Former Florida Governor Bob Graham dies aged 87: Three-term Democrat senator is ... trends now

Former Florida Governor Bob Graham dies aged 87: Three-term Democrat senator is ... trends now
Former Florida Governor Bob Graham dies aged 87: Three-term Democrat senator is ... trends now

Former Florida Governor Bob Graham dies aged 87: Three-term Democrat senator is ... trends now

Former Florida Sen. Bob Graham, who chaired the Intelligence Committee following the 2001 terrorist attacks and opposed the Iraq invasion, has died. He was 87.

His family announced the death Tuesday in a statement posted on X by his daughter Gwen Graham.

Graham, who served three terms in 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 heart surgery in January 2003. Never able to gain enough traction with voters to catch up, he bowed out that October. He didn´t seek re-election in 2004 and was replaced by Republican Mel Martinez.

A man of many quirks, Graham perfected the 'workdays' political gimmick of spending a day doing various jobs from horse stall mucker to FBI agent. He kept a meticulous diary, noting almost everyone he spoke with, everything he ate, the TV shows he watched and even his golf scores.

Sen. Bob Graham, right, speaks during the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Spill and Offshore Drilling meeting on Sept. 27, 2010, in Washington

Sen. Bob Graham, right, speaks during the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Spill and Offshore Drilling meeting on Sept. 27, 2010, in Washington

But he closed the notebooks to the media during his short-lived presidential bid.

Graham was among the earliest opponents of the Iraq war, saying it diverted America´s focus on the battle against terrorism centered in Afghanistan. He also criticized President George W. Bush for failing to have an occupation plan in Iraq after the U.S. military threw out Saddam Hussein in 2003.

Graham said Bush took the United States into the war by exaggerating claims of the danger presented by the Iraqi weapons of destruction that were never found. Saying Bush distorted intelligence data, Graham argued that was more serious than the sexual misconduct issues that led to President Clinton´s impeachment in the late 1990s.

It spurred Graham to launch his brief presidential bid.

'The quagmire in Iraq is a distraction that the Bush administration, and the Bush administration alone, has created,' Graham said in 2003.

As a politician, few were better. Florida voters hardly considered him the wealthy Harvard-educated attorney that he was.

Graham´s political career spanned five decades, beginning with his election to the Florida House of Representatives in 1966.

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