Begich draws the short straw on amnesty [With Comment by John]

The Senate divided 50-50 today on whether to vote on an amendment by Sen. Jeff Sessions to block the executive amnesty President Obama intends to grant many illegal immigrants after the election. The amendment thus failed.

To block Sessions’ amendment the Dems needed the vote of one of the following endangered Democrats — Mary Landrieu, Mark Pryor, Kay Hagan, Jeanne Shaheen, or Mark Begich. One of them, in other words, had to take one for the team.

Begich must have drawn the short straw because it was his vote that gave Harry Reid the 50 votes he needed. Landrieu, Pryor, Hagan, and Shaheen all voted with Sessions (and the rest of the Republicans, plus maverick Democrat Joe Manchin who is not up for reelection).

A month ago, I suspect, Shaheen might have been the one to rescue Harry Reid. Her vote suggests to me that this race has tightened considerably.

But Shaheen, Landrieu, Pryor, and Hagan aren’t necessarily out of the woods on the issue of the impending amnesty. As Joel Gehrke points out, all four opposed the same amendment Sessions proposed today.

JOHN adds: My sense is that Begich doesn’t need any more short straws. Tonight, I heard his Republican opponent, Dan Sullivan, on the Hugh Hewitt radio show. Sullivan was superb. I confess that I had no idea he is such a good candidate.

For reasons I can’t fathom, Begich has criticized Sullivan for leaving Alaska after the 9/11 attacks. Sullivan, a Marine–he is now a Lieutenant Colonel in the Marine Corps Reserves–first went to Washington to serve on the National Security Council staff under Condoleezza Rice, and then deployed to the Middle East and the Horn of Africa. Why Begich would want to bring this up is beyond me. A few days ago, Sullivan released this rather brutal–in a subtle way!–ad, responding to Begich’s attack. Enjoy: