7 Crazy Lindsey Graham Quotes From His 2016 Campaign That Already Have Us Missing Him & His Love Of Beer
In a somewhat anticipated announcement, Sen. Lindsey Graham suspended his presidential campaign as of Monday, after several dull months standing in the reverberations of louder candidates. Although he has effectively curtailed his chance at the White House, his time on the candidacy stages brought the public some comedic material that will forever live in our memories.
Graham was best known as a Gone with the Wind, Charles Hamilton-type: soft in manner, in possession of strong emotion, and with a bizarre proclivity for foreign warfare. Certainly, his 33 years of service in the U.S. Air Force could attribute to his penchant for military tactics, but regardless, no person can deny the juxtaposing nature of his character. Even in the aftermath of his run, we can appreciate Graham's unending passion for national security, and the unusual and funny things he added to the 2016 presidential campaign season.
Nobody can forget his introduction at the second pre-debate forum: "One, thanks, CNN, for having people at this debate." Ba dum ching. He then thanked "Ms. Reagan" for the invite — whatever that meant. And then there was that time he got super-real with the moderator:
All of us are going to say we want to destroy ISIL. ... To every candidate tonight, are you willing to commit before the American people that you will destroy ISIL and you understand we need a ground force to do it? Are you willing — Jake, please ask everybody the following question. Would you go from 3,500 to 10,000 American boots on the ground in Iraq to destroy ISIL? Because if you don't, we're going to lose.
That particular part of his speech sounded like he was swearing-in the others to his secret society, except he first needed to prove the gatekeeper's loyalty. Who could forget a few minutes later when he started calling out voter demographics?
Well, what I hope Republican voters, libertarian, vegetarians, Democrats, you name it, will look for somebody to lead us in a new direction, domestically, but particularly on the foreign policy front.
Of course, the second pre-debate forum contained so much classic Graham material. At this debate, Americans were thoroughly acquainted with his persona, especially after exposure to his aggressive potential foreign policies. He clearly has no qualms about defending his opponents — Republicans and Democrats alike — when he feels it appropriate. He has a constant sense of nonchalance in his demeanor, like when he casually said:
Number one, I like Rick. I don't remember the Santorum plan when I was in the Senate. ... There are no Democrats here tonight. If you're here, raise your hand. You went to the wrong — well, welcome. Thank you very much for coming.
Graham also had no problem joking about himself, even as the first member of his family to attend college, at the University of South Carolina. He quipped:
I wasn't the best law student. By the end of this debate it'd be the most time I'd spent in any library.
You, and half of the country, Mr. Graham. But he took the joke further on an earlier occasion when a Washington Post article claimed he was ranked up in the Air Force, partly due to official biographies stating that he worked as a senior instructor at the Judge Advocate General's School. In typical Graham manner, he acknowledged offhandedly in an interview that he never visited the school at Maxwell Air Force Base, and did not work as an instructor:
I actually did zero. I don't know why they picked that title.
But realistically, his message to us as a nation was that we need to take our national state of affairs seriously. This isn't a joke, as Graham revealed during his final debate:
We're at war, folks. They're not trying to steal your car. They're trying to kill us.
Americans may not think often of Sen. Graham, but when they do, they'll have a lot to remember of a presidency that could have been:
That's the first thing I'm going to do as president: we're gonna drink more.