Other priorities

McCain will miss Senate vote on Iraq -- again.

Published February 16, 2007 5:33PM (EST)

When the Senate votes Saturday on whether to open debate on the House's Iraq war resolution, John McCain will be campaigning in Iowa. A spokesman for McCain -- who also missed the last vote on the Iraq debate -- tells the AP that the senator thinks Harry Reid's plan for a vote Saturday is just a "political stunt."

In a sense, it doesn't really matter whether McCain votes Saturday. Reid needs 60 votes to move forward on the House resolution. Since McCain's vote wouldn't be one of them, it won't make any difference in the outcome if he's there or if he's not.

To get to 60, however, Reid will need every Democratic vote he can muster plus some from Republicans, as well. To that end, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and Joe Biden are all arranging or rearranging their campaign schedules to make sure they're in Washington when the matter comes to the Senate floor.

The bigger question: Where will the likes of Chuck Hagel and John Warner be, and are they willing to bolt from their party's leaders this time around?

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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