The senators spent most of the early morning taking turns speaking to an empty chamber, as polls for the Democrat-controlled Congress hit a new low. The Democrats’ base likes holding candlelight vigils, but the rest of the country just sees a Congress that isn’t doing anything. The Democrats run the Congress. That means fairly or not, they get the blame. Who thought this all-nighter would be good politics?
The Senate chamber and the gallery gradually filled up as the vote approached. One of the last senators to arrive was Sen. Joe Lieberman, who awkwardly found his seat on the Democrats’ side of the chamber just before voting with the Republicans on the Levin-Reed amendment. The minute the vote was over, Lieberman headed to the other side of the aisle, where he hugged John McCain and chatted with McCain and Sen. Susan Collins for the remainder of the vote.