Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Kennedy Returns To Senate

As I'm sure many of you saw on the news last night, Democratic stalwart Ted Kennedy returned to the U.S. Senate yesterday, six months after having a seizure that ultimately led to the diagnosis of a malignant brain tumor.

As someone who covers the Senate, I can tell you that Kennedy has one of the most well-run offices in the Senate and they absolutely love their boss -- so it was no surprise that a group of over 100 of them was waiting to enthusiastically greet the senior Senator from Massachusetts when he returned, under a blue-and-white banner reading, "Welcome Back Senator."

And Kennedy talked about immediately getting to work in support of President-elect Obama's agenda including of course, health care, a cause for which Kennedy has always been a national champion.

“It’s good to be back in the Senate. I am particularly looking forward to seeing my staff and my colleagues and to working in the current brief session on a realistic new stimulus package to help our fellow Americans who are suffering in this economic crisis," said Kennedy.

"I will also continue to lay the ground work for early action by Congress on health reform when President Obama takes office in January. We’ve been making real progress in our discussions about a consensus approach, and I’m optimistic we’ll succeed."

And Senator John Kerry (D-MA), his Massachusetts colleague and a very good friend, was equally enthusiastic about Kennedy's return.

"I know Teddy's excited," said Kerry. "He's pumped and ready to go."

Kennedy said he's appreciative of all the good wishes he's received from throughout the country and also cited Obama's election as a real cause for optimism.

"I am grateful for the prayers and good wishes I’ve received over the past several months," he said. "They have certainly lifted my spirits, as has the election of Barack Obama as our 44th President.”