So who said Republicans put party before country?
CongressDaily has more.
Among those who will not attend are Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska, who is not close to presumptive presidential nominee Sen. John McCain of Arizona, and Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, who is a McCain loyalist. Stevens and Collins will use the convention week to focus on their campaigns.
Since being in the same room with President Bush is going to hurt their campaigns, I don't really blame them. Against my better judgment, I have a soft spot for Susan Collins and her fellow Maine old-school moderate, Olympia Snowe. I just wish "moderate Republican" didn't equal "run-of-the-mill Bush rubber stamper" these days.
Also sending regrets is former Rep. Bob Schaffer of Colorado, running for the seat being vacated by retiring GOP Sen. Wayne Allard.
Six others -- Sens. Roger Wicker of Mississippi, John Sununu of New Hampshire, Elizabeth Dole of North Carolina and Gordon Smith of Oregon and challengers John Kennedy of Louisiana and Rep. Steve Pearce of New Mexico are still on the fence. Their spokesman offered responses ranging from "there are no plans yet" to "no decisions have been made."
Translation: "If there's a seat somewhere against the wall where no one will notice me, maybe I'll consider going."
But none of the absentees or potential no-shows is publicly citing Bush or McCain as the reason for their decisions.
Instead, they and their campaign aides point to the difficult campaign landscape and limited opportunities to campaign.
"Limited opportunities to campaign"? What's that supposed to mean, anyway? Is it shorthand for "limited opportunities to campaign without reminding anyone of the asinine stuff I voted for under George W. Bush"?
I have a mental image of lots of people showing up in St. Paul wearing false noses, glasses, wigs, and paper bags over their heads.