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Lindsey Graham finds path to nomination -- sink John McCain's boat

July 2, 2008 | 10:37 am

We've known for a while that Lindsey Graham and John McCain are something of political soul mates, as well as Senate colleagues. But a one-liner from Graham a little while ago makes us wonder (not too seriously, or deeply) whether he harbors secret ambitions.

Presumptive Republican candidate John McCain and his wife Cindy get briefed on efforts to stem drug trafficking as part of a visit to the port of Cartagena, ColombiaGraham and Joe Lieberman are traveling with McCain on his two-country tour of Latin America, but this morning were shunted to the press boat (think of kids and the small table at Thanksgiving) for a tour by the entourage of the Port of Cartagena. McCain was in another vessel -- a faster, drug-interdiction speedboat called the Midnight Express (which for the moment could have been called the Straight Talk at Midnight Express).

The press boat chugged alongside McCain's boat for about 10 minutes as the presidential candidate and his wife, Cindy McCain, were briefed by port officials. Then both boats cruised out to open water, where they separated a bit. Graham, hopefully out of earshot of the Secret Service detail, pointed across the waves to McCain's craft and said, "Sink that boat!"

He then added: "I could get the nomination if you sink that boat."

A reporter asked if the comment was on the record, and Graham said no (sorry, senator, but nothing is off the record with pool reporters along). Graham also suggested the two boats play a little chicken.

Lieberman? Not so quippy -- he just occasionally waved at McCain during the 15 minutes at sea.

-- Scott Martelle

Photo credit: Associated Press