A no-confidence vote on Alberto Gonzales failed to get out of the Senate today when a procedural vote to cut off debate failed by seven votes. Both sides proclaimed partial victory: Republicans had blasted the vote as a stunt, but Democrats lured seven GOP senators across party lines to support going forward with the vote on the nonbinding motion.
The vote to end debate, or invoke cloture, was 53-38, with Arlen Specter leading Norm Coleman, Susan Collins, Chuck Hagel, Gordon Smith, Olympia Snowe, and John Sununu across the aisle. Specter renewed his criticism of the AG, saying the Justice Department is "in shambles"; Trent Lott blasted the no-confidence vote, saying the Senate "is not the British Parliament." (Read more Alberto Gonzales stories.)