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In McCain’s absence, aides build up Hill outreach ‘machine.’

John McCain (R-AZ) has missed more votes than any other senator in the 110th Congress — approximately 58 percent. Last month, campaign adviser Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS) confirmed that voting in the Senate isn’t “a high priority” for McCain. Building up “a congressional outreach machine” to win over lawmakers in his bid for president, however, is a priority. CQ reports:

But when McCain isn’t around, which is most of the time, he has a small but growing team of campaign officials who are making the rounds for him.

Last week, for example, campaign manager Rick Davis met with Minority Whip Roy Blunt of Missouri and several other House Republicans to discuss McCain’s economic proposals and talk about strategy for the general election. Charles R. Black Jr., a lobbyist and veteran of Republican presidential politics who recently resigned as chairman of BKSH & Associates to work for McCain, has held similar meetings with Senate Republicans.

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