June 9th, 2009
01:06 PM ET
13 years ago

Dodd says 'strong, vibrant' Kennedy wants to return to Senate

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/06/09/art.senkennedy.0609.gi.jpg caption="Senate Democrats are missing the knowledge and passion of their veteran colleague."]

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Lion of the Senate looks ready to roar again, a colleague says.

Sen. Christopher Dodd told a news conference Tuesday that he dined on Sunday night with Democratic colleague Sen. Edward Kennedy, who is battling brain cancer and has been away from the chamber for months.

"He was strong; he was vibrant," Dodd said of Kennedy, who led the drafting of an initial comprehensive health care reform bill despite his illness. "I very much hope Sen. Kennedy will be back."

Dodd has assumed Senate command of the health care issue in Kennedy's absence, and he said Tuesday that Senate Democrats are missing the knowledge and passion of their veteran colleague.

"He wants to come back and be a part of this, obviously," said Dodd, a close personal friend of Kennedy. Still, Kennedy insists that Congress should act on health care now, whether or not he can be there, according to Dodd.

"He is absolutely adamant that we go forward," Dodd said.

Filed under: Ted Kennedy
soundoff (85 Responses)
  1. Shari, NY

    If he feels up to it and can function, so be it.

    June 9, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    Hmmmm...let's see...health care reform is a lifelong pet prject dear to Kennedy's heart and his return to the senate would add another vote to the Dem side. I'll go out on a limb here: the GOPers are going to try to challenge his fitness to continue serving.

    June 9, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  3. seebofubar

    I am happy to here that he is doing well but both him and Dodd are poster boys for term limits.

    June 9, 2009 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  4. Matt

    I voted for Obama based on what he stated. I just did not think that he was going to "potentially tax employer based benefits" to fund this project. I am so glad that I switched my affiliation from Dem to Ind.
    You want to make a dent on this topic without funding this, deport the illegals. These jobs would then be open to US citizens they can get the employer based health care. No more illnesses from non-immunized illegals Make the U.S. better before making the world better, get rid of illegals, let them file the appropiate paperwork, until that is completed, stay the heck out of my country. Health care funding SOLVED, next problem

    June 9, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  5. The Original No Incumbents 2010

    Careful Teddy, Senator Dodd said that about the housing market too.

    June 9, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  6. Too True For You

    I am not sure this is a good idea. If the cancer destroys enough brain cells he might turn republican.

    June 9, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  7. Pat F

    Yike – any sentence containing the words "Dodd has assumed Senate command" would get me up off of my death bed, too.

    Dodd shouldn't be permitted to assume command of small wastepaper basket, let alone the Senate. Dumber than a mud fence – and dirtier, too.

    June 9, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  8. Fair is Fair

    Ted Kennedy really needs to retire.

    Since his illness, the people of MA have been under-represented in the Senate.

    Ted Kennedy won't retire from the senate until the heavily-democratic state legislature in MA changes the law to make his replacement to be an appointment by the governor (Deval Patrick [D]) instead of the result of a special election.

    Funny thing is... it used to be a governor appointment. Of course, that was until John Kerry ran for president. Then the heavily-democratic state legislature changed it to a special election to prevent then-governor Mitt Romney [R] from making the choice.

    Only in Massachusetts can this stuff be pulled off.

    June 9, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  9. Don

    Of course Sen Dodd would think Kennedy was strong and vibrant. Compared to the others in congress, even a person with no brain left would look strong and vibrant.

    June 9, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  10. MatthewDetroit

    The guy should be forced to retire just like anyone else that can not do their job anymore. Time to go into the field of your dreams Kennedy.

    June 9, 2009 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  11. Dawn in Pa

    Ya know everytime and Kennedy's are on the post, the steady screams of right wingnuts love to say nasty things... How would you love to lose a brother in WWII, or two brothers assassinated. I don't know how you would feel.

    Health care should be for everyone, not just for the ones who can afford it.

    June 9, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  12. fella from Chicago

    Kennedy wants to act on the health care plan now. How ironic; do you think he'd be alive today if his health care plan would have been in effect and he was not a US Senator? He would have been put on a waiting list to diagnose his headaches and blurred vision and would be dead now from his brain tumor. Instead the finest surgeons in the land money could buy saved his life. Aren't you glad Teddy you are who you are with the means to get what you need in a hurry?

    June 9, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  13. MatthewDetroit

    He can even name his idiot non qualified niece to his post. The Dems in Mass will love that. She does not have to be qualified or even be from there. Then they wont cry about the number of votes.
    Just get him out. It serves the country no purpose having a Senator around that can not participate or show up to vote. Time to move on.

    June 9, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  14. conservative American

    Enough with the swimmer. I thought eveyone was sick and tired of old white men (except when it is a Dem).

    June 9, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  15. Enough

    Retire already!! I'll challenge his ability to serve. Sorry he got brain cancer, but he was no hero before and he's no hero now.

    June 9, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  16. Donny

    Term limits. I don't want my country run by anybody over the age of 65. Let alone someone who is battling brain cancer.

    June 9, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  17. Blake

    Back for a second chance to ruin the country. He is the best example going of idiotic voters that have elected him year after year. He could kill another person tomorrow and still get re-elected.

    June 9, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  18. Democrat in MD (CNN please post. Thank you!)

    You go,Ted!!!

    June 9, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  19. bob

    retire already..mass only has 1 senator now. he is sick and has all the money he needs – give someone else a chance - mosy likely another kennedy

    June 9, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  20. lxm

    Retire already!!! Don't you have enough corrupt Dems already!!!

    June 9, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  21. Carl

    The old dog needs to RETIRE,PEROID.

    June 9, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  22. Paul from Kissimmee

    He should just retire. We have a big enough mess in there as it is.

    June 9, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  23. S Callahan

    Whoa...please, Ted, make sure you take your medication before you come back.....with a roar! smile

    June 9, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  24. Michael

    God bless Sen. Kennedy. God grant this great American the strength and health to push through the health care reform he has championed for so long in the face of such pervasive ignorance and greed. May he live to see all Americans granted medical attention as a right, not a privilege.

    June 9, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  25. wakeupamerica

    God speed Teddy!!!!

    June 9, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
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