When I interviewed then Republican Congressman Lindsey Graham in 2002 he was running for his mentor, Strom Thurmond’s South Carolina Senate seat. He described himself as “butter pecan,” perhaps a rebel fave, certainly not vanilla, but not meant to be a popular “nut” as some would characterize him. Others describe him as an opportunist.Today Graham is fighting a tight race for his fourth term against Democrat challenger Jaime Harrison. As Chairman of the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee he’s instrumental in deciding the fate of Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett.
It was March 2013 and I sat in on cabaret legend Marilyn Maye’s packed weekend master class at Don’t Tell Mama in NYC’s theatre district when a woman, who was an old friend of Maye walked in and sat down at my table. She looked familiar but I didn’t realize who she was until Maye stopped the class to greet and introduce her.