'Dream' fails: 8 votes short, won't see Senate

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\ Looking at the vote, several oddities stand out.\

\ * Sen. John McCain ducked the vote, even though he was in the chamber minutes beforehand for another vote on a judicial nominee. Obviously it’s a tough issue for McCain, who is running for president but has suffered by being identified with amnesty. But ducking this vote comes just days after he said assured conservatives he had seen the light on the issue. Today he missed a chance to prove that.\

\ * Sen. Sam Brownback, after flipping on immigration during his presidential run, has now flopped back to where he was before, voting in favor of the Dream Act. This comes just weeks after he told the audience at one of the presidential debates he no longer supported special paths to citizenship for illegal aliens.\

\ * Sen. Trent Lott, the No. 2 Republican in the Senate, surprised his colleagues by voting in favor of the bill. Hours later, some of his colleagues were surprised to hear of that vote, saying they had been led to believe he would vote against it. His vote puts him at odds with Sen. Mitch McConnell, Republicans’ leader, who told his troops to oppose the bill because Democrats were trying to shut out Republicans’ amendments.\

\ * After opposing President Bush’s broad bill earlier this year, Sen. Jim Webb supported the Dream Act, breaking with two other freshman Democrats from red states — Sens. Jon Tester and Claire McKaskill — who voted against it.\

\ * Among the Democratic presidential candidates, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Barack Obama voted for the bill. Christopher Dodd missed the vote.\

\ — Stephen Dinan, national political reporter, The Washington Times

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