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McCain Skips Vote on Spending Bill

By Paul Kane
One of the Senate's longest-running streaks hit 115 today.

After returning to Washington early this morning, ostensibly to help with congressional negotiations on bailout legislation, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) missed a pair of votes on a massive spending bill that keeps the federal government running for the next five months.

When the roll call on final passage occurred, McCain was at his campaign headquarters in Crystal City, Va., five miles from the Capitol. Aides said he is engaging in phone calls with Republican leaders involved in the talks to approve legislation creating a massive $700 billion bailout of the financial services industry, talks that McCain threw himself into at a White House summit Thursday, then retreated from Friday for his presidential campaign debate with Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.).

"I just talked to him. I don't know where he's at," said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), after casting one of just 12 'nay' votes against the bill.

In missing today's votes, McCain passed up the opportunity to critique a bill that -- as he said in last night's debate -- has more than 2,200 special spending provisions known as earmarks, most of which have never seen the light of day until the legislation was released late this week.

McCain, who has not voted since April 8, has now missed five-and-a-half months of roll calls in the Senate, during which 115 votes have been held.

According to a database created by washingtonpost.com, McCain has missed more than 64 percent of his votes in the 110th Congress, more than any other senator.

Obama also has a dismal voting record, missing 46 percent of his votes since January 2007, the third worst attendance record in the chamber. Other than McCain, only Sen. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) -- who missed most of last year while recuperating from a brain aneurysm -- has missed more votes than Obama, who also didn't appear for the rare weekend Senate session.

Obama's voting is better than McCain's because, to some degree, his presence is required more often than McCain. Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) frequently needs to round up 60 votes to move legislation, and if he has close to nine Republicans supporting him, Reid will call Obama and demand his presence because he needs all 51 members of the Democratic caucus to hit his magic number. As a member of the minority almost always opposing Reid, McCain is never needed. By rule, an intransigent minority only needs one senator on the floor to object and force the majority to find 60 votes.

So, during McCain's streak, Obama has appeared in the Senate to vote on at least a half dozen days.

To be fair, McCain's record is quite similar to that of Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), who was also in the minority when he secured his party's presidential nomination in March 2004. Over the same timespan as McCain's current streak, from early April 2004 through September of that year, Kerry voted just one day -- June 22 -- on a Pentagon spending bill that was authored, ironically enough, by McCain, who was chairman of the Armed Services Committee at the time.

By Web Politics Editor  |  September 27, 2008; 3:54 PM ET
Categories:  B_Blog , John McCain  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Complete Footage: The First Presidential Debate
Next: Debate Over, Obama Takes Off the Gloves

Comments

How can they tell me to vote when they won't vote themselves?

Oh, that's right, I forgot, they DON'T want me to vote.

Posted by: JRM2 | September 29, 2008 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Yesterday's Washington Post

"When Sen. John McCain made his way to the Capitol office of House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) just past noon on Thursday, he intended to "just touch gloves" with House Republican leaders, according to one congressional aide, and get ready for the afternoon bailout summit at the White House.

Instead, Rep. Paul D. Ryan (Wis.), the ranking Republican on the House Budget Committee, was waiting to give him an earful. The $700 billion Wall Street rescue, as laid out by Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr., was never going to fly with House Republicans, Ryan said. The plan had to be fundamentally reworked, relying instead on a new program of mortgage insurance paid not by the taxpayers but by the banking industry.

McCain listened, then, with Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (S.C.), he burst into the Senate Republican policy luncheon. Over a Tex-Mex buffet, Sens. Robert F. Bennett (Utah) and Judd Gregg (N.H.) had been explaining the contours of a deal just reached. House Republicans were not buying it. Then McCain spoke.


"I appreciate what you've done here, but I'm not going to sign on to a deal just to sign the deal," McCain told the gathering, according to Graham and confirmed by multiple Senate GOP aides. "Just like Iraq, I'm not afraid to go it alone if I need to."

For a moment, as Graham described it, "you could hear a pin drop. It was just unbelievable." Then pandemonium. By the time the meeting broke up, the agreement touted just hours before -- one that Sen. Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), the No. 3 GOP leader, estimated would be supported by more than 40 Senate Republicans -- was in shambles.

An incendiary mix of presidential politics, delicate dealmaking and market instability played out Thursday in a tableau of high drama, with $700 billion and the U.S. economy possibly in the balance. McCain's presence was only one of the complicating factors. Sen. Barack Obama played his part, with a hectoring performance behind closed doors at the White House. And a brewing House Republican leadership fight helped scramble allegiances in the GOP.

It is unclear whether the day's events will prove to be historically significant or a mere political sideshow. If the administration and lawmakers forge an agreement largely along the lines of the deal they had reached before McCain's arrival Thursday, the tumult will have been a momentary speed bump. If the deal collapses, the recriminations spawned that day will be fierce.

But if a final deal incorporates House Republican principles while leaning most heavily on the accord between the administration, House Democrats and Senate Republicans, all sides will be able to claim some credit -- even if the legislation is not popular with voters.

"If there is a deal with the House involved, it's because of John McCain," Graham, one of the Arizonan's closest friends in the Senate, said yesterday.

In truth, McCain's dramatic announcement Wednesday that he would suspend his campaign and come to Washington for the bailout talks had wide repercussions.

Democrats, eager to reach a deal before McCain could claim credit, hunkered down and made real progress ahead of his arrival. Conservative Republicans in the House reacted as well, according to aides who were part of the talks.

The Republican Study Committee, an enclave of House conservatives, had already begun turning against the Paulson plan. When McCain announced his return, the conservatives feared he would forge an agreement largely along Paulson's lines, with slight alterations and the GOP leadership's blessing. "
*************

A much better bill than the one Frank, Dodd,Pelosi, and Reid declared as "done" on Thursday is now posted on the internet. They "blamed" him for stopping it and now amazingly forget all about it! By getting the House Republicans at the table, the insurance branch of the deal was included, sheltering the American public from risk. McCain got Blunt to the table. Now we all profit by McCain's suspension of his campaign and visit to Washington DC. On ABC this morning, Stephanopolous asked McCain if he took credit for this breakthrough. He declined. So have the Democrats in congress...WILL YOU?

Posted by: thecannula | September 28, 2008 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Country First!
McCain/Sarah Palin

Posted by: Manolete | September 28, 2008 11:36 AM

This should read:

Throw common sense out the window,
Country First (Iraq)!
McCain/sarah Palin?

Posted by: Gator-ron | September 28, 2008 1:42 PM | Report abuse

This is a smear by the liberal press. The only reason McCain did not vote is he can not walk and chew gum at the same time. He can not be a peripheral player in the financial crisis and attend to other congressional business. That is why he missed the vote on veterans benefits, he could not campaign for the presidential nomination after all but Ron Paul had dropped out and go to Washington. Maybe problem is his age or mental capacity but I think that is just liberal media bull. He can not do two things at one time because he is simply too disorganized and is not executive material.

He could have run from the center. In stead he chose Sarah Palin which if she fails as a vice presidential debater will be an albatross that he can not shake. John McCain needed to run as the candidate he was in 2000, a maverick with a truly conservative economic agenda. That was the candidate that could have won the swing voter, but the dying Republican far right are too blind to salvage this election. Better Obama then the real McCain.

Those posting on this site today are simply too empty headed to understand. So they will spew their disproved attacks in a reenactment of the 2004 campaign.

Posted by: Gator-ron | September 28, 2008 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Paul Kane is part of the liberal media that is foaming at the mouth at the thought of a woman VP and a War Hero in command of the security of our country!.....instead, their sexism and white guilt have pushed their clouded minds in support for a young, naive individual that has no experience in governance and his only strength is the skill of oratory.

The fact is that America still does not know who the real Barack Hussein Obama is, but we all remember of his 20 year close association and blood relationship with his religious leader, priest and father image, Jeremiah Wright; and we all remember the hideous videos of Jeremiah Wright's congregation which included Obama and Oprah, when they were celebrating in bombastic joy, the murderous attack on America on 9/11.

We all know Barack is an extremist, black supremacist that has a hidden agenda that would destroy the American values we all treasure and cherish.

The liberal media will not succeed in destroying the McCain/Palin presidential, campaign the way they destroyed Hillary Clinton's effort, because americans including all the democrats that supported Hillary Clinton will make the choice to put our country first and vote for McCain and Sarah Palin.

Country First!
McCain/Sarah Palin

Posted by: Manolete | September 28, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse

So, did Obama vote? What percent of votes did Obama miss during the 110th Congress?

Posted by: jgombo1 | September 28, 2008 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Yeah yeah, we all know McCain pushed the surge, just as he pushed for the Iraq War in the first place.

When did McCain "stop the splurge"? Did he stop the party on Wall Street? Taking credit for the credit meltdown? How brave of him for being honest.

Posted by: quatzecoutl | September 28, 2008 10:41 AM | Report abuse

"Politics First" - Palin/McCain

Posted by: Dano111 | September 28, 2008 8:15 AM | Report abuse

"Politics First" -Palin/McCain 08

Posted by: Dano111 | September 28, 2008 8:12 AM | Report abuse

McCain-

Pushed the Surge!

Stopped the Splurge!

Posted by: thecannula | September 28, 2008 1:41 AM | Report abuse

McCain-

Pushed the Surge!

Stopped the Splurge!

Posted by: thecannula | September 28, 2008 1:39 AM | Report abuse

Today's Washington Post

"When Sen. John McCain made his way to the Capitol office of House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) just past noon on Thursday, he intended to "just touch gloves" with House Republican leaders, according to one congressional aide, and get ready for the afternoon bailout summit at the White House.

Instead, Rep. Paul D. Ryan (Wis.), the ranking Republican on the House Budget Committee, was waiting to give him an earful. The $700 billion Wall Street rescue, as laid out by Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr., was never going to fly with House Republicans, Ryan said. The plan had to be fundamentally reworked, relying instead on a new program of mortgage insurance paid not by the taxpayers but by the banking industry.

McCain listened, then, with Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (S.C.), he burst into the Senate Republican policy luncheon. Over a Tex-Mex buffet, Sens. Robert F. Bennett (Utah) and Judd Gregg (N.H.) had been explaining the contours of a deal just reached. House Republicans were not buying it. Then McCain spoke.


"I appreciate what you've done here, but I'm not going to sign on to a deal just to sign the deal," McCain told the gathering, according to Graham and confirmed by multiple Senate GOP aides. "Just like Iraq, I'm not afraid to go it alone if I need to."

For a moment, as Graham described it, "you could hear a pin drop. It was just unbelievable." Then pandemonium. By the time the meeting broke up, the agreement touted just hours before -- one that Sen. Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), the No. 3 GOP leader, estimated would be supported by more than 40 Senate Republicans -- was in shambles.

An incendiary mix of presidential politics, delicate dealmaking and market instability played out Thursday in a tableau of high drama, with $700 billion and the U.S. economy possibly in the balance. McCain's presence was only one of the complicating factors. Sen. Barack Obama played his part, with a hectoring performance behind closed doors at the White House. And a brewing House Republican leadership fight helped scramble allegiances in the GOP.

It is unclear whether the day's events will prove to be historically significant or a mere political sideshow. If the administration and lawmakers forge an agreement largely along the lines of the deal they had reached before McCain's arrival Thursday, the tumult will have been a momentary speed bump. If the deal collapses, the recriminations spawned that day will be fierce.

But if a final deal incorporates House Republican principles while leaning most heavily on the accord between the administration, House Democrats and Senate Republicans, all sides will be able to claim some credit -- even if the legislation is not popular with voters.

"If there is a deal with the House involved, it's because of John McCain," Graham, one of the Arizonan's closest friends in the Senate, said yesterday.

In truth, McCain's dramatic announcement Wednesday that he would suspend his campaign and come to Washington for the bailout talks had wide repercussions.

Democrats, eager to reach a deal before McCain could claim credit, hunkered down and made real progress ahead of his arrival. Conservative Republicans in the House reacted as well, according to aides who were part of the talks.

The Republican Study Committee, an enclave of House conservatives, had already begun turning against the Paulson plan. When McCain announced his return, the conservatives feared he would forge an agreement largely along Paulson's lines, with slight alterations and the GOP leadership's blessing.

*************

WE HAVE A DEAL ANNOUNCED!
THANKS TO JOHN MCCAIN A MUCH BETTER ONE THAN THE ONE THE DEMOCRATS TRIED TO RUSH THROUGH BEFORE HE LANDED IN DC!

Posted by: thecannula | September 28, 2008 12:50 AM | Report abuse

Today's Washington Post

"When Sen. John McCain made his way to the Capitol office of House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) just past noon on Thursday, he intended to "just touch gloves" with House Republican leaders, according to one congressional aide, and get ready for the afternoon bailout summit at the White House.

Instead, Rep. Paul D. Ryan (Wis.), the ranking Republican on the House Budget Committee, was waiting to give him an earful. The $700 billion Wall Street rescue, as laid out by Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr., was never going to fly with House Republicans, Ryan said. The plan had to be fundamentally reworked, relying instead on a new program of mortgage insurance paid not by the taxpayers but by the banking industry.

McCain listened, then, with Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (S.C.), he burst into the Senate Republican policy luncheon. Over a Tex-Mex buffet, Sens. Robert F. Bennett (Utah) and Judd Gregg (N.H.) had been explaining the contours of a deal just reached. House Republicans were not buying it. Then McCain spoke.


"I appreciate what you've done here, but I'm not going to sign on to a deal just to sign the deal," McCain told the gathering, according to Graham and confirmed by multiple Senate GOP aides. "Just like Iraq, I'm not afraid to go it alone if I need to."

For a moment, as Graham described it, "you could hear a pin drop. It was just unbelievable." Then pandemonium. By the time the meeting broke up, the agreement touted just hours before -- one that Sen. Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), the No. 3 GOP leader, estimated would be supported by more than 40 Senate Republicans -- was in shambles.

An incendiary mix of presidential politics, delicate dealmaking and market instability played out Thursday in a tableau of high drama, with $700 billion and the U.S. economy possibly in the balance. McCain's presence was only one of the complicating factors. Sen. Barack Obama played his part, with a hectoring performance behind closed doors at the White House. And a brewing House Republican leadership fight helped scramble allegiances in the GOP.

It is unclear whether the day's events will prove to be historically significant or a mere political sideshow. If the administration and lawmakers forge an agreement largely along the lines of the deal they had reached before McCain's arrival Thursday, the tumult will have been a momentary speed bump. If the deal collapses, the recriminations spawned that day will be fierce.

But if a final deal incorporates House Republican principles while leaning most heavily on the accord between the administration, House Democrats and Senate Republicans, all sides will be able to claim some credit -- even if the legislation is not popular with voters.

"If there is a deal with the House involved, it's because of John McCain," Graham, one of the Arizonan's closest friends in the Senate, said yesterday.

In truth, McCain's dramatic announcement Wednesday that he would suspend his campaign and come to Washington for the bailout talks had wide repercussions.

Democrats, eager to reach a deal before McCain could claim credit, hunkered down and made real progress ahead of his arrival. Conservative Republicans in the House reacted as well, according to aides who were part of the talks.

The Republican Study Committee, an enclave of House conservatives, had already begun turning against the Paulson plan. When McCain announced his return, the conservatives feared he would forge an agreement largely along Paulson's lines, with slight alterations and the GOP leadership's blessing.

*************

WE HAVE A DEAL ANNOUNCED!
THANKS TO JOHN MCCAIN A MUCH BETTER ONE THAN THE ONE THE DEMOCRATS TRIED TO RUSH THROUGH BEFORE HE LANDED IN DC!

Posted by: thecannula | September 28, 2008 12:47 AM | Report abuse

Yesterday's Washington Post

"When Sen. John McCain made his way to the Capitol office of House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) just past noon on Thursday, he intended to "just touch gloves" with House Republican leaders, according to one congressional aide, and get ready for the afternoon bailout summit at the White House.

Instead, Rep. Paul D. Ryan (Wis.), the ranking Republican on the House Budget Committee, was waiting to give him an earful. The $700 billion Wall Street rescue, as laid out by Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr., was never going to fly with House Republicans, Ryan said. The plan had to be fundamentally reworked, relying instead on a new program of mortgage insurance paid not by the taxpayers but by the banking industry.

McCain listened, then, with Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (S.C.), he burst into the Senate Republican policy luncheon. Over a Tex-Mex buffet, Sens. Robert F. Bennett (Utah) and Judd Gregg (N.H.) had been explaining the contours of a deal just reached. House Republicans were not buying it. Then McCain spoke.


"I appreciate what you've done here, but I'm not going to sign on to a deal just to sign the deal," McCain told the gathering, according to Graham and confirmed by multiple Senate GOP aides. "Just like Iraq, I'm not afraid to go it alone if I need to."

For a moment, as Graham described it, "you could hear a pin drop. It was just unbelievable." Then pandemonium. By the time the meeting broke up, the agreement touted just hours before -- one that Sen. Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), the No. 3 GOP leader, estimated would be supported by more than 40 Senate Republicans -- was in shambles.

An incendiary mix of presidential politics, delicate dealmaking and market instability played out Thursday in a tableau of high drama, with $700 billion and the U.S. economy possibly in the balance. McCain's presence was only one of the complicating factors. Sen. Barack Obama played his part, with a hectoring performance behind closed doors at the White House. And a brewing House Republican leadership fight helped scramble allegiances in the GOP.

It is unclear whether the day's events will prove to be historically significant or a mere political sideshow. If the administration and lawmakers forge an agreement largely along the lines of the deal they had reached before McCain's arrival Thursday, the tumult will have been a momentary speed bump. If the deal collapses, the recriminations spawned that day will be fierce.

But if a final deal incorporates House Republican principles while leaning most heavily on the accord between the administration, House Democrats and Senate Republicans, all sides will be able to claim some credit -- even if the legislation is not popular with voters.

"If there is a deal with the House involved, it's because of John McCain," Graham, one of the Arizonan's closest friends in the Senate, said yesterday.

In truth, McCain's dramatic announcement Wednesday that he would suspend his campaign and come to Washington for the bailout talks had wide repercussions.

Democrats, eager to reach a deal before McCain could claim credit, hunkered down and made real progress ahead of his arrival. Conservative Republicans in the House reacted as well, according to aides who were part of the talks.

The Republican Study Committee, an enclave of House conservatives, had already begun turning against the Paulson plan. When McCain announced his return, the conservatives feared he would forge an agreement largely along Paulson's lines, with slight alterations and the GOP leadership's blessing.
******************
9/28/09
WE HAVE A DEAL AND THANKS TO JOHN MCCAIN A BETTER ONE FOR THE AMERICAN PEOPLE!

Posted by: thecannula | September 28, 2008 12:44 AM | Report abuse

Yesterday's Washington Post

"When Sen. John McCain made his way to the Capitol office of House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) just past noon on Thursday, he intended to "just touch gloves" with House Republican leaders, according to one congressional aide, and get ready for the afternoon bailout summit at the White House.

Instead, Rep. Paul D. Ryan (Wis.), the ranking Republican on the House Budget Committee, was waiting to give him an earful. The $700 billion Wall Street rescue, as laid out by Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr., was never going to fly with House Republicans, Ryan said. The plan had to be fundamentally reworked, relying instead on a new program of mortgage insurance paid not by the taxpayers but by the banking industry.

McCain listened, then, with Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (S.C.), he burst into the Senate Republican policy luncheon. Over a Tex-Mex buffet, Sens. Robert F. Bennett (Utah) and Judd Gregg (N.H.) had been explaining the contours of a deal just reached. House Republicans were not buying it. Then McCain spoke.


"I appreciate what you've done here, but I'm not going to sign on to a deal just to sign the deal," McCain told the gathering, according to Graham and confirmed by multiple Senate GOP aides. "Just like Iraq, I'm not afraid to go it alone if I need to."

For a moment, as Graham described it, "you could hear a pin drop. It was just unbelievable." Then pandemonium. By the time the meeting broke up, the agreement touted just hours before -- one that Sen. Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), the No. 3 GOP leader, estimated would be supported by more than 40 Senate Republicans -- was in shambles.

An incendiary mix of presidential politics, delicate dealmaking and market instability played out Thursday in a tableau of high drama, with $700 billion and the U.S. economy possibly in the balance. McCain's presence was only one of the complicating factors. Sen. Barack Obama played his part, with a hectoring performance behind closed doors at the White House. And a brewing House Republican leadership fight helped scramble allegiances in the GOP.

It is unclear whether the day's events will prove to be historically significant or a mere political sideshow. If the administration and lawmakers forge an agreement largely along the lines of the deal they had reached before McCain's arrival Thursday, the tumult will have been a momentary speed bump. If the deal collapses, the recriminations spawned that day will be fierce.

But if a final deal incorporates House Republican principles while leaning most heavily on the accord between the administration, House Democrats and Senate Republicans, all sides will be able to claim some credit -- even if the legislation is not popular with voters.

"If there is a deal with the House involved, it's because of John McCain," Graham, one of the Arizonan's closest friends in the Senate, said yesterday.

In truth, McCain's dramatic announcement Wednesday that he would suspend his campaign and come to Washington for the bailout talks had wide repercussions.

Democrats, eager to reach a deal before McCain could claim credit, hunkered down and made real progress ahead of his arrival. Conservative Republicans in the House reacted as well, according to aides who were part of the talks.

The Republican Study Committee, an enclave of House conservatives, had already begun turning against the Paulson plan. When McCain announced his return, the conservatives feared he would forge an agreement largely along Paulson's lines, with slight alterations and the GOP leadership's blessing.
******************
9/28/09
WE HAVE A DEAL AND THANKS TO JOHN MCCAIN A BETTER ONE FOR THE AMERICAN PEOPLE!

Posted by: thecannula | September 28, 2008 12:43 AM | Report abuse

Now lets take a look at the facts..

Obama HAS to come back to GIVE THE DEMOCRATS the 60 votes to run the country into DEBIT.

There is no mention that HE was campaigning so hard in Va. and talking ghetto black to the crowd about the rain.

There is not mention that the Democrats created a Budget Bill for next year that is ONE TRILLION DOLLARS. And was given to Congress to vote on with 24 hours to review and then vote.. had to be done by September 30. (Did the same thing last year.)

Obey was PROUD that they were able to pull the wool of the publics eyes... get the bill out... and pass it without anyone being able to INSPECT the bill. Even bragged about how the Democrats did it.

The Dems want to give 20 % of this bailout.. to the ACORN group... that is a FIRM SUPPORTER FOR OBAMA.. HAS TIES TO radical black thinking from the sixties.. and is being investigated by the FBI for voter fraud. They also are a major player in insuring that minority blacks were given mortgages with zero down. (Obama did legal work for them and TRAINED THEM IN organizing voters.)

The also want to give any profits to La Rusa which does the same for hispanics.. and provides OBAMA WITH NEW HISPANIC VOTERS.

If the US GOVERNMENT OWES 6-10 TRILLION DOLLARS to the CREDIT MARKET. Hey... they continue to take money out of the credit cycle... worst than the banks and Wall Street.

So would it be safe to say... that Congress and all those politicians on the Hill by spending, spending and continuing to spend.. Are more responsible for pulling money out of the financial sector than the banks and wall street.

Ill have to do some econ 101, and fiance 101 research on this.

REmember the little story about Chicken Little running around crying. the sky is falling in, the sky is falling in.

Well the democrats are crying the sky is falling in... just the opposite... they NEED TO GET OBAMA ELECTED so that they can spend, spend and spend some more.

Posted by: miller51550 | September 28, 2008 12:33 AM | Report abuse

The bailout negotiations were so important to McCain that he tried to cancel the debate. When it looked as though the debate might go ahead without him, McCain agreed to participate, saying that he would be back on Capitol Hill immediately after the debate to work on the bailout negotiations. No John McCain on Capitol Hill today.

These people have a major problem with the truth. Their opinion of the American people is so low that they think they can invent whatever reality they want.

Posted by: bamccampbell | September 28, 2008 12:31 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: thecannula | September 28, 2008 12:22 AM | Report abuse

Hey WaPo,

Do you really mean to say that John McCain did not stick around to vote on the $630 Billion doller spending bill voted on (and passed)today??

Are you serious??

How exceedingly odd, especially considering it had more pork in it than the Hormel SPAM plant.

It is even more odd, since McCain was railing on about earmarks and pork and spending just, ah hem... when was that... oh yes... just last night.

Maybe a $700 Billion bill is worth "suspending the campaign" to race back to DC, but $630 Billion bill is like...chump change??? OK, now I get it.

""I just talked to him. I don't know where he's at," said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), after casting one of just 12 'nay' votes against the bill.""

That is just to funny, his pal Lindsey Graham made the vote, but Chief Spending Cop McCain was splitsville...lol!

Easier said than done...eh John???

Posted by: plaza04433 | September 28, 2008 12:19 AM | Report abuse

Obama's attitude to the bail out bill shows what his attitude will be like as President. "Hey dudes, they have phones on the back nine!"

Posted by: Hawaiian_Gecko | September 27, 2008 11:11 PM | Report abuse

Obama missed it too. Of course McCain was busy saving America while Barack was standing in the rain.

Posted by: Hawaiian_Gecko | September 27, 2008 11:08 PM | Report abuse

And McCain complains about Obama voting Present?

Posted by: Beka13 | September 27, 2008 11:01 PM | Report abuse

So McCain this past week had to serve as the white knight to come and save the negotiations of the bill (aka grandstand) yet when it's time to actually cast his vote and make his voice heard he's five miles down the road?!

For all you McCain supporters--if that doesn't tell you he was grandstanding I have no idea what will. He is truly a joke of epic proportions and a true politician. How pathetic.

Posted by: DinahS | September 27, 2008 9:53 PM | Report abuse

McCain as a young man was almost last in a class of about 900, hmmmmmm, I think that should raise some warning signs. Arrogance of the young sometimes does morph into arrogance when one is old. McCain proved last night to be arrogant and today not to vote after his statement last night shows the teachers were right. He is now an arrogant old fool, the Palin pick proved that.

Posted by: hmmmmmer | September 27, 2008 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Gosh, does this mean the right will criticize McCain for throwing his hissy fit about going back to Washington to work on the debate, no, this just means they will have another excuse for why he is even running for president and why in the hell he picked Palin for his vp.

Could the Republicans tell me W T F they think they are doing? Is party really more important than the country?

Posted by: hmmmmmer | September 27, 2008 9:36 PM | Report abuse

One final thought. When John McCain attended the United States Naval Academy between 1954 and 1958, what do you suppose was the shared experience common to those teachers who collectively ranked him 894th out of those 899 midshipmen?

World War II.

Posted by: officermancuso | September 27, 2008 9:28 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps I should be a little more clear about what I believe the actions of young John McCain show about his character.

We would all agree, I presume, that our nation's military academies aim not only to produce smart men, but also men of character.

John McCain graduated 894'th of 899 students in the 1954 class at the U.S. Naval Academy.

Clearly, some seasoned and honored Navy vets on that faculty (you don't get to be a Prof at the Naval Academy by being a bad sailor) were trying to throw warning flags into the man's record. And they were doing so, knowing that the possibilities of recrimination were serious, given that the student's father and grandfather were admirals in the Navy.

Posted by: officermancuso | September 27, 2008 9:13 PM | Report abuse

VoterfromIl wrote, "Obama will take this country down the path never before. Everyone whohas little love for this country should oppose that."

I agree that everyone who only loves their country only a little bit should oppose Obama.

People who love their country a lot should support him, to save this nation from government by people who can't put together sentences any better than Sarah Palin, George W. Bush, and John McCain (894'th out of 899 at Annapolis, though he enjoyed the benefit of being the son and grandson of admirals).

Posted by: officermancuso | September 27, 2008 8:59 PM | Report abuse

info42 asked:

"What is not mentioned here is that Obama didn't vote on the bill, either.

"So, why isn't the title "McCain, Obama Skip Vote on Spending Bill"?

"Ombudsman, we have a problem."

What's the problem? Did Obama make a highly public announcement that he was suspending his campaign to rush back to the Senate chambers and save the day?

Did Obama threaten not to show up for a presidential debate until this matter was settled?

You Republicans have nothing left but spin, and all the world can see it.

Posted by: officermancuso | September 27, 2008 8:53 PM | Report abuse

Obama will take this country down the path never before. Everyone whohas little love for this country should oppose that.

Posted by: VoterfromIL | September 27, 2008 8:51 PM | Report abuse

The English language has some delightful terms for people like John McCain.

One that comes to mind is "flim-flam man".

Posted by: officermancuso | September 27, 2008 8:49 PM | Report abuse

John McCain is such a p*ssy.

Posted by: Terrorfied | September 27, 2008 8:46 PM | Report abuse

What a drama queen McCain is. He "suspended" his campaign to return to DC for a Photo Op with Bush; sat in the meeting and barely spoke; wnet to Ole Miss and acted like an old, out of touch, nasty, disrespectful man, then flew back to DC and spent his time in Crystal City when the vote occurred. By the way, I also saw him on CNN at an appearance in Philadelphia with Sarah Palin and Arlen Specter. What a dramatic insincere presidential candidate, who does not inspire confidence at all.

Posted by: jaladner | September 27, 2008 8:40 PM | Report abuse

Maybe they didn't mention Obama because he didn't sell himself as Mr. Anti-Big Spending last night like McCain did.

Posted by: dawn9476 | September 27, 2008 8:26 PM | Report abuse

If their votes won't affect the outcome, because of the numbers, it is much more efficient for the candidates to focus on their campaigns. It doesn't help the climate or energy problems if the candidates included jetting themselves and their entourages and press pools back and forth from DC to register dutiful but unhelpful votes.

Posted by: AsperGirl | September 27, 2008 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Oh I get it . . . Election First.

Posted by: jimcummings | September 27, 2008 8:22 PM | Report abuse

This is so retarded. I understand the hesitancy in carving out exceptions for people being in the senate chamber to vote, but surely being on the presidential campaign trail is a unique (and recurrent) circumstance. Why not just allow presidential candidates to vote by teleconference? If folks try to expand or abuse the exception, you can always get rid of it.

Posted by: BillinChicago1 | September 27, 2008 6:50 PM | Report abuse

What is not mentioned here is that Obama didn't vote on the bill, either.

So, why isn't the title "McCain, Obama Skip Vote on Spending Bill"?

Ombudsman, we have a problem.

Posted by: info42 | September 27, 2008 6:50 PM | Report abuse

I suspect the reason he is staying away is because the others have probably requested that since he raised such havoc when he returned on Thursday yet did nothing.

Posted by: Westmichigangrandma | September 27, 2008 6:41 PM | Report abuse

Did Sen. Obama make the vote on the spending bill? If not, why is the headline not "Obama and McCain skip vote on spending bill"? Your bias reeks.

Posted by: FredSmiley | September 27, 2008 6:21 PM | Report abuse

I was disapointed. Obama for all his fans should have done allot better and be ahead by far in the polls. McCain is just not steady enough. Sorry, he just looks scared and not in good health.
We have much to address in this country and neither candidate has what it takes.
Vp's do not look good either. 'We' the public are the losers because of a lousy 2 party system.
I am voting independent and enocourage others not to accept what your handed -Remember-they work for you!

Posted by: crrobin | September 27, 2008 6:19 PM | Report abuse

I was disapointed. Obama for all his fans should have done allot better and be ahead by far in the polls. McCain is just not steady enough. Sorry, he just looks scared and not in good health.
We have much to address in this country and neither candidate has what it takes.
Vp's do not look good either. 'We' the public are the losers because of a lousy 2 party system.
I am voting independent and enocourage others not to accept what your handed -Remember-they work for you!

Posted by: crrobin | September 27, 2008 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Please give John McCain a chance to remedy his dismal record of attendance. Vote Obama/Biden November 4 so John McCain will have no more excuses to miss any more votes. I'm sorry, Alaska, you'll have to take Palin back.

Posted by: Jay161 | September 27, 2008 5:58 PM | Report abuse

It seems so evident McCain says one thing and does another..in the face of the American public.

No doubt a "good man", but hardly the kind of personality he nor Ms. Palin present to the world as a balanced, factual thinker who can handle multiple challenges at the same time.

As a former serving member of the US Army with duty in both Afghanistan/2003 and Iraq/2005, I can say without any reservation, the assets in Afghanistan were drained during the upfront of the Iraq War. 2003 and into 2004 was "nothing" much happening. I worked in conjunction with the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Paktia Province with much travel into Khwost and Ghazni Provinces. NOT ONE PROJEC WAS INITIATED DURING MY TENURE(FEB/2003-SEPT/2003).

While in Iraq, the Army's Materiel Command (AMC) was nearly totally outsourced to contractors. In one case, the mine seeking equipment was under contract to Mantech. The deadline time was horrific; those vehicle/equipment could of saved US soldier lives, but because the contracts were civilianized nothing could be done..I was told so by then the commandere of AMC (Forward). The contract by Mantech was under the "overwatch" of former General Renzi from the 1970's (now passed away); his son was Congressman Renzi from Arizona and part of the congregation of Senator McCain later that year.

Disgraceful, dishonorable and shameful what was done to "my" Army...Soldiers and Marined died because of sloppy work and connections to people like Renzi and McCain and DOD insider, in general.

This comment is truthful and accurate.

Posted by: blackjack3 | September 27, 2008 5:13 PM | Report abuse

John McCain said just last night - I heard him - that he was coming back to Washington to FIGHT - FIGHT he said, the wasteful spending that goes on in congress.

Well, if you believed that, I got a check payable to "The Bridge to Nowhere" that's been returned marked "VOID".

er ... I'm wrong about that. It is signed by Sarah Palin and has been cashed.

Posted by: haymarketbill | September 27, 2008 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Wow. Unbelieveable. Crystal City is a whopping 10 minute drive from the Capitol. McCain makes all this hoo-rah about coming back to DC and then cant even be bothered to make it to a vote. Why isnt this today's headline? Says alot about McCain.

Posted by: MarcMyWords | September 27, 2008 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Nice try, acarponzo. The reason Congress has such a low approval rating is mostly due to the republicans. When rated separately, democrats have a higher approval rating than republicans. Granted, both their approval ratings are nothing to brag about but most people know obstructionism when they see it by the republicans.

Posted by: rlk42 | September 27, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Boy it must be tough to have to vote when Reid calls. Obama wants to have as little to do with him as possible. Reid and Congress have such a low approval rating, one might as well stay home.

http://www.boppoll.com

Posted by: acarponzo | September 27, 2008 4:14 PM | Report abuse

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