What's the truth about Kerry & Edward's attendance records?

I’m just looking to find out if it’s as bad as it’s portrayed by the right. Since there are lies, damned lies, and statistics, I figure there must be some spin behind this. Did they miss as many meetings/votes as portrayed and is this atypical of senators? Are their absenses justifiable?

A lot of their later absences are do to running for President. Hard to hold that against them - except that in John Edward’s case, he’s pretty much been running for President since he became a Senator. It looks to me like he never took the job that seriously at all.

I’d love to hear a good explanation for Kerry’s abysmal attendance on the Intelligence committee, though, since that dates back to 1992. And why he missed every public hearing in the year after the first WTC attack, when alarm bells should have been going off in that Committee.

I’m not sure what you meant by this, Sam, but Edwards attendance in the Senate for his first 4 years was 99.46%, and has only considerably dropped this last (5th) year, because - as you mentioned - he was running for the presidency. For all 5 years, his attendance comes out to 95.4%.

Maybe I misunderstood what you were meaning by your statement, above. :confused:

I too would like to hear more about this, though I doubt we will be hearing too many details before election day. Apparently, Kerry has made some comments that imply his attendance in the private meetings was higher than in the public meetings… but he hasn’t called to release the documents that detail attendance for these meetings. As such, I am inclined to believe (unfortunately) that his attendance wasn’t much better in the private meetings. I would like to be proven wrong, however.

So in a nutshell-- I don’t condemn (at all) the two senators’ attendance records, as far as missing votes while on the campaign trail… but I’m not terribly happy with how Kerry has handled the Intelligence Committee attendance issue.

You have to understand something about Sam.

He never takes the time to look up facts. He just spouts the party line.

Should I?

Hell yes.

Sam would have made a great Nazi.

Reeder, may I be the first (next?) to ask you to cut that out in GD? :mad:

I have to plead ignorance. I had thought that Edwards was campaigning two and a half years ago. I stand corrected.

I have to say also that a lot of Senators run for President, and that necessarily takes them away from the floor. So I think those kinds of attacks are almost purely political. Democrats and Republicans both run for president from the Senate, and they both criticise the other for doing it.

Joval, mein kommanant, eh? So, aboot those…What is, mein kommandant?. Like I was saying, eh, aboot thos…Might I ask what mein kommandant is laughing aboot?

Nah. Just wouldn’t work.

Intentional Godwinising of the thread, insults in GD, and to top it all off the joke was labored and unfunny. Good one, Reeder! Keep smacking down those conservatives!

I checked your source, and noticed that those figures were provided by Edwards’ own spokesman, Michael Briggs, and published in Edwards’ hometown newspaper. (Winston-Salem, Greensboro, and High Point are called collectively the “Piedmont Triad”, and are treated as one.) It’s kind of like Scott McClellan saying how George Bush is doing in a Waco op-ed piece.

Here’s the take from a source that is possibly more objective, Utah’s Deseret News.

What is the difference between the numbers you have posted, Liberal and the numbers LilShieste did, and why did you not make this evident? Are you trying to be misleading, or did you not observe that the issue in question was different between the two figures? I assume that you were being intentionally misleading, but I am just a cynic.

I was absent the day they taught mind reading. Why don’t you tell me what you’re talkinga about?

LilShieste posted numbers pertaining to John Edwards’ attendance at Senate votes. You challenged the validity of these on the grounds that the linked article cited an Edwards spokesperson as the source. You then went on to portray what you presented at a different take on the same issue from another source.

However, your source and your numbers are talking about participation in committee meetings, business meetings and hearings, not Senate votes. So the referent is completely different from LilShieste’s numbers. Either you weren’t cognizant of the difference or you presented them as a different “take” on the same issue to be intentionally misleading.

I would speculate further, by the way, that your source is not at all “objective” merely by the wording used in the article, but we can leave that aside for now.

For the benefit of the comprehension impaired, I have taken the liberty of highlighting where Liberal’s cite quite clearly states what it is identifying, making claims of ‘intentionally misleading’ obviously untrue. Also note that LilShieste tries to peg Edwards ‘attendance in the Senate’ at some fanciful 90-some percent, which is obviously not the overall case.

Just for grins I checked the front page of Liberal’s “possibly more objective” source. Here’s what they featured, with a nice big photo to go with it.

Speaking as one of Sen. Edward’s former constituents, I can attest he was a very good Senator. If you wrote a letter or email, or if you called his office, you were guarenteed a personal response. He is still the only public official who has ever responded to an email from me. (No, it was not a form letter, but a dictated, typed and signed letter which addressed specific concerns I had raised.) If you needed anything, such as an expedited passport application, he would come through.

In attention to his constituents’ needs, I would say he was only rivaled by Jessie Helms.

Presiding over the Senate on Cheney’s day, it’s Cheney 2, Edwards 2, Kerry 0.


No. Read it again. Here’s what Liberal says:

That pretty clearly implies that LilShieste’s figures are inaccurate, and that Liberal is citing more accurate figures for the same thing. He’s not. He’s providing stats involving something very different.

Can you provide any evidence that Edwards has missed more Senate votes than LilShieste’s source indicates? How would you like to have “attendance” defined? Does he have to be there at 7:45 a.m., when homeroom starts?

Having spent a career in the bureaucracy, BTW, I have great respect for someone who blows off most of the meetings. That isn’t where things actually get done.

And most Senate hearings are for show, anyway - I suspect that the relevant information has been gathered by Senate staff before the hearings take place. That’s why, when you see a Senate hearing (unless it’s a high-profile “show trial”), you will often see only two or three Senators in attendance. These hearings are a slow, ineffecient way to conduct business.

I’m frankly too astounded to respond. I’m reminded of a scene from West Wing, where Sam is complaining to CJ that there are a hundred times more men than women on the White House staff, and yet women get real towels in their bathrooms while men do not. CJ stares at Sam stunned, and stammers, “You mean to tell me that the thing you take from that statistic is that the bathrooms need restocking?”

Go with that feeling.

An honest response would not have been what you did, Liberal. It would have been to say, “Well, I don’t think that Senate votes reflect attendance in the Senate very well. I think that attendance at committee meetings, business meetings and hearings is a better indicator. Here are some stats (albeit from a partisan newspaper) regarding Edwards attendance at these things, but excluding his attendance for actual votes.”

See the difference? Or are you still speechless and thinking about hand towels?