As the three Senators remain in the presidential fray, they continue to miss important pieces of legislation. In recent months Barack Obama has been critiqued for his inactivity in the U.S Senate, but it is beginning to look as though all three candidates suffer from balancing presidential activity with current congressional obligations. Obama still holds the largest percentage of missed votes in the Senate, but McCain has missed the most since 2008.
Kitty Bennett of the New York Times reports, March 25, 2008:
A protracted nominating campaign and unreliable Senate schedules have made it difficult for the presidential candidates to make it back to Washington to vote. So difficult, in fact, that Senator John McCain of Arizona has missed more than half of the roll-call votes since January 2007, more than any other senator except Senator Tim Johnson of South Dakota, who spent most of 2007 recuperating from a brain hemorrhage. When Mr. McCain ran for president in 1999-2000, he missed just 30 percent of the Senate votes.
Still, Mr. McCain has a long way to go to match the number of votes Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts missed when he ran for president in 2003-4: 72 percent. He led the entire Senate, followed by Senator John Edwards of North Carolina, who missed nearly half the votes.
McCain is spending time overseas in order to bolster his foreign relations image and his presence in and around Iraq should make for good excuses. However, he does have the most free time of all three candidates. Continued absences might make it difficult for McCain to criticize Obama on the subject when they begin their debates.