rik on January 15, 2016 at 12:07 PM

Bush/Graham ’96!

portlandon on January 15, 2016 at 11:55 AM

BUSH/PUSSY 2020

rik on January 15, 2016 at 12:08 PM

Wow! what’s 2.3% + 0.4%??

crowmangler on January 15, 2016 at 12:19 PM

did you see Miss Lindsey in the audience last night? he was sitting in front, like he was part of Jeb’s family, clapping for Mr Amnesty, Mr Common Core.

and let’s be honest folks. If Trump had not entered the race, these 3 detestable clowns Bush, Boobio, and Graham would be calling the shots right now, with AMNESTY a foregone conclusion, and the GOPe without challenge, and millions of silent majority voters disgusted and disenfranchised.

Senator Philip Bluster on January 15, 2016 at 12:22 PM

The douche nozzle endorses the douche bag. They’re naturals together. Nothing to see here.

bbinfl on January 15, 2016 at 12:25 PM

Lyndsey Graham: “Here’s your endorsement Jebby boy! Oh look, I dropped it! Could you bend over and pick it up for me, hhhhhmmmmm? Purty pleeeassse?”

earlgrey on January 15, 2016 at 12:47 PM

While I agree the Bush moniker doesn’t help, I doubt Jeb would be doing better if his last name was Smith. He’s a terrible candidate (simply in terms of campaigning) who is completely out of touch with the primary voters on issues.

The real truth is, if his last name weren’t Bush, he’d already have dropped out for lack of funding and he’d be even lower in the polls.

Jeb makes Kasich look enlightened and exciting.
Which is hard to do, since Kasich makes mashed potatoes look exciting.

Bush/Graham 2016! At last, a cure for refractory insomnia.

orangemtl on January 15, 2016 at 12:48 PM

Better still, he is getting coveted kudos from Mayor DeBlaio.

F X Muldoon on January 15, 2016 at 1:00 PM

not because adding Graham’s three voters to Jeb’s total will make Jeb a contender but because it suggests the 40-car pile-up in the moderate lane won’t be sorted anytime soon.

Game changer!!

I think I just peed myself from laughing so hard..

ICanSeeNovFromMyHouse on January 15, 2016 at 1:08 PM

No one cares and Jeb is a loser.

pc253 on January 15, 2016 at 1:14 PM

In 2012 moderates coalesced around Romney, and conservatives diluted the vote. In 2016, it’s just the opposite. Conservatives are pretty well set with Trump, and moderates split between Rubio, Christie, Bush, and Kasich.

sauldalinsky on January 15, 2016 at 1:17 PM

Wow! what’s 2.3% + 0.4%??

crowmangler on January 15, 2016 at 12:19 PM

1.36 according to Common Core

rik on January 15, 2016 at 1:20 PM

For the win..:)

idesign on January 15, 2016 at 1:22 PM

I thought this was a clip for Saturday Night Live.

alanstern on January 15, 2016 at 1:30 PM

Wow! With that one stunning endorsement Jeb may have effectively DOUBLED his support! He’s now polling at almost but not quite 3% (Margin of error in all polling 4%). Jeb will surely put all of Graham’s dedicated supporters to good use. He might even have enough people to stage a car wash or a bake sale now.

patches on January 15, 2016 at 1:37 PM

Jeb Bush lands the coveted Lindsey Graham endorsement

That and $9.50 will get you a Iced, Half Caff, Ristretto, Venti, 4-Pump, Sugar Free, Cinnamon, Dolce Soy Skinny Latte.

Oxymoron on January 15, 2016 at 1:38 PM

The fat lady sings

steveracer on January 15, 2016 at 1:43 PM

coup de gras – kiss of death from Grahmnesty.

cww on January 15, 2016 at 2:01 PM

Who is this Jeb you speak of?

dddave on January 15, 2016 at 2:16 PM

Losers backing losers. So what is new?

Theophile on January 15, 2016 at 3:48 PM

In 2012 moderates coalesced around Romney, and conservatives diluted the vote. In 2016, it’s just the opposite. Conservatives are pretty well set with Trump Ted Cruz, and moderates split between Rubio, Christie, Bush, and Kasich, with Democrats picking Trump.

sauldalinsky on January 15, 2016 at 1:17 PM

I fixed it for you.

Theophile on January 15, 2016 at 3:50 PM

“Jeb!’s been punching Trump in the face”?…LOL He’d need a step ladder to punch him in the ankles.

bluesdoc70 on January 15, 2016 at 3:50 PM

The people of SC, and I am a resident, are so fkg stupid. Miss Lindsay is a liberal. He hates conservatives. His endorsement of Jeb and McCain who also loathe conservatives proves it. But the dumb asses in SC are too stupid to see it. They fall for his conservative BS he spouts 3 months before his reelection. Graham is financed by the same BIG out of state donors that finance the GOPe and The CIC, so he endorsed who they told him. Graham was in the race to keep Cruz from winning SC. He never figured on Trump sucking the wind out of Jeb’s sails. So, now he is behind Jeb. Interesting that Gowdy and Sen. Affirmative action appointee by Tricky Nikki, Sen. Scott is campaigning for Rubio. SC has a Indian female gub., a gay Sen, and a black Sen. who may or may not be gay. Looks like South Carolinians love them some lying liberal politicians whose Gov. has been accused of an extra marital affair and its two US Sens. are viewed as gay and its residents favor a bible thumper for POTUS. Damn Wierd.

they lie on January 15, 2016 at 5:05 PM

A loser endorsing a loser….speaks volumes! Bush needs to go away!

phoebe1 on January 15, 2016 at 5:48 PM

Big woop.
In other news Lindsay Graham recommends sailing the Titanic. “They’ve got a good band” he was heard to say.

partsnlabor on January 15, 2016 at 9:21 PM

Light relief from Lindsey!

virgo on January 16, 2016 at 5:04 AM