So exactly what did your candidate vote for anyway?

It’s not uncommon for claims of candidate voting positions to be made for or against a point of argument. Last week when that happened, I stumbled on Vote-Smart again.

I first wrote about Vote-Smart in January when someone from that organization spoke at the spouse’s downtown Rotary Club meeting. A couple of days ago I found these handy tallies of the candidates voting records in the Senate

Senator John McCain

Senator Barack Obama

Of course, McCain’s record is a lot longer. He may have changed his position on something since he was elected the the Senate in 1986 – that’s 22 years. Obama’s been there since 2004, so his list is much shorter.

Don’t get me wrong – this isn’t the definitive answer to how a candidate voted. You can always hang out on the U.S. Senate site and see the roll call lists.

It gets a little old, this “he voted for” or “he voted against” business. Sometimes the votes cited are made along party lines; sometimes they are for motions or amendments that are buried within a bill. Sometimes the issue that’s come up was surrounded by so much pork that it was necessary to first vote against it until it could be trimmed and then voted in favor. That’s not flip-flopping. That’s trying to get it right.

I know from my short experience in legislating that a simple yes or know can be a very complicated decision. I’d hope we’d start to show a little reason on this practice as we head towards the last few months of the campaign.


  1. Cindy,

    I didn’t know I was actually 24 years old, rather than about to turn 22…

  2. Well that’s what I get for posting before the coffee is down the gullet. I’ll change it.