Lindsey Graham’s Masterful Response To Donald Trump

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), one of 16 Republican presidential candidates, recently called GOP rival and current frontrunner Donald Trump a “jackass” for recent comments he made on the campaign trail.

On Tuesday, Trump—who’s apparently never heard of a proportional response—went nuclear by announcing Graham’s cell phone number on national television.

I would have understood if Mr. Graham had responded angrily, denouncing Trump’s outrageous violation of personal privacy. Instead, Graham responded with the following understated tweet:

Lindsey Graham Tweet

Graham followed that tweet up yesterday with a humorous (though almost certainly not OSHA compliant) video, in which he contemplated the many ways he could destroy his suddenly useless phone.

From a strategic point of view, Graham’s stunt makes sense. He currently isn’t polling in the top 10 among Republican candidates—and if that doesn’t change, he will be left off the stage for the first GOP debate on August 6th. This stunt gets his name into news headlines, something that thoughtful policy speeches wouldn’t help him accomplish in the midst of the media’s relentless Trumpmania.

Lindsey Graham Phone2
Is all of this childish? Does it reduce issues of national importance to a series of television-friendly stunts intended to create “buzz?” Yes and yes. But I give Graham credit for using humor to handle a situation in which anger would have been expected—and that’s something our political culture could use a lot more of.

Like the blog? Read the book! The Media Training Bible: 101 Things You Absolutely, Positively Need to Know Before Your Next Interview is available in paperback, for Kindle, and iPad.