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Why is Sen. Lindsey Graham now Obama's antagonist in chief?

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J. Scott Applewhite/AP/File

(Read caption) Sen. Lindsey Graham (R) of South Carolina speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington after a meeting with UN Ambassador Susan Rice in November.

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Amid all the controversy over President Obama's cabinet picks, it's been hard not to notice that the face of Republican opposition has lately seemed to be embodied more and more by one man in particular: South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham.

Senator Graham has been one of the administration's most vocal critics on the Benghazi matter, helping torpedo UN Ambassador Susan Rice's chances to become secretary of State as a near-ubiquitous presence on cable news and the Sunday shows. Just this week, he suggested he might place a hold on the nomination of John Brennan for CIA director until the administration stops what he calls its "stonewalling" on the matter. 

Graham is also among those leading the charge against the nomination of former Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel for Defense secretary, calling it an "in your face" pick, and "incredibly controversial." He reluctantly voted for the recent "fiscal cliff" deal, but has vowed to oppose raising the debt ceiling next month unless Congress agrees to significant entitlement reforms. He says he will oppose any efforts to pass a new assault-weapons ban.


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