BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) – For a few hours on Monday, the halls of Saddam Hussein's Republican Palace - the seat of his rule - looked like a scene from the U.S. Capitol.
Trademark cup of coffee in hand, Sen. John McCain of Arizona strode down the hall, then turned in to a meeting room to be joined by two legislative and political allies, Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut.
A few yards away, a security detail ushered Vice President Dick Cheney, who serves as president of the Senate in his constitutional role, into another meeting.
Both the vice president and the Senate delegation were here for a firsthand look at the security and political situation in Iraq, and their agendas both included time with the U.S. commanding general as well as senior Iraqi officials.