JEFF PEARLMAN

Coming October 2022: "The Last Folk Hero: The Life and Myth of Bo Jackson"

My favorite politician

My favorite politician is not Barack Obama. It’s not Joe Biden. It’s not Hillary Clinton and it’s not Nancy Pelosi.

My favorite politician is Lindsey Graham, Republican senator from South Carolina.

Do I agree with Graham? Mostly, no. He’s a conservative politician whose views lean strong to the right.

That said, he has guts. And, more important, integrity. Genuine integrity.

Last week, he was the only Republican to announce that he would support Elena Kagan’s nomination to the Supreme Court. Whether you agree with his position or not, he did so knowing his supporters would hate it; that the Tea Party members would destroy him and that the Limbaugh-Beck-Hannity Union From Hell would deem him a traitor (as they predictably have).

But Graham is far from a traitor. He is, in fact, the ultimate (and increasingly rare) patriot; one who places his country above politics. We thought Jon McCain was such a man—he wasn’t. We thought Charlie Rangel was such a man—he wasn’t. Hell, I actually believed George W. Bush might be such a man—and he wasn’t. But Graham is.

His statement was eloquent and beautiful and righteous. Were I loving in South Carolina, I would vote for him time and time again. Because, in 2010, he is the most rare of breeds.

He is decent.