Around the South for Feb. 15: SC, KY & VA

South Carolina: GOPers spin debate; Clyburn for Clinton? After Saturday night’s Republican debate, US Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Jeb Bush supporter, told the Greenville News, “Donald Trump likes Putin and thinks George W. Bush is a liar worthy of being impeached. We will see what the people of South Carolina think about that.” US Sen. Tim Scott, who has endorsed Rubio, said, “Marco performed as the most presidential candidate on the stage … He runs into the last seven days of the South Carolina primary with a lot of momentum.” And US Rep. Jeff Duncan, a Ted Cruz backer, said succinctly, Cruz “came out on top.” On the Democratic side, US Rep. James Clyburn, a member of the House Democratic Leadership, is expected to endorse Hillary Clinton today or tomorrow, adding his considerable clout to her already substantial support in the Palmetto State ……. Kentucky: Paul re-enters Senate. US Sen. Rand Paul (R), whose presidential bid collapsed in the Iowa caucuses, “is throwing himself back into his work as a way to overcome the disappointment of defeat,” reports the Washington Post, which noted that Paul has asked US Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) to help him with legislation to combat opioid addiction ……. Virginia: Black Democrat revolts. State Sen. L. Louise Lucas (D), who is African American, temporarily sided with Republicans over a Democratic judgeship nomination. Noting that black lawmakers get overlooked for key committee slots, Lucas told the Washington Post, “It’s always just, ‘You sit there and you be good, and just vote with us and we’ll take care of you.’ Well, I didn’t get elected to do that.” …….