In an interview with Sean Hannity, Sen. Lindsey Graham said that if President Trump gives in to the Democrats on the wall, “it’s probably the end of his presidency.” Graham may be right or he may be indulging in melodrama. Either way, I don’t think he should be making this kind of statement publicly.
Americans don’t like to see the government shut down — an understandable sentiment considering how much many of us pay for it. If we’re in for an extended shut down, which justification for the president’s hardline position will play better with voters: (1) we need a wall to protect our country or (2) we need a wall to protect the Trump presidency?
The question answers itself, and would even if Trump had a positive approval rating.
Protecting the Trump presidency is important to most Republicans, and should be. Protecting America’s border from entry by waves of illegal immigrants is important to most Americans.
Chuck Schumer understands this even if Lindsey Graham doesn’t. That’s why he had it put it out, through an unidentified source, that Trump told him he can’t accept Democrats’ offer to re-open the government because he “would look foolish if I did that.”
If the public perceives this dispute to be about how Trump will look or how his presidency will hold up. Trump probably loses. If it perceives this as a dispute about border security, Trump probably wins.
Lindsey Graham did Trump no favor when he publicly opined that the dispute is about Trump.