The Secretary of Defense is number 6th in the United States presidential line of succession, after the Vice President, Speaker of the House, President pro tempore of the Senate, Secretary of State, and the Secretary of the Treasury.
Senator Lindsey Graham
Sen. Lindsey Graham is running for POTUS on a peculiarly, practically one-plank military security platform. Senator Graham faces a very embarrassing problem, however:
"South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham wants voters to understand he would make the best commander in chief, but not even those in his home state agree with him. According to a poll by Public Policy Polling, 78 percent of South Carolina Republicans want Graham to stop running for president. Fifteen percent want him to keep running, and 7 percent were unsure." source
Little acquaints the nation with name recognition for a senator from an obscure state better than a presidential run. This retired Air Force colonel (JAG officer) had recently received unfavorable press for his military rank progression with less than usual merit:
"Since leaving active duty in 1989 and joining the Air Force Reserve, Mr. Graham, a Republican from South Carolina who is running for president, appears to have performed very little substantive work for the Air Force. Yet, he rose in rank to colonel and remained in the service until his retirement in June, which entitles him to a monthly $2,773 pension." source
Additionally, John McLaughlin of The McLaughlin Group predicted at then end of his September 18th broadcast taping that Lindsey Graham would be the next Republican candidate to drop out of the race. So, one might naturally wonder:
- What has John Mclaughlin heard from inside the beltway sources?
- What was Graham's real aim in entering the 2016 presidential race?
Suppose Graham had obtained Hillary Clinton's (and/or Jeb Bush's, or Rubio's, etc.) assurances that he would be appointed Secretary of Defense in their prospective cabinets. Nothing highlights a Bronze Star award for a retired Air Force colonel like the national publicity of his presidential campaign. Moreover, his campaign identifies Graham as Republican (in his home state political primaries are open to all voters, regardless of party affiliation).
Republican party affiliations are often seen as a political necessity in administrations perceived as militarily weak. President Obama retained George W. Bush's Defense Secretary, Republican Bob Gates (former Air Force officer), and later appointed another republican, Chuck Hagel (Army infantry sergeant, Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry, two Purple Hearts, the Army Commendation Medal, and the Combat Infantryman Badge).
- Has Graham's real aim been largely achieved at this point?
Graham has consistenly denied suspected liberal preferences during his lifetime of unmarried, unattached and aisle-crossing public service. If Graham does drop his campaign, it could be an indication he knows the legal weight of Hillary's accumulating baggage will block her eventual nomination. In that case, any hopes of embellishing her administration's popularity with liberal support as the first SECDEF to come out of the Republican In Name Only (RINO) or (other) closet would be derailed by an aborted Clinton campaign. Time will tell...
1 - If Graham ends his campaign before April 30, 2016, expect Hillary to abort hers shortly thereafter.
2 - If Graham stays in through April 30, 2016, expect him to have some very laudatory things to say about Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.
Submarines are always silent and strange.
Labels: Bob Gates, Bronze Star, Chuck Hagel, closet, colonel, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, RINO, SECDEF, The McLaughlin Group