Eric Zorn's column in today's Tribune explains why calling out Obama for voting "Present" instead of yes or no for votes during his time as Illinois Senator is a baseless cheap shot. Give it a read here.

Because bills need "yes" votes to pass, "present" translates to "a soft no," as Deputy Republican Senate Leader Christine Radogno of Lemont put it.

"One use for it is when you favor an idea, but you think the bill has a fatal flaw of some sort," she said. "Another is when you have a conflict of interest. And another is when you want to play both sides of the fence . . . or to avoid casting a vote that your next opponent will try to take out of context."