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

Kennedy back on the Hill

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/09/07/art.kennedywave0907.gi.jpg 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)
  1. Michael G Ventura,CA

    We love you Teddy! The Lion is BACK!

    November 17, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  2. Where's the Change??

    The Old Socialist wants to be in Washington DC to work with the New Socialist.

    November 17, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  3. williefloyd

    Terry in NY-YOUR life must really SUCK with your disgusting attitude. You need to work on your own life-or do you have a list of accomplishments that exceed the Honorable Edward Kennedy??

    November 17, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  4. Karen, Arkansas

    Godspeed Mr. Senator...

    November 17, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  5. Brian G, Sugar Land, TX

    Much I as admire Kennedy, I do believe we need term limits and age restrictions. The likes of Stevens, McCain and Kennedy need to turn the keys ofleadership over to the current generation.

    November 17, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  6. JC in KY

    Welcome back! I'm pulling for you!

    November 17, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  7. Philip Groves

    Ted Kennedy is one of the giants in our history. I applaud the Republicans who have acknowleged his contributions and shown genuine affection for a man they have apposed on issues for so many years. We are a better nation because of teddy

    November 17, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  8. PL

    Welcome back senator and may God continue to bless..

    November 17, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  9. WELCOME TO THE OBAMA SHOW

    BLIND LEADING THE BLIND!!!!!!!!!!!

    OBAMA-REID-PELOSI-RICHARDSON-FRANKIN

    November 17, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  10. karen

    Thank God he's back and I hope he is able to stay! What a great public servant he is!

    November 17, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  11. WELCOME TO THE OBAMA SHOW

    BLIND LEADING THE BLIND!!!!!!!!!!!

    OBAMA-REID-PELOSI-RICHARDSON-FRANKIN-KENNEDY

    November 17, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  12. Cole-Boston

    I am so proud to call you MY SENATOR!!! Welcome back!! Now I know things will get done!!! Best wishes for your continued recovery!!!

    November 17, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  13. Love Huckabee

    Can I say this...what is CNN obsession with Hillary. President Obama says Hillary was tapped, and you make several tickers about why people want Hillary. Then your whole coverstaion is why Hillary is the best, and why others see her that way. Oh and the nonsense about her overshadowing him. I doubt that. He tore her up in the primaries, so don't count on it. I don't like Hillary, and neither does half the country. She can't be trusted.

    However, if she were to be in his cabinet, keep her at AG and that's it.

    Clinton News Network for sure!!

    November 17, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  14. Salt

    I've lost two dear family members to brain cancer and I know what an enormous struggle this must be for him. I wish him the best and pray for him...it's wonderful to see him back at work!

    November 17, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  15. Darrell Burks

    What a trooper. What a life and he keeps going. Always looking out for us. I am proud to have him as a Senator.

    November 17, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  16. Ian

    And where is the money supposed to come from? Borrow it? Print it Iinflation)? Increase taxes? Sounds like a good plan to me. We'll just let our children deal with the mess.

    November 17, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  17. Meki Mull

    Senators have their own health plan. So, now Kennedy will attempt to ruin the health system for the rest of us. Way to go, Dummycrat.

    November 17, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  18. Lee Rosenberg

    "Welcome to the Obama Show"

    Whomever you are you are a complete idiot!!!!!!

    November 17, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  19. Ted:Canada

    From another Ted in Canada

    Welcome Back !

    yes!! Health Care – is a good one to go after!

    when you have been there! – you get another perspective!

    the best to you!

    November 17, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  20. vw

    You deserve to rest at home.

    November 17, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  21. karen raleigh

    Welcome back

    November 17, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  22. Kevin

    This guy needs to retire.

    November 17, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  23. lorraine

    what a wonderful blessing and an historical moment for this country
    and worldwide to have you and President ekect Obama to work side by side in my lifetime and the lifetime of my children. This the day
    that the Lord has made and we will rejoice in it for everyone.

    Welcome back Senator Ted Kennedy. We love you and will continue to keep you in our prayers.

    November 17, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  24. alvino

    To Where's the Change-

    Don't forget that your idol, George W, became the biggest socialist in America with his bailout program. Thanks to the ineptness of the GOP, we can all pay for their incompetence for the the next 40 years.

    November 17, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  25. Nikki D

    Does anyone ever wonder why senators do not want to retire like everyone else?! I am glad the Senator is doing well, but we really need term limits!

    November 17, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
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