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Byrd 'seriously ill', admitted to hospital

By Paul Kane

The office of Sen. Robert C. Byrd (D-W. Va.), 92, announced Sunday the longest serving senator in history was "seriously ill" and had been admitted to an unnamed Washington-area hospital.

Byrd checked into the hospital with what was believed to be heat exhaustion late last week, and aides believed he would stay just a few days. Instead, more serious issues were discovered.

Byrd has been in and out of the hospital for the past three years, but his office has rarely used the phrase "seriously ill" to describe his health.

If Byrd were unable to serve out his term for health reasons, West Virginia law would require Gov. Joe Manchin (D) to appoint someone to serve out the remaining two-and-a-half years of Byrd's record ninth term -- meaning a vacancy would have no bearing on the partisan split in the chamber and no special election would be held to replace Byrd.


Here is the full statement from his office:

Washington, DC - U.S. Senator Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va., has been admitted to a Washington area hospital and his doctors have described his condition as "seriously ill." Byrd was admitted to the hospital late last week suffering from what was believed to be heat exhaustion and severe dehydration as a result of the extreme temperatures. He was expected to remain in the hospital not more than a few days.However, upon further examination by his doctors, other conditions have developed which has resulted in his condition being described as "serious." Additional details will be released only as they become available.

By Paul Kane  |  June 27, 2010; 2:38 PM ET
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Comments

Have you, reluctantly and scared, noticed these days how many commenters and posters there are who do not seem to know, or use, anything like good grammar or correct spelling and punctuation? Are we really to let America fall so short?

For recent example herein: " to many of these tripel dipers! 92 is to old to be in office. hes on ssi pention and salery thats why we are in debtbecause of slimebags like this.i dont care how many years hes been in the seat hes to frigen old to be there!

Could you really mean to actually post this huge embarrassment?

Is this what college administrators are complaining about: the massive, cretinous disability affecting many high school graduates?

Do we no longer truly care?

This pitiful, painful piece of errata aplenty is the real precise actual only true reason our great nation and its great, good people are facing ruin and decline: we let, tolerate and do not rebuke this horror, this mishmash, this poor, poor nightmare of unabashed public exposure occur, happen and exist.

Can someone not stand up, speak out and spark a necessary, prudent outrage to this shame?

It is an affront. It is offensive. Our nation's great future demands that we say no, take charge, and invoke our special way.

Such appalling writing of opinion as scrawled is an assault on all the good of our American legacy and so I say. Are ye tired and fed up enough yet? Show this passage to a teacher today and ask for help in fixing it and finding redemption.

The chi, the Tao, the Force, the Holy Ghost and the human spirit are all aligned on this one. So, go yell in peace!

Posted by: jamsimm | June 29, 2010 3:27 AM | Report abuse

The US Senate is the most dysfunctional, inefficient and unrepresentative body, loaded to the gills with these senile old geezers, who know not as to who they are. The last one who was on over a years sick leave was Ted Kennedy after his brain cancer. The results were he became an impediment for the Democrats to get much done with this 60 votes necessary for two party rotten system to get anything done. Then he died in Office and the democrats losing to Brown.

Now it is again this senile old fuddy duddy hanger on for his own self interests and self righteous at age 92. Putting in limbo the this financial reform bill.

All this while this nation bear the burden of this menace of economic terror siege, ideological division, polarization and fast track self destruction of this country from within.

It is high time that self old SOB impediment think first of the country then there own interests. The people need to outright tell these geezers and there respective Governors to step aside for their states to be represented by viable people who can show up for work every day.

For this reason it is absolutely necessary to set a retiring age of 70 with no ifs and buts for all members of Congress, the US Supreme Court and all other agencies and offices.

Posted by: winemaster2 | June 28, 2010 5:00 AM | Report abuse

One of the Senators i really respect. One of the few senators i really respect.
Give 'em hell Byrd.

Posted by: steveandjanereed1 | June 27, 2010 11:25 PM | Report abuse

One of the Senators i really respect. One of the few senators i really respect.
Give 'em hell Byrd.

Posted by: steveandjanereed1 | June 27, 2010 11:24 PM | Report abuse

Well and Good. It will slow down this stupid power grab disguised as a financial reform bill. If we are lucky maybe even until November when the Obama admins power grabbing spendathon will come to a screeching halt.

Now WV can elect a fiscally responsible conservative like the rest of the country is going to do.

Posted by: Straightline | June 27, 2010 10:43 PM | Report abuse

Byrd is a 92 year-old poster child for term limits. Anyone on the Hill can tell you that he's been a virtual vegetable for at least 2 years, but that's irrelevant to the voters of West Virginia because his seniority overrides everything else. Given the system, the voters in any state would do exactly the same thing. In this case, the good senator's imminent demise is a blessing for 49 states and a bummer for one.

Posted by: jd5024 | June 27, 2010 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Unlike the vitriol spewn at the ailing Dick Cheney this week, I do not wish ill on the KKK Grand Poobah. I only wish he would retire.

Posted by: NoWayNotNow | June 27, 2010 10:04 PM | Report abuse

to many of these tripel dipers! 92 is to old to be in office. hes on ssi pention and salery thats why we are in debtbecause of slimebags like this.i dont care how many years hes been in the seat hes to frigen old to be there!

Posted by: rodneydollar | June 27, 2010 9:54 PM | Report abuse

to many of these tripel dipers! 92 is to old to be in office. hes on ssi pention and salery thats why we are in debt slimebags like this.i dont care how many years hes been in the seathes to frigen old to be there!

Posted by: rodneydollar | June 27, 2010 9:52 PM | Report abuse

Best wishes to a man who matured in the Senate, has served well, and retains my respect in what must surely be his last term in government, regardless of what his current health concerns bode.

He was my Senator until I moved from West Virginia in 1988, and I remember his thoughtful, personal responses to the letters I sent him -- I remember how he was much more interested in the individual opinions of West Virginians than the opinions anyone advocated as part of an organized group. He attempted to represent his constituency honestly, though without mistakenly substituting its judgment for his own.

I could not ask for more from an elected representative. Senator Byrd, thank you!

Posted by: bertilack | June 27, 2010 8:50 PM | Report abuse


Struck a nerve? I'm really glad I did you trollers.

1) Dead
2) Actually, I am.

Posted by: mortified469 | June 27, 2010 8:26 PM | Report abuse

I am sickened by the many bitter hate-filled comments about one of our finest patriots and hardest working senators. He has never been a "show horse;" rather he has earned the respect of all who took time to know him from both sides of the aisle with his selfless, tireless efforts on behalf of his country, the U.S. Senate, and his beloved West Virginia. He earned his law degree after he joined the Senate by working late at nights and into early mornings, after completing his senate duties. The venomous snipers here disgust me with their ill-informed, self-important blather.

Posted by: NevLiberal | June 27, 2010 8:21 PM | Report abuse

How is there no special election? That would mean an appointee could serve close to six years, if a senator died shortly after winning election.

There must be a special election held this November if Byrd dies.

Posted by: Gatecrasher | June 27, 2010 8:21 PM | Report abuse

I don't believe in term limits, except in the case of elderly politicians who hold onto a seat because they believe that it's theirs.

Senator Kennedy knew that he was seriously (terminally) ill, but he didn't resign. He wasn't the first to do so, he merely followed others who have done the same. Now Senator Byrd, who has been very frail for a very long time is hospitalized.

One has to wonder whether these ill/frail Senators at this stage of their lives are making legislating decisions or abdicating them to staff members. And, one also has to wonder at the voters who don't ask hard questions of frail politicians who continue to run for office even though they may not be able to fulfill their obligations.

I honor Senator Byrd for his service, but urge him to step down and let his job go to someone who can fully participate in the process of legislation duties.

Posted by: annetta3 | June 27, 2010 7:48 PM | Report abuse

It's time for Byrd and Cheney to leave the scene. Byrd has outlived his usefulness and Cheney was never useful.


Posted by: mortified469
----------------------------
Apparently, you are the finest of humans. Not at all, asshat.

Posted by: AWWNats | June 27, 2010 7:41 PM | Report abuse

The proper hydration of any 92 year old is in their home with their family!

"He has, in some ways, evolved from being merely an individual legislator into being the conscience of the Senate, and a living link with its history. He has shown a deep sense of perspective on its place in our country's constitutional framework and our country's role in the world."

Actually 02pete, he is a symbol of everything that is wrong with the Senate, where the rules reward those who can hang in the longest so that they can favor their home state with largesse while being able to stymie any genuine reform. It's just such pathetic old men who will never give any power unless wrenched from them by the grave, or once in a blue moon, by the voters (Arlen Specter) True reform of the Senate's 19th century rules is impossible with dinosaurs like him in the mix.

Posted by: 54465446 | June 27, 2010 7:26 PM | Report abuse

I don't mean to sound too old-school, but the proper hydration of a 92 year old senator is the staff's responsibility.

Posted by: blasmaic | June 27, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

The headline should have read "Byrd admitted to hospital, Senate to relocate to West Virginia" Really now the absurdity of the age of Senate members is a constant drawback to anything being done in this country. Byrd is twice as old as most of the Founding Fathers were at the time of the Revolution. We have turned the Senate into a nursing home, and you see the problems it has caused for the country.

Posted by: 54465446 | June 27, 2010 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Oh no, I sure hope that he will be OK.

Louwww.anon-vpn.at.tc

Posted by: clermontpc | June 27, 2010 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Lemme guess, KKK Byrd refused to have a black doctor?

Posted by: wewintheylose | June 27, 2010 5:54 PM | Report abuse

It's time for Byrd and Cheney to leave the scene. Byrd has outlived his usefulness and Cheney was never useful.

Posted by: mortified469 | June 27, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

I didn't know Cheney still held office??? Are you really this stup1d or just stoned????

Posted by: askgees | June 27, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

I wish Senator Byrd a full and quick recovery, and good health. If that is not to be, then I thank him and his family for his years of service to our country.

I do not always agree with Senator Byrd on all issues, and there are some things in his background with which I am not in sympathy. He is, however, one of the longest-serving senators in the history of the Senate and of our country, and I am saddened by all the negative comments here. Regardless of whether one agrees with his views or not, his lifelong commitment to his country and to the institution he has served for so many years is beyond question. He has, in some ways, evolved from being merely an individual legislator into being the conscience of the Senate, and a living link with its history. He has shown a deep sense of perspective on its place in our country's constitutional framework and our country's role in the world.

It is sad to see so august a figure stricken with illness. It is even sadder to see his illness greeted with thoughtless disrespect for his lifelong commitment to service, and with morbid speculation about his possible replacement. Let us reflect on how we would wish to be considered were we in his place, be mindful of his dedication to our country and charitable toward his faults, and hope for his recovery.

Posted by: 02Pete | June 27, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

@mattintx pucker up (_!_)

Posted by: Bubbette1 | June 27, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

While I disagree with his politics, I have great respect for his attempts to uphold US Constitution and the institution of the US Senate.

Speedy recovery, sir.

Posted by: kitchendragon50 | June 27, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

"Sorry about the triple post"

Yeah, you're as sorry as Joe Barton, the second time. Outta here, spammer.

Posted by: mattintx | June 27, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Are these the same conservatives who are complaining about the comments on the Cheney article?

Posted by: FrankIBC | June 27, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

I wish the man a speedy recovery and an immediate resignation.

Posted by: Etek | June 27, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

To respond to the liberal sheeple bleating out their hopey thing. Here is a good read on Senator Byrd that I am sure will make you proud:


"Democratic Sen. Robert Byrd, Ex-Klansman

Ex-Klansman Robert Byrd, the senior senator from West Virginia, casually used the phrase "white nig@er" twice on national TV this weekend. Enraged civil rights groups organized a protest campaign against Sen. Byrd and demanded that he undergo sensitivity training ... not. The ex-Klansman, you see, is a Democrat. Democrats can join hate groups and utter the ugliest racial slurs and get away with it because they are Democrats."

http://www.capitalismmagazine.com/index.php?news=383

There are many articles if you care to educate yourselfs.

Posted by: Bubbette1 | June 27, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Isn't Byrd that KKK guy?

Posted by: Ombudsman1 | June 27, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Sorry about the triple post but it was a very slow loading process. The real story here is the laws in West Virginia on how to replace Byrd. If I understand it if he makes it past July 02 than the Governor appoints someone to finish out Byrd's term. If he passes before then there has to be a special election.

The Democrats likely have him strapped up to every device possible to get him past the July 02 date if that is correct.

Posted by: Bubbette1 | June 27, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse


It's time for Byrd and Cheney to leave the scene. Byrd has outlived his usefulness and Cheney was never useful.


Posted by: mortified469 | June 27, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

May be our country will have one less scumbag

Posted by: mdchancer | June 27, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

I wish him a speedy recovery. Some of the comments here are pathetic and show the true character of the posters. And in some cases their ignorance, right bubbette1?

Posted by: askgees | June 27, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Heat exhaustion and dehydration? How could that happen? (I know Washington has brutal summers, but where were his staff and aides?)

Posted by: Lamentations | June 27, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

HE is the personification of why we need term limits!

Posted by: houston123 | June 27, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Get well, Senator Byrd. You've done well by your state and well by your country, and you give more of yourself to your position in the U.S. Senate than another other Senator.

Posted by: richard27 | June 27, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

selfish prick should have left Congress 15 years ago

Posted by: vinnie777 | June 27, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Posting in triplicate is a sign of coprophagia.

Posted by: mattintx | June 27, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Byrd is a coprolite that is a poster child for term limits. No mention of how this will impact the vote on the financial sell-out of Dodd and Frank. The Democratic adoption of the Forest Gump standard of writing bills, "Bills are like a box of chocolates, we never know what is in them until they are passed" is a disgrace.

Another Senate position that can now be filled with a fiscally responsible candidate.

Only 127 days until November 02 when we can run the rest of these bums out of office.

Posted by: Bubbette1 | June 27, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Byrd is a coprolite that is a poster child for term limits. No mention of how this will impact the vote on the financial sell-out of Dodd and Frank. The Democratic adoption of the Forest Gump standard of writing bills, "Bills are like a box of chocolates, we never know what is in them until they are passed" is a disgrace.

Another Senate position that can now be filled with a fiscally responsible candidate.

Only 127 days until November 02 when we can run the rest of these bums out of office.

Posted by: Bubbette1 | June 27, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Byrd is a coprolite that is a poster child for term limits. No mention of how this will impact the vote on the financial sell-out of Dodd and Frank. The Democratic adoption of the Forest Gump standard of writing bills, "Bills are like a box of chocolates, we never know what is in them until they are passed" is a disgrace.

Another Senate position that can now be filled with a fiscally responsible candidate.

Only 127 days until November 02 when we can run the rest of these bums out of office.

Posted by: Bubbette1 | June 27, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Better late than never,Sen. Byrd saw through the fallacy of "clean coal" and with eye's dimming he still was able to see the devastation that mountain top coal removal has wrought to his beloved state. We wish America's longest serving Senator a restoration to health and best wishes. But the last thing needed at this point in time in dealing with the mess that another fossil fuel has delivered is West Virginia sending a Senator to Washington in the pocket of the "clean coal" lobby.

Posted by: slim2 | June 27, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

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