It says something (something really sad) about the partisan environment in the country that some people suspect blackmail could be the only reason a Republican senator would actually work with Democrats on crises of national importance they were elected to solve. Such is the case with South Carolina senator Lindsey Graham, the Senate’s lead Republican maverick after John McCain so famously jettisoned that role in recent years. The head of an anti-illegal-immigration group has actually postulated that Graham was cooperating with Democrats on immigration reform because the Democrats know he’s gay and are threatening to blow his cover unless he acts like an actual senator.
Of course, Graham has faced such gay rumors for years — he’s a bachelor at 54, and displays certain flamboyant qualities which for all we know may just be Southernness — and who knows whether they’re true. But in a new New York Times profile, Graham insists they’re not.
“I know it’s really gonna upset a lot of gay men — I’m sure hundreds of ’em are gonna be jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge — but I ain’t available. I ain’t gay. Sorry.”
He then took a swig of his favorite alcoholic drink, almond schnapps.
This Year’s Maverick [NYTM]