Kudos to Sen. Ken Salazar, who skipped a vote on the senate immigration bill on Thursday so he could return to Colorado in time to speak at his daughter’s graduation from North High School. Salazar’s vote wasn’t really needed on the bill, which passed 62-36, which is all the more reason that I have no problem with him leaving Washington D.C. a little early. Serving in congress is a tough responsibility that can strain family relationships; most of our congressional representatives fly back and forth from Colorado twice per week between 16-hour workdays, and they should have the right to choose family over work on certain important occasions.
There are exceptions to this case, of course, and I agree with the Rocky Mountain News that Salazar would have been wrong to leave had he been the deciding vote on Thursday. But too often we forget that politicians have their own lives and personal responsibilities, and I applaud Salazar for making the easy decision that being with his daughter at her high school graduation was more important than casting an otherwise symbolic vote on an issue that is far from decided at this point.