Saturday, July 07, 2007

Lindsey Graham Soldiers On

One thing about the senior Senator from South Carolina: He’s tenacious. As the prospective running mate of John McCain, he is resolutely optimistic about two apparently lost causes--his Arizona colleague’s candidacy and the war in Iraq.

But here is Graham, back from another trip to Baghdad with McCain and, as other fearful Republican Senators break ranks, practically breaking into song: “The military part of the surge is working beyond my expectations. We literally have the enemy on the run.”

On this trip, McCain and Graham bypassed the chance to go shopping in Baghdad again, but they did have lunch in Ramadi and attend an Independence Day ceremony at which 161 U.S. troops became naturalized citizens. McCain made a speech, and Graham led the new citizens in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.

"Morale was very high," Graham said. "It was something to see."

Back home, his support of the McCain-Kennedy immigration bill has infuriated some constituents as well as Rush Limbaugh who has dubbed him Senator "Grahamnesty," which could lead to a challenge in next year’s Republican primary.

If McCain should turn into Rocky Balboa and win, that would be academic. If not, Graham won’t go down. Ever since he rode Bill Clinton’s impeachment to national recognition as a member of the House Judiciary Committee to replace Strom Thurmond in the Senate in 2000, he has always managed to survive.

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