Thursday, December 14, 2006

In the Balance

Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD) suffered a an intracerebral bleed caused by a congenital arteriovenous malformation. He began showing symptoms yesterday while giving a speech and started slurring his words and having difficulty walking. He then appeared to recover some, walked to his office, and began having difficulty again. Doctors on Capitol Hill then called for an ambulance, which took him to the hospital. He underwent emergency brain surgery to stabilize the situation and remains in critical condition.

My thoughts and prayers go out to him and his family.

And of course, there is a very political dimension to all this given the very tight margin in the Senate. Should Johnson be unable to return to the Senate, power could swing back to the GOP as Johnson's replacement is chosen by the Republican governor of South Dakota, Gov. Mike Rounds. Currently Democrats ride a 51-49 margin.

It is the latter fact that will keep all eyes focused on the GWU hospital where Johnson is receiving care until doctors get a sense of whether Johnson will make a full recovery.

Seems that the surgery lasted about five hours but Johnson remains in critical condition. That doesn't keep some of the lunatic left from wondering whether this was a plot by GOPers to get regain control of the Senate. Sister Toldjah has a good rundown of the media reporting, and the Left's continued insistence that the media is biased to the right (despite all evidence to the contrary). So does Webloggin.

Meanwhile, the Election Law Blog runs down what happens in cases where a Senator may be unable to serve. Short answer is that Johnson retains the seat even if incapacitated indefinitely. For the slightly longer answer, follow the link.

Others blogging: Flap's Blog, Assorted Babble, Roger L. Simon, Blue Crab Boulevard, Outside the Beltway, and Blogs of War.

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