April 19, 2015

Chris Wallace confronts Senator Lindsey Graham with the question why he has never married...

... and gets quite an answer:
WALLACE: There was an article in "The Washington Post" this week, I must say, told me a lot of things I didn't know about you. It detailed the fact that when you were at the University of South Carolina as an undergraduate, you lost both your mom and your dad within 15 months and that you basically brought up and supported your then-13-year-old sister, Darlene. Some of your friends suggested that might have been a reason why you never got married. We can't [put] you on the psychiatrist's coach. But how did those traumatic events, how did they shape your life, sir?

GRAHAM: It changed me. It made me realize that the promise of tomorrow is just a promise, that I assumed things early on. I never assumed again. It taught me how much I was loved by the rest of my family. My aunt and uncle helped me raise my sister. Social Security survivor benefits coming into my sister made a world of difference. I moved in with an aunt and uncle who helped raise my sister never made over $25,000 in their life working in textile plant. My mom's disease, Hodgkin's disease, wiped us out financially. We eventually lost our businesses. I understand we're all one car wreck from needing help. But what it told Lindsey Graham, above all else, is that family, friends and faith really do matter. I'm a lucky man to have had all the support I've had all these years. And I'm trying my best to pay back a country who's been so good to me. I love my sister. And to all those who have helped me all those years, thank you so much.
Graham seemed almost in tears by the end. Ditto me, without the "almost."

Here's the Washington Post article Wallace cited:
When Graham was an undergraduate at the University of South Carolina, his parents died 15 months apart. He sister Darline was 13. The family lost its business. An aunt and uncle took her in and loaned Graham money, but he viewed Darline as his charge, returning every weekend, offering to quit school, and ultimately adopting her after enlisting in the Air Force so she would enjoy his benefits.

This is the crucible in the Graham biography that, by all accounts, defines him. It is the reason, friends cite, that Graham became driven and has remained single. “He had it rough. He assumed responsibilities that he didn’t have to assume,” said Bob McAllister, a political adviser.

His sister, Darline Graham Nordone, now public information director for the state’s Department of Vocational Rehabilitation, described him as a “workaholic.” “If he had a wife and family, he would really be torn,” she said. “He wouldn’t want to sacrifice his family’s happiness for the job.” She added, “I’ve always had him, but who did he have? Breaks my heart.”

45 comments:

Scott said...

There are many inspirational stories about public figures who struggle against adversity. Senator Graham's life is an inspiration. And it's a low-down dirty shame that he's so wrong on public policy.

jimbino said...

I hope I see the day when reporters ask, "Why the hell did you marry?"

chickelit said...

How the hell can Graham be human when he's so collegial with the likes of John McCain? Plus, he's from the South!

chickelit said...

We can't you on the psychiatrist's coach.

By the way, nice omission of the working verb. One wonders what exactly if would be.

dwick said...

So Wallace is basically implying here that anyone who never marries has some sort of mental problem that requires psychiatric evaluation? Talk about bigotry on parade...

AReasonableMan said...

Wallace is implying that if Graham admitted that he was gay it would be as hard for him to be elected to congress as a Republican as it would be if he was Jewish.

Hagar said...

Or Graham had asked Wallace to ask that question so that he could answer it on a reasonably friendly national TV venue.

Marc Puckett said...

And the people who, not content to contest his political opinions, repeatedly insinuate that he is what is called 'a closeted gay' really aren't clever or amusing at all. I see this from the Right but for all I know there may be people on the Left who taunt LG in this distasteful way, too. Patrick Buchanan used to have to deal with that nonsense, although fewer outlets printed it because Mr B. is more... energetically Right than LG is (or perhaps because during Mr B.'s active political career there wasn't the Internet and blogs).

Hagar said...

and I guess ARM just showed why Senator Graham may have asked Wallace to do that.

Anonymous said...

You see it from the right?

I've only seen it from the self pronounced reasonable man.

He ain't right.

William said...

I've heard the jokes about Graham and his sexuality. I never heard this backstory until just now. He is a decent and honorable man......In a better world, you'd hear more about his backstory and fewer jokes about his sexuality. I think both Rush Limbaugh and John Stewart have made such jokes. If you're a liberal Republican, you catch it from all sides. Black Republicans catch more flack, but, at least, there are some who will rise to their defense. For liberal Republicans, there's always a rush to cast the first stone.

surfed said...

Everyone in the South knows that Lindsey is Gay. And it's not a problem. We particularly respect him in that he has kept it to himself. This reticence about personal issues is a cultural affinity here in the South and we much admire people who practice it. Lindsey Graham knows that we know - and we're good with it. Think for second - South Carolina has an South Asian-American lady as Governor, a Gay gentleman and an African-American gentleman as Senators. Truly we as a nation have come a long way as embodied by the political vignette of modern South Carolina.

Coupe said...

I guess it will be interesting when Chris Wallace asks Hillary Clinton, why she is still married.

Since state marriages seem to be the main 2016 presidential issue.

Hagar said...

If he has kept it to himself, I do not know how you "know" he is gay.

You would not know it from the public discourse today, but the fact is, that for some people, whatever their "orientation," sex is not the most important thing in the world.

Scott said...

Did Herb Kohl ever face oblique questions from the press about his sexuality, or is this just reserved for Republicans?

Dr.D said...

He never married because he could not find a woman who wanted an earthworm. Clearly, he worked so hard to bring up his sister that it dissolved his backbone. He is a RINO, and would come out as a DEM if he were not from SC.

Rhythm and Balls said...

This reticence about personal issues is a cultural affinity here in the South and we much admire people who practice it.

I did a GOOGLE images search for "meth use by state", "divorce rates by state," and "poverty rates by state," and can confirm that this reticence in dealing honestly with personal issues yields enormously positive social benefits.

Mountain Maven said...

He's running for president, so it's a fair question.
He is a good man and public servant even if I disagree with him on a few things.
I would love to hear a leftist say that last sentence about a conservative.

Marc Puckett said...

Hagar, exactly! That's one of the reasons I find the great preoccupation with gender identity politics so... dreadfully tiresome and uninteresting, really. For Heaven's sake, people, I don't care about your psychological melodramas unless they are the sort that compel you to abuse infants, rape, murder. And yet one has to pay attention, at some minimal level anyway, because of the legal and political consequences of your theatre. Tsk.

And so if surfed is right? we-- and I mean the media and commentariat-- must require LG to participate in a public discussion of his psychosexual life? not only 'the South' but the Catholic moral tradition also refuses to have anything to do with this nonsense.

Rhythm and Balls said...

You guys are so gullible. FIrst, he's lying in blaming his bachelorhood on his sister and second, the guy's in tears because of how sad it is that he's forced to hide his feelings, not because he's overwhelmed by the kindness of others.

Why do you guys even bother to vote - with gullibility this far off the charts?

How many Republicans would even be left if all the closeted gay ones just decided to end their self-persecution complex? It's not like they'd lose too many to cope with but every representative counts and you definitely do have a couple top-leadership position Senators etc who would have to go.

Removing conservative gay self-repression from the anti-gay/pro-DOMA constituency would really leave that voting bloc without much support at all.

Coupe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rhythm and Balls said...

Lol. Marc Puckett mentions abusing infants, rape and the "Catholic moral tradition" in the same post as if they were different things. That's funny.

AJ Lynch said...

The media sure covers all the issues of major concern to the average American:

1- Would you attend / have you ever attended a gay wedding ? [I'd answer that, like the unicorn, there is no such thing as a gay wedding. They are both made up].

2- Why have you never married Senator Graham?

Primo topics for an unserious, incurious people.

Mick said...

Uh, cause he's a closeted fag? Pretty obvious...

Hagar said...

And I still say that all this preoccupation with sex is unhealthy, and we would all be better off by minding our own business and letting others mind theirs, unless provoked by some public display of inappropriate behavior.

rhhardin said...

Maybe he's into math or physics.

Those guys are not lonely.

surfed said...

@Hagar - one word - gaydar.

gadfly said...

Lindsey Graham was elected to the House with the famous Republican "Limbaugh" class of 1994 and he did well under Newt Gingrich leadership - up to and including his time as House manager during the impeachment trial of William Jefferson Blythe Clinton.

Then he joined POW John McCain in the Senate, adopted the lofty chamber's attitude that votes are for wealth and job security and POOF! bye-bye conservatism.

BTW, I have never heard or read that Limbaugh ever suggested that Graham was gay - other than to suggest where he kept his nose in relationship to McCain's butt. Rush recently began calling the Senator from SC "Grahamnesty" for obvious reasons.

Michael said...

http://www.city-data.com/top2/c11.html

Here you will find a list of cities with the most self-identified same sex households. Oddly nearly half of the first 25 are in the south, that center of closeted gays and homophobic yaps.

Rhythm and Balls said...

And I still say that all this preoccupation with sex is unhealthy, and we would all be better off by minding our own business and letting others mind theirs, unless provoked by some public display of inappropriate behavior.

Not possible when the right is so intense about making such hypocritical judgments and policies out of it. If anything, that's the only "inappropriate" public display going on here.

Rhythm and Balls said...

BTW, I have never heard or read that Limbaugh ever suggested that Graham was gay - other than to suggest where he kept his nose in relationship to McCain's butt.

Well, if he can't be his own man, I guess it makes sense that he has to be someone else's. Such an example of followership is rare. But then, so is his persistent self-repression. Half the time he's pictured he looks as if he's going to explode or cry.

Michael K said...

"Wallace is implying that if Graham admitted that he was gay it would be as hard for him to be elected to congress as a Republican as it would be if he was Jewish."

What ??? You've got the anti-Semitic party confused. And there is this group called "Log Cabin Republicans."

"Rep. Jim Kolbe (R) – served 1985–2007; was outed in 1996 following his vote for the anti-gay Defense of Marriage Act"

There are gays who are opposed to gay marriage. One reason why Republicans tend not to be gay is that gayness seems to be linked to left wing views.

Also, Republicans tend to resign if they get caught with underage youths or prostitutes. Democrats revel in it.

Michael K said...

"FIrst, he's lying in blaming his bachelorhood on his sister and second,"

Ritmo is the expert on lying. Sociopathy is so tiresome.

MadisonMan said...

Why did Chris Walllace not know such basic facts about a sitting Senator befor reading about it?

surfed said...

I think the only reason it matters is because it's the "South". But then again nobody really cared that Republican (at the time) Florida Governor Charlie Crist was gay. So I'm guessing it's a push. Next...

David said...

surfed said...
Everyone in the South knows that Lindsey is Gay.


I didn't. Still don't. I've never heard it discussed either. I like Graham. He has balls. (Please stop sniggering.) I learned to like him during the Clinton impeachment hearings. Graham actually passionately cared whether the President of the United States lied to the American people, under oath or not.

rcocean said...

Yes, its a a touching tale and no doubt Grahame is a great guy on a personal level.

But so what! He's an warmongering, amnesty supporting dumbkopf who has his head up McCain's ass. He's only running for President to dilute the field and run interference for Jeb Bush or some other Establishment type.

So do us all a favor Lindsey, quit the Sentate, get an easy job and get married before its too late.

Lydia said...

Maybe he should make a Janet Reno kind of statement -- here's what she said when there were persistent rumors about her being a lesbian back in the 1990s: "I'm just an awkward old maid with a very great attraction to men."

Sammy Finkelman said...

Janet Reno broke up the marriage of Florida state comptroller Gerald A. Lewis. His ex-wife is Ann Lewis.

Sammy Finkelman said...

Why not say he's a pedophile, too?

Dale said...

Here's the statement you can take to the bank through all of this:

There are No honest Democrats.
Period. Lying and intolerance will always take a back seat to whatever cause is paramount to a Democrat. nd that means there are no Democrats able to reach the level of integrity of some Republicans. There are lying Republicans, but there are many good ones too. And that is something in this day that no one who supports the party who's basic DNA is lying and hatred of opponents like Lindsay Graham and Mike Pence and others will ever be able to be as trusted as the better Republicans.

Charles said...

I generally agree with what Surfed wrote: In SC, it's assumed, but no one really cares.

That all being said, Graham's biggest problem is his sense of humor. It's biting, dark and irreverent (and brilliant and hilarious). Unfortunately, it's also unacceptable in today's political gotcha/take-quotes-out-of-context environment.

I don't agree with him on quite a few policy issues, but he's an amazing retail politician.

Robert Cook said...

"He's running for president, so it's a fair question."

Why? Why must a president be married, and why should someone running to be president be looked at askance or questioned if he or she is not married?

Robert Cook said...

"Why did Chris Wallace not know such basic facts about a sitting Senator befor reading about it?"

But of course he knew! The whole exchange was probably an agreed-upon bit between Wallace and Graham, planned before the airing.

Raising the question to Graham in this way serves two useful purposes:

1.) It allows Graham to provide a tear-jerking account of personal loss and suffering, of endurance and triumph over adversity. This always goes well with voters.

and,

2.) It allows Graham to supply a preemptive alternative explanation for those who will insinuate, surmise, or accuse him of being gay. (It doesn't mean he's not gay, but it provides an explanation of sorts that obviates his having to address the issue.)

Sammy Finkelman said...

If he were, he probably would be dead by now - would have been dead before 1995. Don't forget that.

rcocean said... Yes, its a touching tale and no doubt Grahame is a great guy on a personal level.... He's only running for President to dilute the field and run interference for Jeb Bush or some other Establishment type.

So do us all a favor Lindsey, quit the Sentate, get an easy job and get married before its too late.


Well, that brings up the idea he could be running for president for the same reason Dennis Kucinich did. Yopu could look it up.