I notice there was another SC story on Weekend Edition this morning, aside from my interview about Mark Sanford. It was their take on why Lindsey Graham’s been posturing so furiously on issues that endear him to the right, in the wake of his risky stepping out on immigration again:
It seems Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham has done his best in recent weeks to get as much ink as possible, talking about things that play well with the conservatives in his home state of South Carolina, like Benghazi and gun rights.
Graham also held up the nomination of Chuck Hagel as defense secretary to get more answers about what happened in Benghazi, even as he admitted Hagel had nothing to do with it. But his opposition might have more to do with home state politics than the nomination itself.
Republican senators who have shown moderate leanings have been hit with primary challenges from the right recently, and while no serious challenger has emerged yet in South Carolina, there are a whole lot of people hoping one does.
“There are some legitimate concerns to be asked about Benghazi … [and] Chuck Hagel,” says Tom Davis, a Republican state senator in South Carolina. “That being said, I do think it is fair to say that there has been a conscious effort on the part of Sen. Graham to elevate his role in those debates.”…
Don Gonyea didn’t ask me about this one in my interview, but if he had I would have said the obvious: That Tom Davis, whom they quote, was the threat from the right that everyone had expected, but that he says he’s not running.
But Graham’s still not taking any chances. After all, as we saw in 2010, especially in the 4th Congressional District, these days a successful challenge to a Republican incumbent can come out of nowhere.