Kennedy and Byrd Collapse at Obama Luncheon

Senators Robert Byrd and Edward Kennedy, June 2006

Senators Robert Byrd and Edward Kennedy, June 2006

Breaking news from the Obama luncheon from WaPo’s Paul Kane:

Sens. Robert C. Byrd (D-W. Va.), 91, and Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.), who is recuperating from brain cancer, were both just taken from the presidential luncheon by medical staff.

[…]

Before being taken from the room, Kennedy had begun shaking and convulsing, according to a Senate staffer at the luncheon, and appeared to be having a seizure. At that point reporters were not allowed in the luncheon. His head was moving back and forth as a woman held him, said the staffer. His apparent seizure occurred moments after Byrd, who was sitting at the same table as Kennedy, was taken from the room by staff.

[…]

Obama began his remarks to congressional leaders at the luncheon by addressing the apparent seizure suffered by Sen. Kennedy, saying his “prayers are with him.”

While I genuinely wish these men a speedy recovery, it’s long past time for them to exit the stage gracefully. There comes a point when public life should end and private life should begin. They both passed that milestone sometime during the Reagan administration.

Photo:  AFP/Getty Images

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. While I genuinely wish these men a speedy recovery, it’s long past time for them to exit the stage gracefully. There comes a point when public life should end and private life should begin.

    I had similar thoughts when I heard the news.

  2. Eneils Bailey says:

    Time for the Two Ole Warriors to go.

    Whether you like them or or not is not the point.

    In the political world, the heart is still there, but the brain just won’t go.

    It’s like my ole 14 year old Lab, the heart says… go…go…but the legs just will not carry… time to rest.. not go away..just spend some time on the couch.

  3. just me says:

    I completely agree. At some point it is time to retire, and that time seems to have come a long time ago.

  4. Moonbat Boy says:

    Karma’s a bitch.

  5. Triumph says:

    While I genuinely wish these men a speedy recovery, it’s long past time for them to exit the stage gracefully.

    Exactly. In fact, the first act of the new Senate should be to expel them both from the Chamber.

    It is disgusting that voters in West Virginia and Massachusetts were tricked into supporting these wimps.

  6. Eneils Bailey says:

    “I am the owner of my karma .
    I inherit my karma.
    I am born of my karma.
    I am related to my karma.
    I live supported by my karma.
    Whatever karma I create, whether good or evil, that I shall inherit.”

    Karma’s a bitch.

    So is being a dick head.

  7. Sully says:

    This may well be the last anyone hears from Ted ever again. I wish his family well and they have my sympathy.

    He’s my senator… I’ve spent years disagreeing with him, but I’m still respectful of the office he’s held and a family that has contributed so much to the American experience.

  8. Drew says:

    With a very close family member afflicted, just as Senator Kennedy, I can only say, may God be with him as he enters this terminal phase. It will not get better.

  9. anjin-san says:

    I watched my Father die from brain cancer, my thoughts are with Sen. Kennedy and his family. I am glad he was able to participate in this historic day.

  10. Drew says:

    anjin –

    We may not be able to agree on much politically. But watching my loved one go through this, and knowing you have done same does create a strange bond, or association.

    My true sympathies, and may your father rest in peace.

  11. anjin-san says:

    Drew,

    I will keep a good thought for your family. It is experiencing something like this that is a hard reminder of what is really important in life.

  12. Dantheman says:

    Funny, I don’t remember this level of suggesting old Senators should retire coming from Republicans last year about 84 year old Ted Stevens. And I don’t expect to see it next year about 80+ year old, and twice survivor of brain cancer Arlen Specter. Nor about Jim Bunning, who can barely remember which room he is in and needs to have his staff help him in debates. I guess it looks different when it’s the other side’s ox being gored.

  13. James Joyner says:

    I don’t remember this level of suggesting old Senators should retire coming from Republicans last year about 84 year old Ted Stevens. And I don’t expect to see it next year about 80+ year old, and twice survivor of brain cancer Arlen Specter.

    I’ve been pretty consistent on this issue, actually. Strom Thurmond, Jesse Helms, etc. Some older senators are more virile than others and some less virile ones are more out of the spotlight than Kennedy and Byrd, so less obvious.

    Stevens’ issues had to do with corruption more so than age. Either way, I’m glad to see him go.

  14. Eneils Bailey says:

    I know the theory for term limits pops up and re-appears at times.

    I think Senators should be limited to, at the most three terms; members of the house to no more than five or six terms.

    A government of the people should be just that; not career politicians. I believe there much more talent and leadership out there in people who run companies, spent time in the military, raised families, faced up to the responsibilities of raising a family and paying the monthly bills, and some who just have the gift of gab.

    Somehow, I think we would be a better country if we relied on our neighbors, our peers, plain”ole Joe’s” to help us do things for our country instead of expecting our country to do things for us.

    The present-day population of Senators and Representatives are the American equivalent of royalty. It is difficult to vote against them. With one hand they take your hard-earned money and with the other give you back a small portion of it while professing they have treated you well.