WASHINGTON--Freshman Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) skipped the Sunday Senate session, where the chamber spent much of the afternoon debating the New START nuclear treaty with Russia, a subject of much interest to Kirk. Kirk was back in the Chicago suburbs hosting a big reception for his political backers and pals.
I asked about Kirk's whereabouts on Sunday and a spokesman, Kate Dickens told me,
"as you know, Mark missed the last two holidays serving in Afghanistan. He spent Sunday in church with his family, followed by a gathering with friends and supporters before returning to Washington."
(Kirk's Navy Reserve service in Afghanistan over the past two years seems off point. Kirk requested that he serve during the Christmas and New Year holidays because that's when Congress was on a break. Kirk also requested to serve in Afghanistan.)
Dickens declined to provide more information about the Kirk political event. I talked to someone who attended. While the Senate was a work, Kirk was at Renaissance Hotel in Northbrook greeting a few hundred people, including donors and other political backers.
Kirk was back in the Senate on Monday, where he attended a classified briefing on START along with other Senators. Kirk is undecided on START.