Ted Kennedy Returns to Senate

About an hour after CNN called it “doubtful,” Ted Kennedy made his first appearance in the Senate since being diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor two months ago in order to cast a procedural vote on a Medicare bill.

I return to the Senate today to keep a promise to our senior citizens and that’s to protect Medicare.

Win, lose or draw, I wanted to be here. I wasn’t going to take the chance that my vote could make the difference.

Demonstrating that collegiality in the Senate is not quite dead, he got a standing ovation:

It turned out that his vote wasn’t necessary — cloture was invoked 69-30 — but a similar vote fell one vote short of the needed 60 two weeks ago.

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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. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Tlaloc says:

    Kennedy is one of those larger than life people. His graces and sins are just bigger than most. He has been the best and worst of the dems.

  2. Richard says:

    It’s interesting to note that 9 Republicans switched their votes *after* it became clear that Kennedy’s return made cloture a guarantee. I guess they’re trying to have the best of both worlds – pleasing the base and pleasing their AAMC overlords.

  3. Richard says:

    Correction: AAMC->AMA

    An unfortunate slip due to my applying to medical school this summer.