[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/11/07/art.johnmccain.ap.jpg caption="John McCain is set to return to the Senate next week."](CNN) - Former GOP presidential candidate John McCain will return to the Senate next week to participate in the lame duck session, his chief of staff Mark Buse tells CNN.
Buse calls McCain “eager” to get back to work in the Senate, saying they talked about focusing specifically on Iraq, Afghanistan and the struggling economy.
McCain is now at his home near Sedona, Arizona, where he went the morning after the election.
Senator Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, among McCain’s close friends who were with him at his creek-side cabin this week, tells CNN that McCain is of course disappointed with the election’s outcome.
“He put his heart in it. It didn’t turn out the way he liked,” Graham said.
However, Graham also says McCain is a “duty bound guy who won’t go A.W.O.L. from his duties in the Senate.” Graham insists McCain is determined to fight President-elect Barack Obama on his tax plan, but is also eager to “find common ground” on other big issues.
Graham reiterated what he told CNN election night, that he hopes McCain will become the next “lion” of the Senate who works across the aisle to find compromise on key legislation.