Kennedy Hospitalized After Seizure

Posted May 17, 2008 at 11:12am

Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), the liberal lion of the Senate, was admitted to Massachusetts General Hospital on Saturday after suffering a seizure. Kennedy, 76, was rushed to a Cape Cod Hospital at 9 a.m. from his family’s compound in Hyannis Port, Mass. He was later airlifted to Boston. Dr. Larry Ronan, Kennedy’s primary care physician at Massachusetts General Hospital, said in a statement: “Preliminary tests have determined that he has not suffered a stroke and is not in any immediate danger. He’s resting comfortably, and watching the Red Sox game with his family. Over the next couple of days, Senator Kennedy will undergo further evaluation to determine the cause of the seizure, and a course of treatment will be determined at that time.” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said that he had spoken with Kennedy’s wife and and predicted that he “will be fine.” Reid, who is in Nevada, said that Kennedy “woke up fighting.” First elected in 1962, Kennedy is the senior Senator from Massachusetts and the chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. He is the brother of the late President John F. Kennedy and Sen. Robert F. Kennedy. Kennedy has long been one of the most powerful Senate Democrats, and a key player in brokering deals on many vexing issues. His liberal politics have made him a national hero to some and a lightening rod to others. Like his brothers, Kennedy also sought the presidency, in 1980. After his unsuccessful bid, he returned to the Senate where he has made a career focusing on domestic matters such as health care, civil rights and education. For instance, he negotiated with President Bush to craft the No Child Left Behind Act, a sweeping education reform law that has been praised and panned. Legislating aside, Kennedy has made his mark on the campaign trail as well. Kennedy dropped jaws earlier this year when he endorsed Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) over Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) for president. Kennedy’s support was viewed as a major blow to Clinton and a boost to Obama, who at the time had not yet attracted the backing of the Democratic establishment.