Not that Lindsey Graham would ever get behind GOP front-runner Donald Trump for president but he has formally declared his enduring love for John Ellis Bush aka Jeb!. Senator Graham never could crack one percent in the polls during his now defunct presidential run but when it comes to providing establishment lip service on the Sunday morning bullshit circuit the Palmetto State princess has few peers and he will surely be deployed as a Bush surrogate going forward.
The joyous news for Team Jeb! is reported by CNN in the story “Lindsey Graham endorses Jeb Bush”:
Former Republican presidential candidate and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham endorsed Jeb Bush for president, saying he believes the former Florida governor has the backs of America’s troops.
“I have concluded without any hesitation, without any doubt that Jeb Bush is ready on day one to be a commander in chief worthy of the sacrifices of the one percent fighting this war,” Graham said from a North Charleston hotel Friday morning, with Bush at his side.
The senior senator from the Palmetto State also explained why he didn’t back fellow senator and outspoken defense hawk Marco Rubio.
“I think Marco Rubio will be president of the United States one day. I think he’s one of the most gifted people I’ve ever met. I like him. But I wasn’t ready to be president at 44,” Graham said, stressing the important of experience.
Bush and Graham have had a good relationship throughout the campaign and have frequently discussed policy behind the scenes. The two were seen having drinks at a Manchester hotel just three days before Graham announced he was dropping out.
Bush had been accumulating endorsements from former Graham supporters and leadership team members in the past few weeks.
It’s not that the shrill and strident little pimp for defense contractor dollars was ever going to endorse Trump, especially after that humiliating incident in July where the Donald gave away his private cellphone number – not that it wasn’t already inscribed on the walls of every bathhouse from Charleston to Columbia. The neocons at the Washington Post are whistling Yankee Doodle Dandy over the endorsement but there is a far better piece of perspective over at the American Conservative in the article entitled “Graham Endorses Bush” from which I excerpt the following:
Graham’s endorsement is notable for a few reasons. First, it shows that “establishment” figures in the party aren’t giving up on Bush despite the extraordinarily poor campaign he has run so far. It also encourages people in the South Carolina state party to get behind Bush as the “establishment” alternative, which ensures that the splintering of their vote will continue at least through the end of February. That’s bad news for Kasich and Rubio, and it’s terrible news for anyone that wants to consolidate anti-Trump forces behind one candidate. Though he probably doesn’t see it this way, Graham just made a Trump or Cruz nomination a little more likely, and that is exactly what he doesn’t want.
Graham’s decision to back Bush rather than Rubio is a remarkable vote of no confidence in the latter. This is all the more striking when one considers that Rubio’s foreign policy is virtually identical to Graham’s. Rubio has made foreign policy the centerpiece of his campaign much more than Bush has, so much so that he has risked becoming a mini-Graham, but that doesn’t seem to have impressed the South Carolinian. Perhaps Graham still resents Rubio for abandoning the Senate immigration bill, or perhaps he doesn’t think that a one-term senator should be president. Whatever the reason, this decision makes it harder for Rubio in South Carolina to do well, and that in turn puts his campaign under additional pressure to do much better in one of the other early contests.
Graham’s endorsement of the Bush dynasty’s latest installment is a stunning twist of the knife in the back of Marco “FOR SALE” Rubio who was at one time being groomed as the replacement for retired Joe Lieberman as the pivot man in the three-way circle jerk with the hallowed John McCain. This one has to really sting for the plastic Cuban whose “Kennedyesque” youth and ability to deliver perfectly crafted lines from a think tank script had to some made him the heir apparent to Ronald Reagan himself.
The Graham endorsement shows that the establishment is NEVER going to give up on Jeb! and they are circling the wagons for a fight all the way to an already plannedbrokered convention where the GOPe will battle with the Trump rabble for control of the Republican party. Graham may not be able to get more than one percent as a presidential aspirant but he sure as shit has proven time and again that he can suck a golf ball through a garden hose on Meet the Press and it just may be enough to earn him the nod as the Secretary of Defense in an illegitimate Jeb! administration.