The NYT Magazine is online with a hot new profile of Lindsey Graham, the Senate's most ubiquitous fifty-something lispy bachelor. And he finally addresses those gay rumors that have followed him throughout his career, saying "I ain't gay." Feisty much?

Graham is considered a "moderate" within his Republican party — the South Carolina Republican party — because he is interested in actually working on legislation sometimes. As a "moderate," his role is to lead the White House on for months at a time as the chief Republican negotiator on energy, immigration, and detainee policy bills, and then, late in the game, find some lame excuse to walk away entirely once he realizes that no one else in the Republican party will join him in supporting a Democratic bill, of any kind. This frequently puffy Times profile tends to paper over the fact that its celebrated "new maverick" subject is not very good at completing any of his maverick-y legislative efforts.

But anyway, it's still a good piece! Here's the long-awaited "gay" part:

Less tame are the blogosphere monikers, like "Miss Lindsey," that play off of Graham's never-married status. During a South Carolina Tea Party rally this spring, one speaker created an uproar by postulating that Graham supported a guest-worker program out of fear that the Democrats might otherwise expose his homosexuality. (Graham smirked when I brought this up. "Like maybe I'm having a clandestine affair with Ricky Martin," he said. "I know it's really gonna upset a lot of gay men - I'm sure hundreds of 'em are gonna be jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge - but I ain't available. I ain't gay. Sorry.")

Kind of defensive sounding with all the gay jokes, hmm? Wonder if he got all shifty-eyed after saying "maybe I'm having a clandestine affair with Ricky Martin."

[Image via AP]