WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham didn’t make it very far on the campaign trail, but what he lost in primary victories he’ll win in one-liners at this year’s Washington Press Club Foundation Dinner.
Graham will deliver remarks Thursday night at what’s known more informally around Washington as the Congressional correspondents’ dinner.
Like the more widely known White House Correspondents’ Dinner, the Thursday event is black-tie optional, takes place at a chic downtown hotel and raises proceeds for charity.
Members of the Capitol Hill press corps invite lawmakers and aides to wine, dine and be entertained by lawmakers — one Republican and one Democrat. The Democrat joining Graham at the head table will be retiring U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer of California.
Graham’s job will be to deliver remarks that skewer politics and politicians, something with which he shouldn’t have any trouble. Since returning to the Senate after his short-circuited White House bid, Graham, R-S.C., has become even more of a sought-after quote machine than he was already.
In recent months he’s said picking Donald Trump or Ted Cruz for president would be tantamount to “being shot or poisoned” or “like buying a ticket on the Titanic after you’ve seen the movie.” Of Russian President Vladimir Putin he quipped “I’m not afraid of a guy running around on a horse without a shirt.”
During his own bid, Graham boasted of his own strongman status — “the party is over for all the dictators, make me commander-in-chief and this crap stops.”
When Donald Trump gave out his cell number on national television, Graham played along — until he destroyed the flip phone on camera as a gag, which involved putting it in a toaster oven and swinging at it with a golf club.
Those interested in viewing the dinner festivities from home can tune into C-SPAN, which typically carries the program live.
Emma Dumain is The Post and Courier’s Washington correspondent.