On this momentous occassion that meant so much to Senator Ted Kennedy, news has broken that Kennedy was striken during the Inaugural Luncheon and was taken from the Capitol by ambulance. Senator Robert Byrd also suffered some health problem around the same time as Kennedy was striken.
From The Caucus Live Blog of the day’s events:
Senator Edward M. Kennedy collapsed during the inaugural luncheon.
President Obama began his speech by noting by talking about “Teddy,” noting it was a joyous yet somber moment. “My prayers are with him and his family and Vicki,” referring to Mrs. Kennedy. Senator Kennedy, 76, underwent surgery for a brain tumor on June 2.
Our colleague David M. Herszenhorn reports:
“Right now part of me is with him,” he said of Mr. Kennedy. “It’s a joyous time but it’s also a sobering time” he added, “our prayers are with him and his family.”Senator Edward M. Kennedy suffered convulsions at the Inaugural Luncheon and was taken from Statuary Hall in a wheel chair that had been lowered to a reclining position.There was no immediate word on his condition but President Obama, getting up to speak, seemed slightly shaken.
I am so stunned and saddened by this news. As readers here know I have a great deal of respect and admiration for Senator Kennedy. My thoughts and prayers are with him and his family.
MSNBC has noted that Kennedy was taken to the ambulance accompanied by Senator’s Kerry, Dodd and Hatch.
UPDATE: Via George’s Bottom Line on ABC.com:
Kennedy was at a table with Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., Vice President Mondale and Mrs. Mondale, and others. While at the table, Kennedy began having seizures that lasted for several minutes. As they were carrying Kennedy out of the room, he was still seizing. President Barack Obama went out of the room with him…
*AFP/Timothy A. Clary photo.