Conservative foes of Sen. Lindsey Graham found fresh fodder this week, seizing on news of a meeting the South Carolina Republican had with President Barack Obama and arguing that Graham’s openness to the president’s push for action in Syria was further evidence of his overly conciliatory approach to the other side.
But that line of argument doesn’t look to amount to much in Graham’s reelection battle next year, when he’s expected to face a primary challenge from the right.
Several South Carolina political observers said in interviews that Graham would probably emerge unscathed if he supports Obama in striking Syria, despite the president’s unpopularity in the state and distrust of his proposal.
“Sen. Graham has really been a leader on a lot of foreign policy issues in the past,” said Luke Byars, a GOP political consultant in South Carolina whose firm may work on Graham’s race next year. “If he says, ‘Listen, I’ve seen the information, I’m telling you you gotta do this for these reasons,’ I think a lot of voters in South Carolina are going to take him on his word.”
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