November 17th, 2008
01:13 PM ET
14 years ago

Kennedy back on the Hill

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption=" Kennedy is heading back to Washington this afternoon."]

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Massachusetts Sen. Edward "Ted" Kennedy returned to work Monday after a battle with brain cancer that hospitalized him in May.

Greeted by 100 waving staffers beneath a banner that read "Welcome Back," Kennedy appeared eager to get back to work.

"I feel fine ... looking forward particularly to working with Barack Obama on health care", he said.

Known as the "Lion of the Senate," Kennedy underwent surgery on a malignant brain tumor this summer following a seizure suffered at his home in Hyannisport, Massachusetts.

The 76-year-old Democrat chairs the Senate Committee on Health and wasted little time addressing a universal health care bill widely expected to be introduced in the new Congress.

"I'm very hopeful this will be a prime item on the agenda", he said. "The president-elect has indicated that this is going to be a priority and I certainly hope it will."

Kennedy, who has represented Massachusetts in the U.S. Senate since his election in 1962, made his first appearance on Capitol Hill since surgery this summer to vote on a Medicare bill where he received a standing ovation.

In August, he made a second dramatic appearance at the Democratic National Convention, pledging to see Barack Obama to the White House and his own return to the Senate floor.

One of only six senators in U.S. history to serve more than 40 years, he is an iconic liberal champion of social issues such as health care, family leave, and the minimum wage.

Kennedy is also the youngest of four brothers in a powerful and legendary family. They include Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, a former U.S. attorney general, a front-runner for the Democratic nomination for president when he was assassinated in 1968, and John F. Kennedy, the 35th president of the United States, also a victim of an assassin's bullet.

Ted Kennedy ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1980. He endorsed then-Illinois Sen. Barack Obama for the 2008 nomination.

During a speech given at the 2008 Democratic National Convention, he compared now President-Elect Obama to the late President Kennedy.

Filed under: Ted Kennedy
soundoff (243 Responses)


    November 17, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  2. Stacy from Loudoun County VA

    As much as I would love to see a universal-esqe type healthcare solution, this may not happen for a bit. Unless we issue a "whine" tax on the GOP for everything the Obama Administration and the Democratically controlled Congress does these next few years.

    November 17, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  3. Anita from Arizona

    Welcome back, Ted. We're all behind you, Senator.

    November 17, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  4. Soldier 4 OBAMA


    November 17, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  5. Terry in NY

    It must suck not to have a life at his age!

    November 17, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  6. Rick

    He needs to retire......NOW.

    November 17, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  7. Kimora

    Glad Ted is still around to see Barack's victory!

    November 17, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  8. Dave, Central Illinois

    I do not agree with Kennedy on most things political, but best wishes to him during his healing process.

    November 17, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  9. FAYE, NV

    Welcome back Sen Kenndy, I will continue to pray for you and your family.

    November 17, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |

    »Good news. Senator Kennedy is a good man.

    November 17, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  11. ABG

    Make it happen Ted!

    I am waiting for you and President Obama to reform healthcare so I can buy decent, affordable coverage.

    November 17, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  12. nom deplume

    And now our new Politburo is complete. On to the nation's business of crushing the bourgeosie.

    November 17, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  13. Ted's excellent adventure

    Apparently he's not over the Hill.


    November 17, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  14. Sarge in Florida

    Welcome back Mr. Senator...You truly deserve that title....I know that deep down in my heart that if your health were better. President -elect Obama would appoint you to one of his cabinet posts.

    November 17, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  15. Scott NYC Independent

    Welcome back Senator Kennedy; wishing you a full recovery and success in your battle. Also it is a joy to know President Obama's polticial guardian is around to protect and guide.

    November 17, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  16. Kimberly In AZ

    Welcome back Senator. You were missed! I am SO glad he is able to come back. With him there to guide and help President Obama with health care, we should have it done by the end of 2009. I HOPE!!!

    November 17, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  17. Kimberly In AZ

    I am SOOO very glad he is back! With him on Obamas side, health care reform will no longer be on the back burner! Lets get it DONE NOW! We have no excuse to not.

    November 17, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  18. Sharon Kitchen

    Welcome back Sen. Kennedy.

    November 17, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  19. Kimberley

    Wow, Terry in NY. .... I think he has had a full and productive life. But apparently you have a beef. For a man who lost 3 brothers in service to the United States and he still works beyond the age of retirement is admirable. He obviously does not need the money. I don't understand such bitterness.

    November 17, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  20. JIMCT

    I'm happy you're back Ted...

    November 17, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  21. nenecats Houston

    I am so happy to see Senator Kennedy back on the hill. Hope for a
    miracle and all goes well. Everyone knows he is looking forward to
    working with Pres. Elect Obama. Thanks for all you have done Senator.


    November 17, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  22. Jozee

    Senator McCain, who seems to be a gracious loser, can further this example by observing Senator Kennedy. There's lots of good, hard work to be done by the entire Congress and you can choose to become a part of the solution or a part of the problem. I'm hoping that McCain and the rest of the GOP will choose the former, rather than the latter.

    God Bless You, Sen. Kennedy. You are still making a difference in the lives of everyday Americans.


    November 17, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  23. Kiah G.

    Brings a tear to my eye. The Lion is back to help lead the pack.

    November 17, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  24. williefloyd

    This is wonderful news!! Welcome "home" Senator-you're right where you belong. Best wishes for a continuing recovery to good health.
    God bless you.

    November 17, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  25. Kennedy fan

    Tears again.

    November 17, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
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