Friday, October 08, 2004

Vice President Gone, your pants are on fire! 
The other night, Cheney referred to John Edwards as "Senator Gone." Actually, he claimed that Edwards' "home town newspaper" called Edwards that way, a claim that the paper in question denies
It’s not every day that a non-daily paper in a small town gets mentioned in a nationally televised debate in prime time. But it happened to The Pilot Tuesday night.

“His hometown newspaper has taken to calling him ‘Senator Gone,’” Vice President Richard Cheney said of his Democratic challenger, Sen. John Edwards.

Well, not exactly.

The Pilot hasn’t “taken to calling him” anything. In fact, the vice president’s obscure reference sent us scrambling to our library. And sure enough, we did publish an editorial 15 months ago, on June 25, 2003, headlined, “Edwards Should Do His Day Job.” In it, we noted that Sen. Jesse Helms used to be called “Senator No.” And we added: “Four and a half years into his first term, John Edwards is becoming known as Senator Gone.”


But we also wrote: “Members of the senator’s staff point out that Edwards’ attendance record this year has been better than the three other Democratic senators who are campaigning for president — Joe Lieberman, Richard Gephardt and Bob Graham. And the aides also say none of the votes Edwards missed was close, so his presence on the floor would not have changed the outcome.”

There's an even bigger whopper behind that one, though. The Vice President of The United States has one, and only one, statutory responsibility - to act as President of the Senate. That's it. Since inauguration day 2001, the Senate has convened 127 times. Dick Cheney has been present to perform his duty as presiding officer exactly twice. John Edwards, even as a first term Senator, presided over the Senate the same number of times as Cheney. In fact, Dick Cheney's attendance record as Vice President is a whopping 1.6%!

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