Wednesday, July 11, 2007

McConnell AWOL From Iraq Debate

This seems to be a continuing trend with Mitch McConnell. The Louisville liberal has been missing in action from Governor Fletcher's reelection campaign, missing in action from the Senate debate on the amnesty bill after he held Teddy Kennedy's hand in pushing it through, and now Mitch McConnell is missing in action during the important debates on Iraq. Roll Call reports:

A virtual no-show during last month’s divisive immigration debate, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) is expected by his fellow Republicans to emerge soon from the shadows and reassert himself as a leading face of the GOP. But at least in the early hours of this week’s showdown over the Iraq War, that hasn’t happened yet.

McConnell was missing for much of the Senate’s consideration of comprehensive immigration reform — a controversial measure that the Minority Leader quietly opposed and one that divided his party...

What’s more, McConnell has been absent from several high-powered meetings on Iraq with other senior Republicans, including Minority Whip Trent Lott (R-Miss.), Conference Chairman Jon Kyl (Ariz.), McCain and Graham. Those Senators have been in discussions with the White House over the past several days to determine how best to proceed on the Defense Department authorization bill...

“He disappeared during the immigration debate ... and he has yet to reappear,” said one GOP aide to a conservative Senator. “This may be a good re-election strategy, but it could weaken his position in Washington.”