(Columbia) - In a political town like Columbia, an in-depth article in a national magazine like GQ is bound to get attention for a politician like U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham. Capital City News and Maps owner Mark Carman says he's selling more of the latest issue than usual.
"We've had a lot of interest in it. A lot of people come browse through it, check out the pictures," Carman says. "The pictures more so than the article itself."
That's because the pictures are so unusual. The article is called, "The Lonely Guy", because it examines how Graham's positions are often at odds with his party's. The first picture is of a stark room that could be a military barracks with a military-looking bunk bed. Sitting on the top bunk in a t-shirt and what appear to be boxer shorts is Sen. Graham.
A few pages later, there's what appears to be the senator paddling a boat in a swamp, his flannel shirt unbuttoned, exposing a large gut. A few more pages later is a photo of Graham, this time in a suit but sitting on the ground and leaning against what could be a federal building, an open briefcase on the ground next to him. This photo also appears to be of a much-heftier Graham.
GQ admits that the photos are not real. The magazine superimposed Graham's head on the bodies of others. The magazine's editor in chief says it was to illustrate how Graham's political positions often leave him a loner.
At the newsstand, Carman says most of the people who've mentioned the article say the same thing. "They were a little surprised to see the format of the pictures," he says.
Kevin Bishop, spokesman for Graham, says the senator doesn't critique articles about himself, although Bishop did call the photos "bizarre". He says the national publicity is nothing new for the senator, so he didn't think the article would have much of an impact.
"He's already been out there with that. He's been on the Sunday TV shows and in the national papers," Bishop says.
Just not in his underwear.