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No thank you, Mr. President

Sens. Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor, both D-Ark., — like dozens of others in Congress — weren’t so eager to support President Bush in his last year in office, according to a study by Congressional Quarterly.

The publication compared voting records from this year to the president’s previous seven years in office.

Lincoln aligned with Bush’s positions on votes this year just 42 percent of the time. Her presidential support pre-2008 had been 62 percent.

Likewise, Pryor had been with Bush 56 percent of the time since the freshman senator took office in 2003. This year, he was a Bush ally for just 45 percent of votes.

Still, both supported Bush more often than the majority of Senate Democrats. The median for the party was 50 percent with Bush until this year. The 2008 median for all Senate Democrats was 34 percent, according to the study.

The publication noted that support for the lame duck president declined among both parties in both houses of Congress this year. Lawmakers who face tough re-election bids were also more likely to abandon the president on key votes, the study suggested.


Huckabee speech delayed

Mike Huckabee will not speak as scheduled tonight at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn.

Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor, was booted from his prime time speaking slot as the GOP retooled  its convention schedule. Most events Monday were canceled because of Hurricane Gustav.

Huckabee’s speech is likely now Wednesday.

Tonight’s events kick off at 6 p.m. Speakers will include President Bush, via satellite, and First Lady Laura Bush.

Sen. Joe Lieberman is on the schedule. The independent from Connecticut aligns with Democrats in the Senate and was the Democratic nominee for vice president in 2000.

Also on the agenda is former Sen. Fred Thompson of Tennessee, who like Huckabee lost a bid this year to be GOP presidential nominee.


Back to normal, almost

The Republican National Convention is expected to be back on script today after Monday’s opening session was cut to just two hours because of Hurricane Gustav.

Delegates to the convention in St. Paul, Minn., conducted only official business Monday. The only speakers were First Lady Laura Bush and Cindy McCain, wife of presumptive presidential nominee John McCain. They both implored delegates to help the hurricane recovery effort.

The convention’s first-day activities were over by 5 p.m., in plenty of time for delegates to catch the “early bird” special at a local restaurant and get in bed by, oh, 8 p.m. or so if they wanted.

Arkansans made the most of their evening with trips to the Mall of America, the gigantic shopping mall just a few blocks from the delegation hotel in Bloomington, Minn. Some took the chance to watch college football at the hotel bar.

With nothing scheduled for delegates during the day today, either, a few Arkansans planned to attend a policy forum sponsored by former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich of Georgia.

Convention officials were expected to announce tonight’s line-up by mid-morning.

The Associated Press reported that President Bush is expected to make remarks to delegates via satellite this evening. Bush canceled plans to speak Monday because of the hurricane.

It remained uncertain whether former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee would speak tonight as planned. Huckabee’s speech could possibly get pushed back to Wednesday.