August 7th, 2007
02:45 PM ET
12 years ago

Johnson gets 'thumbs up' to return to South Dakota

Johnson said Tuesday his doctor is allowing him to go back to South Dakota.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Still recovering from a brain hemorrhage last December, Sen. Tim Johnson, D-South Dakota, announced Monday that he's finally returning to South Dakota at the end of the month.

"The doctors have given me a ‘thumbs up’, and Barb and I are incredibly excited to head home. We have missed our friends and family and cannot wait to meet our two new grandchildren,” Johnson said in a statement. "I know my return has taken longer than some people have liked - count me among them."

Since being released from the hospital, Johnson has been recuperating at his northern Virginia home. In his statement, he said that he is "eternally grateful" to his doctors and nurses and thanked the people of South Dakota for their support.

In the days immediately following Johnson's hemorrhage, the balance of power in the Senate was thrown into question. If Johnson hadn't been able to complete his term, South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds, a Republican, would likely have appointed someone from the GOP to take his place. Such a move would have taken control away from the Democrats by virtue of Vice President Cheney’s tie-breaking vote.

- CNN Associate Producer Lauren Kornreich

Filed under: Uncategorized
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. tom - honestville, USA

    Another half-brained democrat. He'll fit right in Reid and the others treading water until the next elections.

    August 7, 2007 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  2. Michael

    "Such a move would have taken control away from the Democrats by virtue of Vice President Cheney’s tie-breaking vote."

    That's not exactly true- my understanding is when the Senate leadership motions were passed they did not stipulate that leadership would shift with a shift in the balance of power. So, even if Rounds replaced Johnson and more Democrats like Lieberman caucused with the Republicans, Reid would keep the title of Majority Leader, the committees would all remain the same, and the Dems would still control the agenda even though they could theoretically be a minority. The only way to change that would be to call for a new leadership vote, which the Dems could block.

    August 7, 2007 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  3. Greg H, Wellington, New Zealand

    I think that you need to check your facts as to whether Johnson's death would have shifted control of the Senate to the Republicans. It is my understanding that Reid would have remained majority leader and committee leadership would have remained in the hands of the Democrats. This is because there was no provision in this Senate session to account for changes in leadership associated with the death, resignation, party-changing, or removal of a Senator.

    August 7, 2007 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  4. VanReuter NY NY

    Anyone who would use Senator Johnson's illness and recovery for the purpose of political insult is beneath contempt.
    I wish the Senator a speedy recovery and return to the senate. As to who is Lame-brained, that is obvious.


    August 7, 2007 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  5. kathe oakland california

    Welcome back Senator Johnson. Good to hear you are getting better every day. Politics aside, Get well and back in action.
    God Bless you and your family

    August 7, 2007 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  6. Scott Austin, TX

    Way to show your true colors, Tom of "honestville" USA. Your mother didn't teach you very well, did she?

    August 7, 2007 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  7. LB, Franklin Lakes, NJ

    To Tom in "honestville":
    You sound like another one of those compassionate, "good Christian" Republicans. Half a brain is better than no brain, Tom.

    August 7, 2007 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  8. Richard Orlando, FL

    Praying for your speedy recovery, Senator Johnson. God bless you and your family. Enjoy your new grandchildren!

    On a side note, it is unfathomable how Tom from "honestville" can stoop so low as to take a cheap shot at someone recovering from an illness. That is some "compassion and values" you Republicans have there. What a farce! Hypocrisy is more accurate.

    August 7, 2007 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |