The following is an excerpt from Benjy Sarlin | December 21, 2015 | msnbc.com |
Sen. Lindsey Graham began the presidential race as a long shot and remained as such until Monday, when he finally suspended his campaign.
But Graham’s campaign was never really about winning. It was about making the case for his particular brand of conservatism to Republican voters who seem more resistant than ever to listening. In many ways, the party seems closer than ever to nominating a candidate whose worldview is diametrically opposed to Graham’s.
Graham’s platform consisted of two key planks. Sen. John McCain, his most prominent backer, described them on Monday as one, a “message of serious statesmanship and problem-solving in public affairs” and two, “forthright opposition to policies and attitudes that would endanger our country and reflect poorly on our party.”
That meant a hawkish take on foreign policy, which included the most robust and specific call for ground troops to fight ISIS in the GOP field, and a call to moderation, especially on immigration, in order to appeal to a broader base of voters.
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