Doctors removed a blockage from Sen. Ted Kennedy's left carotid artery Friday.
BOSTON (CNN) – Doctors removed a blockage from Sen. Ted Kennedy's left carotid artery Friday, and the senator was said to be "fine."
Kennedy's office said the blockage was discovered "as part of a routine evaluation of Senator Kennedy's back and spine."
"MRI studies picked up an unrelated, asymptomatic blockage in the senator's left carotid artery," the office said in a written statement. "This morning, Senator Kennedy underwent preventive surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital to remove the blockage.
"The surgery, which was performed by Doctor Richard Cambria, was routine and successful. After a very brief recovery period, Senator Kennedy will resume his normal schedule in Washington and in Massachusetts."
Kennedy's doctors said they performed a carotid endarterectomy, which involves making a cut in the neck and pulling plaque out of the artery.
Cambria told reporters the surgery was routine and uneventful. He said Kennedy, 75, was resting comfortably and was drinking ginger ale, eating ice cream and looking forward to watching the Red Sox on television Friday night. The senator is expected to make a full recovery.
Typically, Cambria said, blockages are surgically corrected only if the artery is at least 70 percent blocked, and Kennedy's blockage was in that range.
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Conservative commentator Ann Coulter.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Conservative commentator and best-selling author Ann Coulter may find herself in the midst of a controversy for comments Monday suggesting America would be better if everyone was Christian.
Asked by CNBC host Donny Deutsch what the U.S. looks like in her dreams, Coulter said it would look like the Republican National Convention in 2004
"People were happy,” she said, according to a transcript provided to CNN by CNBC. “They're Christian. They're tolerant. They defend America." (Video: Watch Coulter's comments on CNBC)
When Deutsch responded, "It would be better if we were all Christian?" Coulter said "Yeah."
Deutsch, himself Jewish, continued to press Coulter on her remarks, asking, "We should just throw Judaism away and we should all be Christians then?"
"Yeah," Coulter responded, adding "Well, it's a lot easier. It's kind of a fast track."
"You can't possibly believe that," Deutsch responded. “You can’t possibly. You’re too educated.”
"Do you know what Christianity is?" Coulter replied. "See, we believe your religion, but you have to obey. We have the fast track program."
Later in the interview Deutsch asked Coulter if she doesn't want any Jews in the world, Coulter responded, "No, we think - we just want Jews to be perfected, as they say."
"Wow, you didn't really say that, did you," Deutsch said.
Then-Vice President Gore swears in newly elected Clinton to the U.S. Senate, January 3, 2001.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - A source involved in Gore's past political runs told CNN that he definitely has the ambition to use the peace prize as a springboard to run for president.
But he will not run, because he won't take on the political machine assembled by Sen. Hillary Clinton, said the source. If the senator from New York had faltered at all, Gore would take a serious look at entering the race, the source said. But Gore has calculated that Clinton is unstoppable, according to the source.
Gore repeatedly denied he has any plans to run again, but this week a group of grass-roots Democrats calling themselves "Draft Gore" took out a full-page ad in The New York Times in a bid to change his mind. (Watch more on the movement to draft Gore)
Related: Nobel Prize likely to increase pressure on Gore to run
Video: Gore talks with CNN's Wolf Blitzer last month
– CNN White House Correspondent Ed Henry
Lewis endorsed Clinton Friday.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Rep. John Lewis, D-Georgia, a leading civil rights figure in Congress, endorsed Sen. Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination Friday.
"I have looked at all the candidates, and I believe that Hillary Clinton is the best prepared to lead this country at a time when we are in desperate need of strong leadership," Lewis said in a statement posted on the Clinton campaign's Web site. "She will restore a greater sense of community in America, and reclaim our standing in the world."
Lewis plans to appear with Clinton at an event at noon in Atlanta.
The endorsement could help Clinton, the front-runner, increase support in the African-American community. Sen. Barack Obama, her competitor who is himself African-American, has fought for the support of black voters.
Lewis appeared with both Clinton and Obama during appearances in March marking the anniversary of Bloody Sunday, the famed March for voting rights in Selma, Alabama that helped lead to passage of the Voting Rights Act.
"Barack Obama has great admiration for John Lewis and understands his long relationship with Bill Clinton," Obama spokesman Bill Burton said Friday.
The Obama campaign also emphasized that it has increased its presence in Georgia in recent weeks. And Burton noted that Obama has the support of the Rev. Jesse Jackson, a leading civil rights figure.
However, in a recent conversation with the Los Angeles Times editorial board, Jackson was quoted as saying, "I've said I would vote for Barack because he's my neighbor. I have very strong feelings for Hillary because we've worked together 30 years. I'm not really campaigning for anybody."
– CNN's Steve Brusk, Lauren Kornreich, and Sasha Johnson contributed to this report
Thompson dropped out of the GOP race after a poor showing in the Iowa straw poll.
(CNN) – Former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson will announce Friday he is endorsing Rudy Giuliani for president, an official in the former New York City mayor’s campaign tells CNN.
The announcement will take place in Charleston, South Carolina.
Thompson, who also served in President Bush’s Cabinet as the Health and Human Services Secretary, gave up his own White House bid in August after failing to crack the top tier in the Iowa Straw Poll.
– CNN Political Desk Managing Editor Steve Brusk
Ole Danbolt Mjos, chairman of the Nobel committee, displays a picture of Al Gore in Oslo, Norway, on Friday.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Several Democratic presidential candidates released statements Friday congratulating Al Gore for winning the Nobel Peace Prize.
New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson called the former vice president's efforts "awe-inspiring" and said in a written statement that he "has a remarkable record of public service. For over twenty years, he has been dedicated to fighting global warming for our nation and the world. His Nobel Prize is well-deserved."
"By having the courage to challenge the skeptics in Washington and lead on the climate crisis facing our planet, Al Gore has advanced the cause of peace and richly deserves this reward," said Illinois Sen. Barack Obama in a written statement.
A message was posted on New York Sen. Hillary Clinton's website stating that Gore's "dedication and tireless work have been instrumental in raising international awareness about global warming."
North Carolina Sen. John Edwards released a statement as well, saying, "The Nobel Peace Prize rewards three decades of Vice President Gore's prescient and compelling - and often lonely - advocacy for the future of the Earth."
"His leadership stands in stunning contrast to the failure of the current administration to pursue policies that would reduce the harm of global warming," the statement read.
Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd also joined the chorus of accolades, stating, "Al's tireless efforts to increase awareness of the threats of global warming have provided a powerful voice telling the world that we need to act now.”
– CNN Political Assignment Editor Katy Byron
"An Inconvenient Truth," a 2006 documentary featuring Al Gore, won two Academy Awards this year.
(CNN) - Former Vice President Al Gore and the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for their work to raise awareness about global warming.
In a statement, Gore said he was "deeply honored," adding that "the climate crisis is not a political issue, it is a moral and spiritual challenge to all of humanity."
The former vice president said he would donate his half of the $1.5 million prize to the Alliance for Climate Protection, a U.S. organization he founded that aims to persuade people to cut emissions and reduce global warming.
Sen. Sam Brownback will join Sen. Joe Biden in Iowa on Friday to discuss their Iraq plan.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – The Oscar and Felix of politics? Sen. Joe Biden, D-Delaware, and Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kansas, would be strong contenders for “The Political Odd Couple of the Year Award” – if one existed.
Biden is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, while Brownback is running for the GOP presidential nod. On matters of policy, they don’t share that much in common – except what to do about Iraq.
So, the two presidential hopefuls will meet up in Des Moines, Iowa, Friday to talk about their plan to bring stability to the war torn nation. Specifically, the two senators will discuss their legislation that calls for decentralizing Iraq's federal government and giving more control to local and regional groups. Their amendment passed easily in the Senate last week.
Regula is the second longest-serving Republican in the House.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Rep. Ralph Regula of Ohio, the second longest-serving Republican in the House, will announce Friday that he will retire rather than seek re-election to a 19th term next year, two GOP congressional sources told CNN Thursday.
Regula, 83, a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee and the senior Republican in the Ohio delegation, will make the announcement back home in his northeast Ohio district, the sources said.
The departure of Regula, first elected in 1972, brings the number of GOP House members retiring next year to at least 10, adding additional difficulty to the party's chances of taking back the House in 2008.
In addition to those 10 retirements, another Republican member, Rep. Heather Wilson of New Mexico, is running for the Senate, and Rep. Tom Davis of Virginia is also expected to leave to seek a Senate seat.
Sen. Harry Reid predicted Hispanics will back Democrats in 2008.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – The Hispanic vote is key to winning Nevada in 2008, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told reporters Thursday in a conference call. And the Nevada Democrat predicted that this important voting bloc will back his party’s presidential nominee next year.
Reid claimed the Democratic Party’s outreach efforts to the Hispanic community, as well as the Republican Party’s stand on immigration reform will drive Hispanic voters away from the GOP.