There's something ironic about Barack, who has taken the positions most likely simply to win him the next electoral contest and seems to change them at will (as his flips on FISA, withdrawing from Iraq and so much else demonstrate), trying to paint McCain as a political coward. This is particularly true in the area of immigration. After all, when McCain was endangering his own presidential ambitions by forming part of a bipartisan group committed to passing the immigration bill, where was Barack Obama? Safely on the sidelines, willing to scuttle the deal as he catered to his friends on the left.
As this contemperaneous AP account notes:
[Senators] later rejected two high-profile Democratic amendments.
One would have postponed the bill's shift to an emphasis on education and skills among visa applicants as opposed to family connections. The other, offered by Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., would have ended a new point system for those seeking permanent resident "green cards" after five years rather than 14 years.
All three amendments were seen as potentially fatal blows to the fragile coalition backing the bill, which remains under attack from the right and left.