Don't let the elementary school crossing guard look fool you: Sen. Lindsey Graham knows how to play hardball.
A couple days after Boeing's decision to locate its second 787 Dreamliner assembly line in Charleston it seems everyone has a different opinion on why the jet maker chose South Carolina. That includes Senator Lindsey Graham, the man described as the go-between connecting state officials and Boeing.
As Andy Shain at The State reports, Graham described his brokering approach as a "soft sell." A confession which doesn't become funny until you see Graham on TV; it's nearly impossible to think of a man with the temperament of a yearling doe having anything close to resembling an in-between sell, let alone a hard one.
Graham's comment can also be seen in another light: As another opportunity to backhand the Evergreen State.
Graham told Shain he purposefully chose to go soft in order to create a distinction between his home state and Washington. Since Boeing was in the middle of contentious union negotiations with Everett machinists, Graham wanted to make sure the company's executives knew his state was the one they could take home and never call again. (As if the massive corporate welfare hadn't made that point abundantly clear.)
Of course, Graham has a slightly different way of characterizing this ploy.
In the end, Graham figured, "Southern gentility was more attractive."
Ahh yes, gentility. That's why the Evergreen state lost out.
While we wasted our time bickering over health benefits and salaries for skilled workers that would pay them enough to feed their families, South Carolina was all Johnny-on-the-spot opening doors and pulling out chairs. If only we'd gotten our priorities straight.