On the Senate floor Wednesday, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., suggested Democrats are sore losers. Rice had enough votes to win confirmation, as even her Democratic critics acknowledge, McCain said.

?So I wonder why we are starting this new Congress with a protracted debate about a foregone conclusion,? McCain said. Since Rice is qualified for the job, he said, ?I can only conclude that we are doing this for no other reason than because of lingering bitterness over the outcome of the election.?

You have to hand it to Sen. McCain. If ever there was an estute observation, his comments today could have defined the concept understatement.