Flashback: Rudy, Absent On Iraq, Hits Obama On "present" Votes

Rudy Giuliani just gave Barack Obama the once-over for voting "present" in the Illinois State Senate and praised John McCain for putting his country before his personal interests.

Yet as my former Newsday colleague Craig Gordon reported last June, Giuliani was asked to leave the nonpartisan Iraq Study Group -- where he would have had a chance to directly influence U.S. foreign policy on a war he says America can't afford to lose.

The reason? Absenteeism. His explanation? Prior commitments.

"Giuliani failed to show up for a pair of two-day sessions that occurred during his tenure, the sources said -- and both times, they conflicted with paid public appearances shown on his recent financial disclosure. Giuliani quit the group during his busiest stretch in 2006, when he gave 20 speeches in a single month that brought in $1.7 million."