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Looking back, looking ahead

U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham's proudest first-term achievements:

-- "Role I played in breaking the filibuster of judicial nominees" and "keeping the Senate from blowing up." As member of the "Gang of 14" senators, Graham helped broker a bipartisan deal on considering judicial nominees. Led to Supreme Court confirmations of Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito.

-- Leading bipartisan effort to pass bill providing full military healthcare benefits to National Guard and Reserve members. "Has helped recruiting and retention."

--Major role in creating the military commission system to try accused terrorists.

--Helping block Congress from imposing troop withdrawal dates on Iraq war.

Graham's top second-term priorities:

--Energy independence. Create alternative fuels while allowing more domestic gas, oil exploration. Accelerate the development of hybrid vehicles.

--Deal with the growing threat from Iran. Finish the job in Iraq, bring our troops home, then form alliances with Middle East powers to contain Iran.

--Put on the table solutions for looming Social Security and Medicare crisis with aging of Baby Boomers.

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