Archive | May, 2008

Happy Birthday, Mr. President

29 May



JFK with Danny Kaye and Judy Garland


President Kennedy shares a laugh with Danny Kaye and Judy Garland


HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JFK


Today marks the 91st anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s birth.


Naturally, we wanted to run something special to celebrate the occasion. But rather than waxing philosophical on the meaning of his life and tragic death, we thought it might be a lot more fun to remember one of the qualities we loved most about him: his irrepressible wit. He had that rare gift of always being able to make us laugh, even during some of this nation’s darkest hours.


Lem Billings (Jack’s oldest and dearest friend) once said of Kennedy: “I’ve never known anyone in my life with such a wonderful humor – the ability to make one laugh and have a good time.”


That’s the way I think he would want to be remembered by all who loved him on his birthday.


So we dove into the archives and pulled a few of our favorite Kennedy witticisms. Although it’s awfully hard to narrow it down to just a select few, and some of the best stuff is just too raunchy for publication here (ever seen those letters he wrote to Lem Billings when they were teens? Wow!), we think you’ll get a chuckle or two.


For those of you old enough to remember Jack Kennedy, we hope this brings back some great memories. As for the rest of us, well…we’re still enjoying getting to know him. Through his humor, we meet the real JFK.


JFK & the


A very ill young man: Kennedy with his Choate school pals, the “Muckers,” a club he co-founded with best friend Lem Billings (second from left), 1934


During one of his many stays in the hospital, a fifteen year-old Jack Kennedy wrote Billings:



Dear Crap! –


…Nobody able to figure out what’s wrong with me. All they do is talk about what an interesting case. It’ll be funny if there was nothing wrong with me. I’m commencing to stay awake nights on that…


…I’ve had 18 enemas is 3 days!!! I’m clean as a whistle. They give me enemas till it comes out like drinking water which they all take a sip of…


A few years later, while celebrating his nineteenth birthday in Los Angeles. Having just spent some length of time recuperating from yet another illness at a cattle ranch in Arizona, Jack informed Lem that:



“If you could see what a thing of beauty my body has become with the open air, riding horses and Mexicans, you would stuff such adjectives as unattractive when you are speaking of my body right where they belong.


It looks as though there will be no little rascals bearing the name LeMoyne Kennedy as yesterday I got kicked where I love which stretched me out for a few blissful minutes. I no longer have that free + easy stride and am consequently a bit worried.


I have not heard from you for 3 weeks except for a couple of smutty post-cards…Please communicate + let me know what you are planning to do + when you are planning to do it…Have some plans that will get your dander up.”


A month after narrowly escaping death when the PT 109 was sunk by a Japanese destroyer during WWII, 25 year-old Jack wrote to his sweetheart Inga Arvad:



Inga Binga:


What the hell is the story? I write you a six-page letter – trash I admit – but not as bad as that last story of yours in which you tied up Joe Stalin, Wendell Willkie + Cupid into a sort of Blessed Trinity – but anyway – that six pager cost me a good deal of sweat and toil – plus a little blood when I cut myself trying to fix the type-writer – and what do I get – nothing – not even a rejection slip. What’s the idea – Has your “husband” come between us?


…Incidentally – that picture I had of you that Kick took – which was really good – has met a watery grave. Please send me another – will you.


As ever
Young Kennedy


Soon after the war, John Kennedy was already considering his first run for Congress in 1946. He wrote in his diary:



Conversation with Dan O’Brian
Says I’ll get murdered –
no political experience –
A personal district. Says I don’t know 300 people personally…


O’Brian indicates the attack on me will be


1) inexperience
2) injury to role on me in father’s reputation.


He is the first man to say bet me that I can’t win!


An honest Irishman but


a mistaken one


In 1958, then-Senator Kennedy had his sights on the presidency, and loved telling this story:



Several nights ago, I dreamed that the good Lord touched me on the shoulder and said, “Don’t worry, you’ll be the Democratic Presidential nominee in 1960. What’s more, you’ll be elected.” I told Stu Symington about my dream. “Funny thing,” said Stu, “I had exactly the same dream about myself.”


We both told our dreams to Lyndon Johnson, and Johnson said, “that’s funny. For the life of me, I can’t remember tapping either of you two boys for the job.”


JFK and LBJ, 1960


JFK and LBJ, 1960


Arriving in Wisconsin for his primary fight with Hubert Humphrey in 1960, candidate Kennedy commented:



I am the first of an advancing army. By next spring the state will look like a college campus telephone booth.


Throughout the 1960 campaign, Kennedy always attracted throngs of youngsters everywhere he went. At a stop in Ohio, he quipped:



If we can lower the voting age to nine, we are going to sweep the state.


Around the time of his now-famous debates with Richard Nixon, Jack said of his opponent:



Mr. Nixon may be very experienced in kitchen debates. So are a great many other married men I know.


Exhausted after weeks of nonstop campaigning prior to the election, Kennedy remarked at a early morning stop in Philadelphia:



Mr. Chairman, ladies and gentlemen; it is nine in the morning and this will be a quiet, dignified speech.


JFK pardoning Thanksgiving dinner, 1963


“Which one of you is the Chief Turkey?” JFK grants 1963’s would-be Thanksgiving dinner a full presidential pardon.


Speaking of the Presidency just before his Inauguration, Kennedy said:



It’s a big job. It isn’t going to be so bad. You’ve got time to think. You don’t have all those people bothering you that you had in the Senate – besides, the pay is pretty good.


Dave Powers, one of Kennedy’s closest friends and aides, received a scroll from JFK on his fiftieth birthday. It read:



President’s Special Award, Physical Fitness Program. Walking fifty miles per month from TV to refrigerator and back. Presented to Dave Powers on his fiftieth birthday. In recognition of your athletic ability in hiking to my ice box to drink my Heineken’s.


JFK with his children, Halloween 1962


At the most tense moment in human history: laughter. During the Cuban Missle Crisis, JFK finds time for some Halloween fun with Caroline and John Jr., 1962.


Strolling through the White House grounds one day, the President looked admiringly at the newly-revitalized Rose Garden and remarked:



This may go down as the real achievement of my administration.


During his June 1963 trip to Ireland, Kennedy joked:



I can imagine nothing more pleasureable than continuing day after day to drive through the streets of Dublin and wave – and I may come back and do it.


Later, at City Hall in Cork, he said:



I don’t want to give the impression that every member of this administration in Washington is Irish. It just seems that way.


Shortly after the controversial announcement that Kennedy had appointed his brother Bobby as Attorney General, he cracked this one to a reporter:



Speaking of jobs for relatives, Master Robert Kennedy, who is four, came to see me today, but I told him we already had an Attorney General.


Senator John F. Kennedy and Robert Kennedy, 1950s


At a press conference, JFK was once asked if he had it all to do over again, would he run for president again and would he recommend the job to others? The president replied:



Well, the answer to the first question is yes and the answer to the second is no. I don’t recommend it to others, at least not for a while.


At his 45th birthday party, a scantily-clad Marilyn Monroe shimmied out onto the stage of Madison Square Garden and launched into the most memorable rendition of “Happy Birthday” the world had ever heard. She also serenaded him with a verse of “Thanks for the Memories,” specially rewritten for the occasion:


Thanks, Mr. President,
For all the things you’ve done,
The battles that you’ve won,
The way you deal with U.S. Steel,
And our problems by the ton,
We thank you – so much.


A blushing, clearly embarassed JFK ascended the podium and thanked Marilyn by saying:



I can now retire from politics after having had Happy Birthday sung to me in such a sweet, wholesome way.



Happy Birthday, Mr. President. And if you were here today, we know what you’d probably be doing:


JFK surfing his new favorite website


JOHN FITZGERALD KENNEDY


MAY 29, 1917 – NOVEMBER 22, 1963


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Copyright RFKin2008.com 

Kennedy Jr. Not Offended By Clinton RFK Comment

28 May

RFK Jr at Hyannisport, May 24, 2008

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. walks down the pier in Hyannis Port to go sailing in the Figawi race Saturday. At far left is his sister Kerry Kennedy. (Photo by Jennifer Longley)

KENNEDY JR. SAYS “NO OFFENSE TAKEN” AT HILLARY RFK REMARK

From The Boston Herald

HYANNISPORT – Robert F, Kennedy Jr. emerged from the Kennedy family compound Saturday morning but responded only with a smile and a “hi” when asked about Hillary Clinton’s remarks concerning his assassinated father.

Friday night, however, responding to the daylong outcry over Hillary Clinton’s statement regarding the 1968 murder of his father, a former New York senator, Kennedy Jr. said in a written statement that the mention by Clinton should not be taken as offensive.

Kennedy Jr., who lives in New York and has endorsed Clinton, wrote:

“It is clear from the context that Hillary was invoking a familiar political circumstance in order to support her decision to stay in the race through June. I have heard her make this reference before, also citing her husband’s 1992 race, both of which were hard fought through June. I understand how highly charged the atmosphere is, but I think it is a mistake for people to take offense.”

The next morning, Kennedy Jr. stepped out alone onto the private dock at the family compound here and was soon joined by other family members. They were expected to spend part of the day sailing with Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, the family patriarch, whose diagnosis of brain cancer last week has shaken the Kennedys and the political world.

Kennedy Jr. said “he’s good” when asked about the health of Sen. Kennedy, who quietly took a seat on the compound’s back porch this morning so he could watch the day’s Figawi boat race.

“He’s in good spirits,” his nephew Chris Kennedy said of the senator as he arrived with his family at Fortes Beach, where the senator’s boat, “Mya,” is docked.

Copyright 2008, The Boston Herald.

The Kennedys: Who Will Bear The Torch Now?

22 May

THE FLAME REALLY IS ETERNAL

Carrying the torch

Who will carry the torch now?

“Let the word go forth – from this time and place – that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans.”

(This story comes to us from the Kennedy torch-bearers at RFKin2008.com.)

WHO WILL CARRY THE TORCH NOW?

Here at the Kennedy for President website, probably the second most frequently-asked-question we get (click here if you want to know the first) is: “why do you guys do this? What motivates you to keep the dream of putting another Kennedy in the White House going? Why RFK Jr.?”

I can’t answer for the rest of our volunteer staff, our other guest bloggers or commentators, but when folks pose that question to me, I always try to explain it as a fire in the belly. But what do I mean by that?

My Cambridge International Dictionary of Idioms says that “if you have fire in your belly, you are ready to fight with energy and determination for what you believe is right.”

Yeah, I’d say that pretty well sums it up.

Bobby Kennedy Jr. as our future president is something I’m willing to fight for with energy and determination because I believe he will do what is right for the American People. I believe he would represent our interests like no other president since his Uncle John F. Kennedy. I believe the world needs him now. It’s not about “restoring Camelot” or any such silliness as that. It’s not about the past. It’s all about the future.

THE FUTURE WHISPERS

But reconciling this inspiring fantasy of America’s potential future with the hard reality of the country’s present condition and the presidential candidates who all propose to fix this mess — is another matter entirely.

I see what we could be, what we want to be, and more importantly, what we should be. I see what we as a nation can achieve with the proper leadership.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. shares that same vision of America’s future. One of my favorite quotes he often peppers his speeches with is the masthead (and motto) for this blog: “The present shouts. The future whispers…our job is to amplify the voice of the future.”

That’s what we here at the Kennedy for President website are doing. We think Kennedy is the voice of the future, and we aim to amplify that voice so that more and more people around this troubled world can hear it. Once they have, we hope they will lend us their voices, too.

Okay, that’s the optimistic version. But the real truth is, it’s not easy holding a vision in your mind of something good, a future you dearly want, when it feels like so many forces oppose the kind of progress you want to ultimately achieve.

So you slog on anyway and do the best you can, but as any soldier on the battlefront will tell you, we all have moments of doubt. We have to stop and ask ourselves sometimes: why fight? why bother when the bad guys nearly always win?  With so much apathy in this country, is it even possible to make somebody else care about much of anything other than who won the latest round of American Idol?

THE PAST BECKONS

Y’know, everytime I feel like giving up the fight, just throwing in the towel (which happens more often than I’d like to admit), the words of Jack Kennedy echo in my consciousness over and over again like an uplifting, if somewhat annoying, broken record. It’s that immortal Inaugural address again – talking to me — saying:

“Ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.”

And I remember why I’m here. Why I get up and do this everyday when I could be out romping in the park or playing in the sunshine. God knows there are far more pleasant pursuits in life than spending several hours a day behind a computer, blogging your fingers to the bone.

Above my computer hangs a sign with only two words:

“ASK NOT.”

Those words changed my life and a lot of others, too. Those words “ask not…” continue to guide and inspire my life today, and those words implore me – you – all of us – to do our part.

We must save this country. We owe it to Jack Kennedy, to Bobby, to Dr. King, Malcolm X, and to each and every soldier who laid down his or her life in battle. We owe it to the founders of our Republic. We owe it to history. We owe our children and our children’s children a better world. We owe it to our parents and grandparents so that they can be proud of us. But above all, we owe the eternal quest for truth and justice to God in hope that he will forgive us our sins and once again Bless America.

If it is indeed true that “the Lord helps those who help themselves,” we’ve got a lot of work to do before we are truly worthy.

So “ask not…” –there’s no need to ask, really. We know what needs to be done. We know what we can do for our country, what we must do. There’s no question anymore. Now it’s just full speed ahead.

 

Kennedy family at JFK\

Kennedy family members gather to honor their fallen at Arlington National Cemetery. Caroline Kennedy, RFK’s widow Ethel, Senator Edward Kennedy, his wife Vicki, and younger generations of Kennedys all carry white roses. 

THE PRESENT SHOUTS

The recent collapse and subsequent brain cancer diagnosis of Senator Ted Kennedy underscores “the fierce urgency of now,” to borrow a phrase from another great `60s leader, MLK. It serves to remind us all that his generation won’t be with us forever.

The last surviving Knights of the Camelot Round Table are growing old and departing one by one…and a sense of our own responsibility grows with each passing year. Now the torch has been passed – and it’s up to us, the younger generation to carry on the work they started. We cannot let these people down. They’re like our spiritual parents – or grandparents – and we owe them our very best efforts.

Already, the media, politicos and pundits are speculating on who will emerge as the next patriarch; the next leader of the Kennedy family; of the Democratic Senate; of the Democratic party’s liberal wing someday. Who will take Ted Kennedy’s place, everyone wonders?

While no one is counting Senator Kennedy out anytime soon (we predict he’ll be back on the Senate floor in three weeks or less!), it is wise to face the fact that an era is closing. It’s the sort of thing you just know – you feel it in your bones. And hopefully, you also feel a deep, driving need to step forward, to become part of the new generation of leaders who will one day supplant those who came before us in this struggle.

Many in my generation (born in the post-Camelot years) will stand here now and proudly name Robert F. Kennedy Jr. as the man we want to represent and lead us in that future. We want to put him in the White House as our generation’s president in 2012. Some are already suggesting him as a Vice President to President Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, or even Jesse Ventura (so sayeth the man himself!) in 2008.

We know that Kennedy’s time is now, we believe he’s ready to lead. He’s got his eye on a public office in New York State – perhaps U.S. Senator or Governor, both excellent possibilities. Some say his name should be suggested as a vice presidential nominee at the party convention this year (as Jack Kennedy did in `56), just to increase his visibility and viability, while putting him in perfect alignment for a run four years from now.

When – and if – RFK Jr. runs for President of the United States, we know he can win on his own merits. How he chooses to get there is up to him.

So you see, it really doesn’t matter if Kennedy is a candidate this election year, although we really wish he was. We hold on to that collective vision of a better future for America, one with Bobby at the wheel. We’re keeping the engine warm – this bus is revved up and ready to roll anytime he is.

Some people see things as they are and ask, “why”? We dream of things that never were and ask, “why not?”

The Eternal Flame, JFK gravesite, Arlington

(An Eternal Flame burns forever atop the grave of President Kennedy, Arlington National Cemetery.)

“The world is very different now. For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty and all forms of human life. And yet the same revolutionary beliefs for which our forebears fought are still at issue around the globe—the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state, but from the hand of God.

We dare not forget today that we are the heirs of that first revolution.

Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans—born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage—and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this Nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today at home and around the world.

Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.

This much we pledge—and more.”

– President John F. Kennedy, Inaugural Address. January 20, 1961.

 

 

Copyright RFKin2008.com. Used with permission.

Ted Kennedy Released From Hospital

21 May

(Stephan Savoia/Associated Press photo)

Senator Edward M. Kennedy walked out of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston on Wednesday.

 

BOSTON — One day after learning that he has a malignant brain tumor, Senator Edward M. Kennedy, the longtime Massachusetts Democrat and patriarch of the Kennedy family, walked out of a hospital to a crowd of well wishers on Wednesday, appearing strong and cheerful.

Mr. Kennedy was admitted to Massachusetts General Hospital on Saturday after suffering a seizure at his Cape Cod compound. After several days of tests, a preliminary biopsy of the brain revealed that Mr. Kennedy, 76, has a malignant glioma in the left parietal lobe on the upper part of his brain, a cancer that often carries a bleak prognosis.

But if there were any signs that the diagnosis had slowed Mr. Kennedy or dampened his spirits, they were not evident as he left the hospital on Wednesday morning. Holding hands with his wife and walking side by side with his children, Mr. Kennedy exited the hospital to cheers and cries of good luck from a few dozen supporters who had gathered outside the hospital. Mr. Kennedy waved and gave a thumbs up sign as he walked to his car, then circled back and played with his two dogs before getting into a car and driving off.

The only evidence of the procedure and diagnosis appeared to be a two-inch by two-inch bandage on the back of Mr. Kennedy’s head.

Dr. Lee H. Schwamm, the hospital’s vice chairman of neurology, and Dr. Larry Ronan, Mr. Kennedy’s primary care physician at the hospital, said in a statement that Mr. Kennedy “has recovered remarkably quickly” and would be awaiting further test results and treatment plans while recovering at his Cape Cod home.

On Tuesday, they explained his treatment options, saying that the usual course for someone with his history and diagnosis includes “combinations of various forms of radiation and chemotherapy.”

News of the brain tumor jolted people in Washington, Massachusetts and beyond, generating reaction from around the world, where Mr. Kennedy’s family legacy and his 46 years in the Senate have made him a well-known figure.

Aside from an unsuccessful run for president in 1980, Mr. Kennedy has focused his energy on issues including health care, education and civil rights. Despite his liberal ideology and occasional loud clashes on the Senate floor, Mr. Kennedy is held in high esteem by the opposition for his determination, understanding of the issues, and a willingness to work in a bipartisan fashion on subjects like education, health care and immigration.

“Senator Kennedy enjoys great respect and admiration on this side of the aisle,” said Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader. “He is indeed one of the most important figures to ever serve in this body in our history.”

In a statement, President Bush said, “Ted Kennedy is a man of tremendous courage, remarkable strength, and powerful spirit.” Mr. Bush said he and his wife, Laura, “join our fellow Americans in praying for his full recovery.”

Senator John McCain echoed that sentiment, and both Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton invoked Mr. Kennedy at length on Tuesday night in their speeches following the Oregon and Kentucky primaries.

Doctors and people close to Mr. Kennedy said on Tuesday that while he was in the hospital he was “in good spirits and full of energy” and “in overall good condition.” He has not had another seizure since he was hospitalized, they said.

“Right now, he’s his normal self, except for the news that he’s dealing with,” said a close friend who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “I bet he’ll be back at the Cape sailing this weekend. I expect he’ll go back to work” after the Memorial Day recess.

Senate Democrats and Republicans learned of Mr. Kennedy’s condition as they were gathered for their weekly closed-door party luncheons, and members of both parties were visibly shaken by the news.

As he opened debate on the Iraq spending bill, Senator Robert C. Byrd of West Virginia, at 90 the only current senator to serve longer than Mr. Kennedy, was distraught. “Ted, Ted, my dear friend, I love you and miss you,” Mr. Byrd said in halting remarks on the floor.

Malignant glioma is the most common form of brain cancer, accounting for about 9,000 cases diagnosed each year in the United States, according to the National Cancer Institute. They are more common in older people, especially those between the ages of 75 and 84, according to the American Cancer Society.

The prognosis varies depending on the type and severity of the tumor, and the patient’s age. The American Cancer Society said survival rates dropped with increasing age.

Dr. Patrick Y. Wen, clinical director of the Center for Neuro-Oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, said the average prognosis for the most aggressive type of glioma was 14 to 15 months, while the prognosis for slower-growing tumors was two to four years.

“This is a sad situation,” Dr. Wen said. He said that such tumors can sometimes affect sensation, speech, or vision, and that tumors in older people tend to be harder to treat. “These are unfortunately aggressive tumors.”

Alain Charest, an assistant professor of neurosurgery at Tufts Medical Center, said if the tumor could be removed surgically doctors would do so, although gliomas are difficult to remove because cells from the tumor tend to travel to other parts of the brain. Radiation and chemotherapy usually follow surgery.

Dr. Carl B. Heilman, chairman of the department of neurosurgery at Tufts Medical Center, said that most people went back to work after a biopsy, and that many patients responded well to radiation therapy and oral chemotherapy at first.

Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts said on Tuesday in Washington that he had visited Mr. Kennedy over the weekend.

“He’s in a fighting mood,” Mr. Kerry said. “He is asking questions about what the choices are for him. He’s deeply involved in making all the kinds of personal decisions that any of you would.”

Mr. Kerry added: “He would call you and help arrange a discussion with a bunch of doctors to talk about a wife who was sick or a child or any number of things — now everybody needs to do that on behalf of Ted. Everybody needs to pull for him and his family and remember that this guy is one unbelievable fighter.”

In Massachusetts, the impact of Mr. Kennedy’s persona and political legacy is hard to overestimate.

“There’ll never be another Ted Kennedy,” said Paul S. Grogan, president and chief executive of the Boston Foundation, which finances nonprofits involved in economic development and other state issues. “He’s sort of Horatio at the bridge. He’s been such an outsized figure, so influential, so effective.”

Mr. Grogan said that Mr. Kennedy had given Massachusetts a level of political prominence beyond what would normally be accorded a state of its size, and that he had helped engineer policies and financing mechanisms that benefited important sectors of the state, including universities and medical centers.

“He’s single-handedly postponed the onset of Massachusetts’s political decline,” Mr. Grogan said, adding, “His vigor, his vitality and his longevity has kind of encouraged us all to believe that he’s immortal, and we’ve gotten used to the idea that he’s going to be around forever. But this is a reminder that he’s not.”

Cameron Kerry, a lawyer who is the brother of Senator Kerry, said the news of the brain tumor was “like an earthquake,” adding, “He’s just such a colossus that this kind of shakes the ground underneath everything.”

Mr. Kerry said that “on a political level, he’s just been so good to my brother and to the whole family. He really is like family.”

Jack Connors, a businessman who is active in Democratic causes, said: “Ted Kennedy raised public service to an art form. Ted Kennedy has really been a hero for people who don’t really have much of a voice.”

Representative Barney Frank, Democrat of Massachusetts, called him “clearly the most influential senator in U.S. history.” Mr. Frank added: “His personality, his understanding of the legislative process, his dedication. He has a good sense of other people, a lot of empathy. And he hires first-rate people and knows how to benefit from them.”

Legislators close to Mr. Kennedy, like Senator Christopher J. Dodd, Democrat of Connecticut, said on Tuesday that they were certain Mr. Kennedy would return to work and would battle the tumor with his characteristic tenacity and energy.

“He’s a fighter,” said Representative Edward J. Markey, Democrat of Massachusetts, “and he’s definitely ready for this fight.”

Pam Belluck reported from Boston. Carl Hulse contributed reporting from Washington and Katie Zezima contributed reporting from Boston.

 

Grim Diagnosis for Ted Kennedy

20 May

THE NEWS AIN’T GOOD TODAY

We sadly bring you the following update on Senator Edward Kennedy:

By GLEN JOHNSON
Associated Press Writer

A cancerous brain tumor caused the seizure Sen. Edward M. Kennedy suffered over the weekend, doctors said Tuesday in a grim diagnosis for one of American politics’ most enduring figures.

Doctors for the Massachusetts Democrat say tests conducted after Kennedy suffered a seizure this weekend show a tumor in his left parietal lobe. Preliminary results from a biopsy of the brain identified the cause of the seizure as a malignant glioma.

His treatment will be decided after more tests but the usual course includes combinations of radiation and chemotherapy.

“I’m really sad,” former Sen. Bob Kerrey, D-Neb., said when told in a Senate hallway about Kennedy’s condition. “He’s the one politician who brings tears to my eyes when he speaks.”

Senator Edward M. Kennedy, AP photo

The 76-year-old senator has been hospitalized in Boston since Saturday, when he was airlifted from Cape Cod after a seizure at his home.

“He has had no further seizures, remains in good overall condition, and is up and walking around the hospital,” said a joint statement issued by Dr. Lee Schwamm, vice chairman of the Department of Neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital and Dr. Larry Ronan, Kennedy’s primary care physician.

The doctors said Kennedy will remain in the hospital “for the next couple of days according to routine protocol.”

“He remains in good spirits and full of energy,” they said.

Kennedy’s wife and children have been with him each day but have made no public statements.

Malignant gliomas are a type of brain cancer diagnosed in about 9,000 Americans a year – and the most common type among adults. It’s a starting diagnosis: How well patients fare depends on what specific tumor type is determined by further testing.

Average survival can range from less than a year for very advanced and aggressive types – such as glioblastomas – or to about five years for different types that are slower growing.

Kennedy, the second-longest serving member of the Senate and a dominant figure in national Democratic Party politics, was elected in 1962, filling out the term won by his brother, John F. Kennedy.

Kennedy eldest brother, Joseph, was killed in a World War II airplane crash. President John Kennedy was assassinated in 1963 and his brother Robert was assassinated in 1968.

Kennedy is active for his age, maintaining an aggressive schedule on Capitol Hill and across Massachusetts. He has made several campaign appearances for the Illinois senator in February, and most recently another in April.

Kennedy, the senior senator from Massachusetts and the Senate’s second-longest serving member, was re-elected in 2006 and is not up for election again until 2012.

Were he to resign or die in office, state law requires a special election for the seat no sooner than 145 days and no later than 160 days after the vacancy occurs.

 

AP reporter Lauran Neergaard in Washington contributed to this report.

Ted Kennedy Hospitalized

17 May

BREAKING NEWS: SENATOR KENNEDY HOSPITALIZED

Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA) was hospitalized early this morning with “stroke-like symptoms,” according to the Associated Press.

Authorities recieved a 911 call at about 8:15 a.m. this morning from the Kennedy home at Hyannisport. Senator Kennedy was rushed to a nearby hospital on Cape Cod, then flown to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston for treatment.

The 76 year-old Senator is now undergoing a battery of tests at the Boston hospital, while family members, friends and an army of reporters eagerly await word of his condition.

One bit of hopeful news, at least for now: the Kennedy family released a statement about an hour ago saying that it appears Senator Kennedy did not suffer a stroke, but he did have a seizure. They remain “guardedly optimistic” and hopeful that within the next 24-48 hours, we will know more.

Stay tuned for updated as they become available…everyone here sends out our prayers to the Kennedy family. We know Teddy’s mighty tough, and we have faith he will pull though this.

RFK Jr. on Letterman Tonight

16 May

FRIDAY NIGHT WITH DAVE

Tune in tonight (Friday, May 16th) as Robert F. Kennedy Jr. visits Late Night With David Letterman” on CBS. (11:30 p.m. Eastern)

Dave’s guests will also include Teri Hatcher of Desperate Housewives.

The show was pre-taped on Monday, May 12 at New York’s Ed Sullivan Theatre: check out a few nice photos of Kennedy arriving for the show on Wireimage.com.

This oughta be good. Don’t miss it!