What Happened to Lindsey Graham? He’s Become ‘a Rock Star’

What Happened to Lindsey Graham? He’s Become ‘a Rock Star’

“Wow! Remind me not to make you mad,” the president told Mr. Graham on a private call, the senator said.

Mr. Graham became “a national figure for conservatives overnight,” said Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker, which is why he was in Missouri on Monday, rallying Republican voters for Josh Hawley, the state attorney general who is trying to unseat Senator McCaskill, with whom he has served for nearly 12 years.

It was the seventh stop on a 13-state swing that also took Mr. Graham to Indiana to campaign against another fellow senator, Senator Joe Donnelly, on Thursday.

“He’s a rock star right now,” said Todd Graves, chairman of the Missouri Republican Party. “Aside from the president or vice president he’s probably the strongest draw that we could get.”

Here in Chesterfield, Mr. Graham warmed up the crowd with self-deprecating jokes about his flop on the 2016 presidential campaign trail — “If I had got 99 percent more votes I could have beat him!” he said of Mr. Trump — and their newfound friendship.

Then he hammered Ms. McCaskill: “Claire, quite frankly, on the big stuff is on the wrong team.”

And: “Claire’s goal is to talk one way and vote another. She clearly did not understand that Trump won this state by 19 points.”

And: “When Obama needed her, Claire was always there. When Trump needs her? AWOL.”

When he finished, Mr. Graham was mobbed by well-wishers, including a throng of squealing women, who beckoned him to pose with them for selfies. More than a dozen of them gathered around the senator, who looked up at the camera, beaming, as he soaked up his moment in the sun.

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