Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, a conservative with a maverick streak and a folksy manner, said Tuesday that he is thinking about seeking the Republican presidential nomination.
The 22-year congressional veteran, whose highest profile interests include defense, would likely be seen as a long-shot if he launches a candidacy. He made his remarks to reporters the same day that former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said he will explore running for the White House.
“I am not there yet, but what drives my thinking is I do think I have something unique to offer the country, dealing with the threats we face,” Graham said. “And stay tuned, we’ll see what happens.”
Graham, 59, has been a close ally of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., the GOP’s unsuccessful presidential candidate in 2008. Last year, Graham was one of eight senators — four from each party —who crafted an early version of compromise legislation overhauling the nation’s immigration system that passed the Senate but went nowhere in the Republican-run House.
Haley inauguration schedule announced
Gov. Nikki Haley will be inaugurated for her second and final term at 11 a.m. Jan. 14 at the S.C. State House, her inaugural committee announced Tuesday.
Haley, a Lexington Republican who became the state’s first woman governor, defeated Democratic state Sen. Vincent Sheheen for a second time in November.
An inaugural committee raised $750,000 for her 2011 inauguration. She ended up donating $205,595 of that money to her Original Six foundation.
The new inaugural committee — led by BB&T bank executive Mike Brenan and Chapin sports marketing executive Tim Hofferth — plans to raise abut the same amount, Haley campaign senior adviser Tim Pearson said.
The committee also is selling sponsorships, like four years ago, from $2,500 to $25,000.
Haley’s inauguration day on Jan. 14 starts with a 9 a.m. prayer service at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral next to the State House, followed two hours later with her taking the oath of office on the south steps.
The First Family will hold an open house at the Governor’s Mansion from 2 to 4 p.m. before going to the Inaugural Gala at 7:30 p.m. at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center. Gala tickets cost $250 per couple.