It bothered me when John Kerry and John Edwards abandoned their Senate responsibilities to run for president in 2004, and it bothers me when John McCain (and other GOP presidential-wannabees) are doing the same thing now.

McCain's aides have acknowledged that the senator hasn't been as active in the Senate this year as he's been out campaigning. As Capitol Briefing noted Thursday, McCain hasn't cast a vote in more than five weeks now.

But Jones said McCain's staff has been deeply involved in the immigration talks. ...

After making a few comments, McCain left the Capitol to head to New York for presidential campaign events. Later that day, McCain missed his 43rd straight vote, this on the $2.9 trillion budget outline.

I still fervently believe that political office-holders should resign if they intend to spend all their time campaigning for another job. Here's some data from the end of April about presidential-wannabe absenteeism, and I'm sure the numbers are much worse now a month later.

Besides Sen. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) - who's missed the entire year as he recovers from a brain hemorrhage - McCain has now missed more votes, 60, than every other senator, making it to less than 60 percent of roll-call votes.

The next three most absentee senators are also 2008 candidates, Joseph Biden (D-Del.), Sam Brownback (R-Kansas) and Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.). But they've only missed 41, 37 and 26 votes, respectively. And two top-tier presidential candidates, Sens. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.), have been present so often on the chamber floor you wouldn't even know they're running for the White House.

Obama has missed seven votes, Clinton three.

McCain also continues to miss many critical votes on Iraq, the issue that he has previously said would be so critical to his own campaign. He's now missed at least seven votes of prominence on Iraq.

Good for Senators Clinton and Obama. I couldn't abandon my responsibilities at work for months or years on end to, say, start my own business, and there's no reason we should expect less from our "leaders". And yes, I'm basically forced to resort to scare-quotes for these people, because it's really hard to remember the last time I felt led by any of them in any way.

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