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Clinton, McCain and Obama are actually in the Senate

March 13, 2008 |  1:06 pm

It’s a special day on Capitol Hill. For the first time in nearly five months, all three presidential  candidates are present and voting at the same time.

John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee, and Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, the Democrats still battling for the nomination, scrapped their campaign schedules and returned to work for a long day –- and night -- of budget votes.

The last time the trio was all together for votes was on Oct. 24, 2007, when they arrived in the Senate chamber to vote on the controversial nomination of Leslie Southwick to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit in Louisiana. McCain voted yes and Clinton and Obama voted no. Southwick was confirmed, 59 to 38.

The three presidential candidates have been back to the Senate since then, just not at the same time. Most recently, McCain returned Feb. 13 to vote on the Indian Health Care bill.

Obama was back the day before to cast his vote on whether to proceed to the intelligence bill. And on Feb. 6, Clinton was in the Senate to vote on whether to proceed to an amendment to the economic stimulus bill.

-- Jill Zuckman

Jill Zuckman writes for the Swamp for the Chicago Tribune's Washington Bureau.