After South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham co-authored an NYT op-ed with John Kerry expressing support for climate change legislation, there was much speculation about what moved Graham, a Republican who’s conservative on many issues, to get behind an issue more often associated with liberals. Graham offered this partial explanation to Politico:
“My state has been known for some not-so-good things lately,” Graham said in a reference to South Carolina Republican Rep. Joe Wilson’s outburst during Obama’s recent speech to a joint session of Congress and Gov. Mark Sanford’s marital infidelities. He said that South Carolina remains “a nice place with beautiful God-given resources” and that he wants the state “to lead on something.”
Now a pair of South Carolina Republicans have come under fire for (approvingly) characterizing Jews as penny-pinching tightwads. Does this mean Graham will come out in support of the public option?
(For an alternative explanation of Graham’s change of heart, see Darren Samuelsohn’s ClimateWire article.)Greg Marx is an associate editor at CJR. Follow him on Twitter @gregamarx.