McCain Leads — In Missed Votes

The Washington Post Sunday - - The Sunday Fix -

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) didn’t show up Thurs­day for the big Se­nate vote on the Iraq spend­ing bill. The day be­fore, he missed the fi­nal pas­sage of ed­u­ca­tion in­vest­ment leg­is­la­tion, and the day be­fore that, he skipped roll call votes on four amend­ments and a ju­di­cial con­fir­ma­tion. McCain hasn’t voted in the Se­nate since April 12.

Since the be­gin­ning of the year, McCain has missed at least seven Iraq-re­lated votes, in­clud­ing the con­fir­ma­tion of the in­di­vid­ual whom McCain and other Repub­li­cans are count­ing on to turn the war around, Gen. David H. Pe­traeus.

The Se­nate has held 147 roll call votes so far this year. McCain has been ab­sent a to­tal of 60 times, by far the worst show­ing of the 2008 can­di­dates who are also sit­ting sen­a­tors. The sec­ond-worst of­fender is Sen. Joe Bi­den (D-Del.), who has skipped 41 votes, in­clud­ing the first vote of the year, a Jan. 8 res­o­lu­tion honor­ing for­mer pres­i­dent Ger­ald R. Ford. McCain missed that one, too, as did an­other high-vol­ume ab­sen­tee, Sen. Sam Brown­back (R-Kan.), who has missed 37 votes. Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), who is serv­ing his fifth term, hasn’t shown 26 times.

Looked at an­other way, all six 2008 can­di­dates were present to­gether on the Se­nate floor just 46 times, for fewer than a third of all votes. Sen. Hil­lary Rod­ham Clin­ton (D-N.Y.) has the best at­ten­dance record of the year, miss­ing just three votes, fol­lowed by Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), who was ab­sent seven times.

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