Bob Graham, Ex-U.S. Senator And Florida Governor, Dies At 87 | EUROtoday

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Former U.S. Sen. and two-term Florida Gov. Bob Graham, who gained nationwide prominence as chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee within the aftermath of the 2001 terrorist assaults and as an early critic of the Iraq warfare, has died. He was 87.

Graham’s household introduced the dying Tuesday in a press release posted on X by his daughter Gwen Graham.

Graham, who served three phrases within the Senate, made an unsuccessful bid for the 2004 Democratic presidential nomination, emphasizing his opposition to the Iraq invasion.

But his bid was delayed by coronary heart surgical procedure in January 2003 and he was by no means in a position to achieve sufficient traction with voters to catch up, bowing out that October. He didn’t search re-election in 2004 and was changed by Republican Mel Martinez.

Graham was a person of many quirks. He perfected the “workdays” political gimmick of spending a day doing numerous jobs from horse stall mucker to FBI agent and stored a meticulous diary, noting virtually everybody he spoke with, all the pieces he ate, the TV exhibits he watched and even his golf scores.

But he closed the notebooks to the media throughout his short-lived presidential bid on the recommendation of his marketing campaign that was involved protection of the contents may turn out to be a distraction or probably embarrass the candidate.

Graham stated the notebooks had been a working instrument for him and that he was reluctant to explain his feelings or private emotions in them.

“I review them for calls to be made, memos to be dictated, meetings I want to follow up on and things people promise to do,” he stated.

Graham was among the many earliest opponents of the Iraq warfare, saying it diverted America’s concentrate on the battle in opposition to terrorism centered in Afghanistan. He was additionally vital of President George W. Bush for failing to have an occupation plan in Iraq after the U.S. navy threw out Saddam Hussein in 2003.

Graham stated Bush took the United States into the warfare by exaggerating claims of the hazard introduced by the Iraqi weapons of destruction that had been by no means discovered. He stated Bush distorted intelligence information and argued it was extra severe than the sexual misconduct points that led the U.S. House to question President Clinton within the late Nineteen Nineties. It led him to launch his quick, abortive presidential bid.

“The quagmire in Iraq is a distraction that the Bush administration, and the Bush administration alone, has created,” Graham stated in 2003.

During his 18 years in Washington, Graham labored properly with colleagues from each events, notably Florida Republican Connie Mack throughout their dozen years collectively within the Senate.

As a politician, few had been higher. Florida voters hardly thought-about him the rich Harvard-educated lawyer that he was.

Graham’s political profession spanned 5 a long time, starting along with his election to the Florida House of Representatives in 1966.

He received a state Senate seat in 1970 after which was elected governor in 1978. He was re-elected in 1982. Four years later, he received the primary of three phrases within the U.S. Senate when he ousted incumbent Republican Paula Hawkins.

Graham remained broadly fashionable with Florida voters — successful re-election by extensive margins in 1992 and 1998 when he carried 63 of 67 counties.

Even when in Washington, Graham by no means took his eye off the state and the management in Tallahassee.

WASHINGTON, : Chairman Senator Bob Graham prepares to take over at the first joint inquiry open hearing on the terrorist events surrounding 11 September, 2001 at the Senate Hart Building at the US Capitol 18 September, 2002. Witnesses included surviving family members from the attack on the US on 11 September 2001. AFP PHOTO Stephen JAFFE (Photo credit should read STEPHEN JAFFE/AFP via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, : Chairman Senator Bob Graham prepares to take over on the first joint inquiry open listening to on the terrorist occasions surrounding 11 September, 2001 on the Senate Hart Building on the US Capitol 18 September, 2002. Witnesses included surviving relations from the assault on the US on 11 September 2001. AFP PHOTO Stephen JAFFE (Photo credit score ought to learn STEPHEN JAFFE/AFP through Getty Images)

STEPHEN JAFFE through Getty Images

When Gov. Jeb Bush and the Republican-controlled Legislature eradicated the Board of Regents in 2001, Graham noticed it as a transfer to politicize the state college system. He led a profitable petition drive the subsequent yr for a state constitutional modification that created the Board of Governors to imagine the regents’ position.

Daniel Robert Graham was born Nov. 9, 1936, in Coral Gables the place his father, Ernest “Cap” Graham, had moved from South Dakota and established a big dairy operation. Young Bob milked cows, constructed fences and scooped manure as a young person. One of his half-brothers, Phillip Graham, was writer of The Washington Post and Newsweek till he dedicated suicide in 1963, only a yr after Bob Graham’s commencement from Harvard Law.

Graham was president of the scholar physique at Miami Senior High School and attended the University of Florida, graduating in 1959.

In 1966 he was elected to the Florida Legislature, the place he targeted largely on schooling and well being care points.

But Graham acquired off to a shaky begin as Florida’s chief govt, and was dubbed “Gov. Jello” for some early indecisiveness. He shook that label by way of his dealing with of a number of severe crises.

As governor he additionally signed quite a few dying warrants, based the Save the Manatee Club with entertainer Jimmy Buffett and led efforts to determine a number of environmental packages.

Graham pushed by way of a bond program to purchase seashores and barrier islands threatened by growth and in addition began the Save Our Everglades program to guard the state’s water provide, wetlands and endangered species.

Graham additionally was recognized for his 408 “workdays,” together with stints as a housewife, boxing ring announcer, flight attendant and arson investigator. They grew out of a educating stint as a member of the Florida Senate’s Education Committee after which morphed right into a marketing campaign gimmick that helped him relate to the typical voter.

“This has been a very important part of my development as a public official, my learning at a very human level what the people of Florida expect, what they want, what their aspirations are and then trying to interpret that and make it policy that will improve their lives” stated Graham in 2004 as he accomplished his remaining job as a Christmas reward wrapper.

After leaving public life in 2005, Graham spent a lot of his time at a public coverage heart named after him on the University of Florida and pushing the Legislature to require extra civics courses within the state’s public colleges.

Graham was one in all 5 members chosen for an impartial fee by President Barack Obama in June 2010 to research an enormous BP oil spill within the Gulf of Mexico that threatened sea life and seashores alongside a number of southeastern Gulf states.