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If you had read that Lindsey Graham was the guest on The Daily Show before the current presidential campaign, you might expect a borefest mixed with plenty of awkward moments. The latter was still true on Wednesday, but the effects of the election have clearly taken their toll on Graham. Not only has he thrown his support behind Ted Cruz, he has completely taken the anti-Trump stance to heart.
It’s the first real human moment I’ve ever seen from Graham, who took over Strom Thurmond’s senate seat in 2003 and seemed to take on the spirit of the departed soon after. Here he’s playing pool, joking about Donald Trump, admitting that he’s only supporting Cruz because he’s “not Donald Trump.” And all of it is highlighted with Trevor Noah hitting Graham with his recent statements about Cruz, forcing Graham to shrug and say that his party is completely screwed up.
The interview is some of the oddest television that I’ve seen with a sitting member of Congress, followed up by a game of pool where missing a shot means you have to compliment Donald Trump. They’re not really compliments, and Graham seems pretty determined not to read any of them. He plays a hell of a game here for a bit and almost tries to make some sort of foreign policy point while sinking three consecutive shots.
If you told me that Lindsey Graham had tried a bit of the liquor and beer from the green room before coming out for his chat, I’d believe you. People were saying the same during his debate appearances, but I think it’s clear that he’s almost given up.