With a 50-50 split in the chamber, in which the vice president can break a partisan deadlock, the Biden administration will have the slimmest of possible margins to confirm appointees and judges and pass meaningful legislation. Moderate senators in both parties will have significant sway.
You can bet that Lindsey Graham will want to be one of those senators.
Democrats should let him. Indeed, they should encourage him (privately, of course).
I have long believed that what happens and what is said in front of the curtain of American politics is more important than what happens behind it. There actually are very few mysteries. As fun as it may be to speculate about Graham’s private life, he has himself plausibly explained why he behaves the way he does: He wants to be relevant. He wants to be a player. He is a 65-year-old, unmarried, childless man for whom politics is everything.
Call him shallow, malleable, or soulless if you must. But realize that those same qualities can be an asset to the Biden administration. There is a decent chance that Graham will become the ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, which will be chaired by Sen. Bernie Sanders. Graham and Sanders are quickly going to play a key role in the all-important “reconciliation” bill that’s not subject to the Senate filibuster rule requiring a supermajority of 60 votes.