Emanuel, Graham Hammering Gitmo Deal

Hard-nosed opposites form odd friendship
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 1, 2010 11:11 AM CST
Then-President-elect Barack Obama, second from right, meets with, from left, Lindsey Graham, John McCain, Rahm Emanuel, Monday, Nov. 17, 2008.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
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(Newser) – Rahm Emanuel and Lindsey Graham have become unlikely friends, and the most visible fruit of that friendship may be a new agreement on Guantanamo Bay. Emanuel hasn’t officially endorsed Graham’s plan—which would close the prison, but put the kibosh on civilian 9/11 trials, and allow the indefinite detention of terror suspects—but the two speak about it frequently. Emanuel recently commented, “You can’t close Guantanamo without Sen. Graham.”

In some ways, Graham has filled buddy John McCain’s old role as go-to Republican moderate. “I just like Lindsey,” Emanuel tells Politico. “He’s just a very honorable person to work with.” Though he adds that their personal friendship “doesn’t blind me to our differences.” Graham’s Guantanamo plan, for example, has elements the White House dislikes, but Emanuel “understands what I’m trying to do,” Graham says. “He understands you can only go so far by yourself.”

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