.
August 24th, 2009
06:00 PM ET

Is it time for Ted Kennedy to resign?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy should step down because he can no longer do the job he was elected to do. Jeff Jacoby, in a column in the Boston Globe, points out this is through no fault of his own. The 77-year-old Kennedy is battling brain cancer.

The details on his condition have been quiet, but he was too sick to attend the funeral of his sister, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, a couple of weeks ago.

Last week, Kennedy sent a letter requesting a change in Massachusetts law that would allow the Democratic Governor to name a successor to fill a senator's uncompleted term. This would lock in two Democratic votes from that state in the Senate should Kennedy be unable to vote himself.

The current state law calls for a special election to fill a vacated seat until the term is up but that could leave the seat unfilled for five months that would likely fall during a crucial vote on health care reform, which has been Kennedy's cause.

In the letter, Senator Kennedy said he wants his state leaders to change the law and permit a temporary appointment in the interest of the citizens of the state. Nice try, Senator.

In 2004, the law calling for a vacancy to be filled by someone appointed by the Governor was changed at the urging of Kennedy and others. At the time there was a Republican Governor and Democratic Senator John Kerry was running for President. The move was aimed at preventing a Republican Governor from appointing a Republican Senator to fill Kerry's seat if he had won.

Now the tables have turned and Kennedy wants the law changed back. Obviously the senator is not too sick to play some very raw politics.

Here’s my question to you: Is it time for Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy to resign?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Albert from Los Angeles, California writes:
Jack, is this some kind of double standard? George W. Bush and Sarah Palin were never truly able to do the jobs they were elected to do. Ted Kennedy could be brain dead and do a better job than either of those two.

Ben from Boston, Massachusetts writes:
Jack, Sad to say, the Senator should have stepped down several months ago when it became clear that his health would prevent his fulfilling his duties in the Senate. There could have been a special election this fall, and a new Senator by the time of the health care vote.

Jason writes:
Can we say "term limits"? If they weren't so worried about getting re-elected they actually may vote with a clear head and make one or two intelligent choices on behalf of the rest of us. Anytime a legislator needs to purchase a home in or around D.C. because it's become their permanent home, it's time for them to leave office.

Annie from Atlanta, Georgia writes:
It sounds like he may be getting his ducks in a row to do just that. And why shouldn’t he play raw politics for a lifelong cause? What’s left of the GOP certainly has convened their army of mouth breathing knuckle draggers to scream against our best interests in favor of corporate profit, at any cost. Game on.

Jackie from Dallas, Texas writes:
That is not our decision to make, Jack. Senator Kennedy has constituents who have voted him into that office consistently for nine terms. He is noted for his ability to work with Republicans and to craft bills (more than 300) that have passed and become law. If nothing else, his advice should be sought on a lot of issues.

Jack from Nice, California writes:
Jack, I have all the respect in the world for Ted Kennedy but the shape this country is in, I think it would be a good time for everybody in Congress and the Senate to resign.


Filed under: Senate and Congress
soundoff (250 Responses)
  1. Tom, Avon, Me, The Heart of Democracy

    When he says, "It is time," that's when it will be time. But it will be a sad time for all, Democrats and Republicans alike. Even a lion eventually lies down. God bless him for the life time of service with which Ted Kennedy blessed us.

    August 24, 2009 at 1:34 pm |
  2. Paul Austin, Texas

    I would say yes but his replacement will need to have respect to ask his advice on bills and issues. Even if he steps down he needs to be active as long as possible.

    August 24, 2009 at 1:37 pm |
  3. Jackie in Dallas

    That is not our decision to make, Jack. Senator Kennedy has constituents who have voted him into that office...consistently...for nine terms of office. He is noted for his ability to work with Republicans, to craft bills (more than 300) that have passed and become law.

    Senator Kennedy, I am sure, is pondering this question at length during his treatments for cancer. He is balancing his effectiveness and what he can still do for his constituents and his country against his increasing awareness of mortality. It is his choice, Jack, and I for one, believe that he will make the correct decision without any help from us.

    August 24, 2009 at 1:42 pm |
  4. Dave, Brooklyn, NY

    As long as he can still vote, no he shouldn't. When he can no longer understand what is going on and can not hold to his principles, then he should resign. The Democrats need every vote they can get as long as they are adamantly opposed by the party of NO on every single issue. They have been taken over by fools like Sara Palin, and we have seen the results of that kind of mindless thinking over the last 8 years. And I’m a life long Republican – at least I thought I was.

    August 24, 2009 at 1:47 pm |
  5. Jim

    Jack,

    Maybe, but what a sad prospect. The Senate will never be the same without him. I hope he spends what time he has left knowing how beloved and respected he is by most Americans. God bless him!

    Jim
    Reno, Nevada

    August 24, 2009 at 2:01 pm |
  6. Joe CE

    No he deserves to serve it out.

    August 24, 2009 at 2:01 pm |
  7. Jenna

    Is it time for Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy to resign?

    Why, because he is sick?

    Do we expect ALL workers who are sick to resign? My daughter works with a young man who has terminal cancer, show he resign too?

    What kind of question is this?

    Jenna
    Roseville CA

    August 24, 2009 at 2:05 pm |
  8. Mario (from) Vegas

    I think he should resign and focus on his health.GOD bless you Ted.

    August 24, 2009 at 2:16 pm |
  9. Peg from NY

    It seems Senator Kennedy believes it is. The Senate will never be the same without Senator Kennedy.

    August 24, 2009 at 2:42 pm |
  10. Terry, Chandler AZ

    Because of his health I believe that he is no longer strong ebough to be the affable intelligent senator that he was in his prime. I would like to see him resign and leave the senate floor among a standing ovation. He will be missed by democrats as well as republicans.

    August 24, 2009 at 2:49 pm |
  11. Jack CArlson

    It was time to Kennedy to resign a yr ago – he knew ! He wants to change the law he supported and engage in manipulation of the laws again.
    Makes me sick at how blatant the Demcorats are.
    Become an independent as most of both sides of the isle stink !
    Jack C
    WA

    August 24, 2009 at 2:53 pm |
  12. Maria

    Hi Jack, How do we determine who is fit for office and who is not?

    I could list a large number of the Congress who should be out just for their misbehaviour and failure to serve this country's people.

    I think if Sen. Kennedy wants to resign, let him do so. If he is still cogent, up-to-date on the issues, leave hime alone.

    Brunswick,MD

    August 24, 2009 at 2:53 pm |
  13. Russ in PA

    Please, please, oh yes....

    August 24, 2009 at 2:53 pm |
  14. Patsy, Texas

    That is not for us to judge.

    August 24, 2009 at 2:59 pm |
  15. Larry from Georgetown, Texas

    If he is unable to do his job which means being at the Senate, then yes it is time for him to resign. As a matter of fact it's time for many of these so called leaders to resign, including McCain and the ones that switch parties to gain votes for re-election.

    August 24, 2009 at 3:00 pm |
  16. Gerry In Toronto

    After all Ted Kennedy has done for the American people, I think the only one to tell him when it's time to resign is his maker.

    God bless this man for what he's accomplished.

    August 24, 2009 at 3:01 pm |
  17. Mrs C. in Maryland

    Yes! If he has a glioblastoma multiforme and he was diagnosed in January his time may be nearing an end. The people of Massachusetts need and deserve a voting member in congress to represent their state and not a sentimental figure head.

    August 24, 2009 at 3:03 pm |
  18. Harold, in ANCHORAGE, AK

    I think that his his call; neither Bush nor Cheney resigned when is was THEIR time to(the day after swearing in the first time.)

    August 24, 2009 at 3:05 pm |
  19. Tom Stall

    This is probably a moot question. Ted will certainly resign on his terms. And I believe he has deserved the right to do so. I have been a resident of Massachusetts my whole life, born and raised as they say. For a great majority of us who are from here, simply the news of his cancer, we found a bit disturbing, for the realization that he would no longer be our Senator became a reality. I have always felt comfort in the knowledge that Teddy was my Senator. When I went off to college to study government, he was in the midst of run for President in the Democratoc primaries. And I believe this was the best thing which could have happened to him. For he was finally able to shrug off the mantle of his brothers and finally come into his own. Then he began what I feel is the real journey he was meant to follow, and that translated into his effectiveness as a Senator. One of the best political speeches I ever heard was his address to the 1980 Democratic convention. That was when he said we will never forget his brothers, but it was also the time he was able to claim his own unique birthright. Is it time for him to resign? No, he is a Senator, a true Senator with a spirit of service to others. He knows nothing else. And I feel better knowing that is who represents me.

    Wellfleet, Massachusetts

    August 24, 2009 at 3:05 pm |
  20. Bill

    YES. Is he really earning his paycheck? Is he capable of representing his constituents?

    August 24, 2009 at 3:06 pm |
  21. perry jones

    past time
    perry jones council bluffs ia

    August 24, 2009 at 3:08 pm |
  22. Kev, Fl

    Jack, been a long time coming!! Between anti-gun agendas, and Healthcare that would push Ethno-Centric Socialism , and further the previous agenda................I say Best Wishes and time for Pro American Change.

    August 24, 2009 at 3:11 pm |
  23. Pat Page fom georgia

    The answer is no. Eventhough his health is not good,it doesn't mean his mind has stopped working. He has so much knowledge to impart that we need for him to stay active until the Lord sees fit to call him home

    August 24, 2009 at 3:13 pm |
  24. John from Alabama

    Jack: I hope and pray Senator Kennedy can make until the health care reform legislation is passed. I think maybe the decision for when to resign should be put off for another 3 to 4 months. Health Care reform is Kennedy's mission since entering the US Senate.

    August 24, 2009 at 3:15 pm |
  25. RDR Texas

    Yes I think he is really losing it,and can not think stright,just my opion ~

    August 24, 2009 at 3:16 pm |
  26. Tom from Philly

    Ted Kennedy's time to resign was a long time ago. Massachusettes law is tainted with his will to not have an interim senator, he should have asked to change the law in 45 days or resign the second he was found to be so seriously ill. It would be over with now. all this republican bs that we have 60 votes is bs arlen is an oreo cookie or zebra either white with black stripes or black with white stripes we are not really sure, franken was just sat, and ted is awol due to illness. that sounds like 57 to me................

    this man missed the mark, it would be sadly ironic if he twice prevented his life long dream from comming to be. he stood of with carter, and now his failure to step down my rob the senate of a vote to stop a filibuster.

    August 24, 2009 at 3:17 pm |
  27. Robert - Venice, FL

    Jack,

    We didn't ask Senator Thurmond to resign when he turned 90, and I haven't heard anyone suggest that Senator Byrd should resign. Count on this. If and when a Health Care Reform bill comes to the floor of the Senate for a vote, whether he's having a good day or a bad day, Senator Kennedy will be there to cast his vote in favor. And don't be surprised if it's the deciding vote at that. By the way Jack, I'd never think of suggesting that you resign, no matter the circumstances.

    Robert

    August 24, 2009 at 3:18 pm |
  28. Darren

    Look at all the criminals and adulterers we still got representing their best interests up on Capitol Hill (err our best interests) so give Ted "Last Lion" Kennedy a break and let him decide when he wishes to step down from office.

    August 24, 2009 at 3:19 pm |
  29. David in San Diego

    Who knows? That is entirely up to him. If I were he, I would hold on as far into the Health Reform process as possible. When there is a special election, he will be replaced by a liberal Democrat, but in the interim his vote (and prestige/reputation) are needed.

    August 24, 2009 at 3:19 pm |
  30. Jim/NC

    I don't want to sound insensitive, but Sen. Kennedy should have resigned when the brain tumor was found to be malignant. How could we trust his judgement and his ability to carry out his duties as a United States Senator? May God bless his soul.

    August 24, 2009 at 3:20 pm |
  31. SYLVIA FROM SAN DIEGO

    Jack,

    Senator Ted Kennedy, who is gravely ill with brain cancer, has sent a letter to Massachusetts lawmakers requesting a change in the state law that determines how his Senate seat would be filled if it became vacant before his eighth full term ends in 2012. What Mr. Kennedy doesn't volunteer is that he orchestrated the 2004 succession law revision that now requires a special election, and for similarly partisan reasons. WHAT A HYPOCRITE.... TIME TO MOVE ON!!!!!

    August 24, 2009 at 3:22 pm |
  32. Debbie, IL

    Unfortunately yes. The people of MA deserve full representation. He has had a long run, but his constituents should come first. Sen. Byrd should also resign.

    August 24, 2009 at 3:22 pm |
  33. Arcy

    Jack,

    Not only yes, but hell yes!

    Arcy,
    New York, N.Y.

    August 24, 2009 at 3:27 pm |
  34. Jay in Texas

    Senator Ted Kennedy has earned the right to resign when he thinks he should. I trust his judgement in the matter.
    Brownwood, Texas

    August 24, 2009 at 3:28 pm |
  35. mesa mattress

    Ted Kennedy and many others in Congress should make way for new leadership in America. Ted's terminal illness is just a reminder of how much political power gets wasted when representatives aren't healthy enough to do their jobs.

    August 24, 2009 at 3:29 pm |
  36. Billy in Las Vegas

    if he's too sick to do the job it's time to leave. same with that old fossil Robert Byrd. this whole situation is one of the best argumets for Congressional and Senatorial TERM LIMITS.

    August 24, 2009 at 3:35 pm |
  37. HD in Phoenix, AZ

    I'm sure that the self serving republicans out there would like to see that happen.

    HD in Phoenix, AZ

    August 24, 2009 at 3:44 pm |
  38. JIM S

    It is definitely time for Ted Kennedy to resign. I don't think he will want to relinquish his power as a senator. If he was forced to resign, I would say it couldn't of happened t a better person.

    August 24, 2009 at 3:46 pm |
  39. Lucy

    Yes. If not for political reasons, than he should resign because he IS BATTLING BRAIN CANCER and stress is A HUGE COMPLICATING FACTOR in health.
    Lucy
    SF, CA

    August 24, 2009 at 3:46 pm |
  40. Denny from Tacoma, WA

    Not as long as Ted Kennedy can still rally the troops, so to speak.

    August 24, 2009 at 3:46 pm |
  41. AndyZ Lynn, MA

    Not now; not yet. Let the senior Senator from Massachusettes realize his life long dream and have him assist the administration, by taking the lead in the senate, in passing Health Care. And just as a point of curiosity, how many of the 40 million uninsured are illegals? Why worry about them?

    August 24, 2009 at 3:47 pm |
  42. Susan Frost

    It sounds like Teddy is still on top of his game. I say "hang in there, Senator." God bless him and I hope he lives to see the health-care bill passed.

    Susan
    Tuscaloosa AL

    August 24, 2009 at 3:50 pm |
  43. David Ghirardi in Oklahoma City

    It is probably time for Ted Kennedy to pass the torch. If he can no longer be in Washington for critical votes on issues like healthcare, then it's obvious that he (and Senator Robert Byrd for that matter) needs to do what is right and make the difficult decision to step down. The "lion of the Senate" will be missed, but it had to happen sometime.

    August 24, 2009 at 3:52 pm |
  44. Kent, Illinois

    I believe Kennedy will find a way to be there to vote. He has worked his whole life for this cause. He will not let us down. Even if it is the last thing he does....he will be there.

    August 24, 2009 at 3:53 pm |
  45. GORDON, PALOS PARK, IL.

    yes

    August 24, 2009 at 3:54 pm |
  46. Mike Spring, TX

    He has been ineffective for years. It's immaterial whether he resigns or not.

    August 24, 2009 at 3:56 pm |
  47. wheels460

    He should resign immediately in fact he never should have been in office after his drunk driving debacle that claimed the life of Mary Jo Kopechne

    August 24, 2009 at 3:57 pm |
  48. Andre R. Newcomb

    Never. Unless he wants to.

    Andy of Sierra Vista, Arizona

    August 24, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  49. Roberta

    Senator Kennedy’s proposal has great merit. Several other states have similar laws to ensure that their state has as little lack of representation as possible. As for the resignation of Senator Kennedy, it is not unprecedented that Senators remain in office during time of dire illness and several have died while still in office. Your suggestion that he resign confirms my belief that you personally are shifting to a more "right-wing" philosophy. Next you will be quoting Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck.

    August 24, 2009 at 3:59 pm |
  50. Thom

    Typical Kennedy politics, his time has come and went.

    August 24, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  51. John Bell

    Jack
    Yes he should. I am a big Kennedy fan, and have been since JFK. However, Ted is really sick, and can not serve to his fullest. The man is tireless, but he should let go.
    Rancho Cucamonga, CA

    August 24, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  52. Ed from Tallahassee Florida

    Not until we pass Healthcare Reform in this country. Then I think Ted will step-down on his own.

    August 24, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  53. Bill Davis

    No. Not until the Massachusetts governor can name a replacement. The issue of health car is bigger than one man, or one senator for that matter. His vote is crucial to improving health care in this country.

    Bill D
    Champaign, IL

    August 24, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  54. Janice from Collingswood NJ

    NO !!! I don't think it is time for him to resign nor do I think Byrd ought to resign. But, I do think they should be able to call their votes in via a secure line and should be able to "attend" meetings via computer technology. Unless they are totally disabled to the point they cannot think, understand, or talk, they can still contribute. Once a doctor certifies that they are too disabled to continue, they must resign.

    August 24, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  55. John in East Syracuse, New York

    I think that Seator Kennedy has been holding out hope that he would be able to return to Capitol Hill one last time to cast a vote for health care reform. But of course he should resign now for the good of his constitents as well as his own wee-being. He has done great service and should let himself enjoy the time he has left as much as possible. If he had done so earlier this year, Massachusetts could already be enjoying its full representation in the Senate despite the short-sighted tinkering with state election laws in 2004.

    August 24, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  56. Mike, Michigan

    Hell, yes! And he can take 99 more senators with him.

    August 24, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  57. Ron from SF

    Yes, and here's why. Let's assume the Democrats get their act together (yea I know that's a stretch) and we have meaningful Health Care Reform with a Public Option. Then all 59 Remaining Democrats would not be enough to stop a Republican Filibuster designed to protect the Insurance Companies. That enough would merit the law changing. They could also use that 60th vote to do something meaningful on environmental legislation, but I'm not holding my breath. More likely we'll get industry crap, like Waxman-Markey.

    August 24, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  58. T. G. from the virgin islands

    I hope he is healthy enough to at least finish his term.

    August 24, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  59. John - New York, NY

    Since when does selfish ambition trump the will of the people, oh I forgot, we're in America. Healthcare reform is not going to be passed in 5 months so Kennedy has no reason to coerce the Massachusetts lawmakers to change the rules. If Kennedy remains absent, he's doing a disservice to the state of Massachussetts by not allowing their laws to elect a new senator in a special election.

    August 24, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  60. Scott

    Long past due!! There should be a requirement for these guys to retire, especially when they are not able to continue doing their job.

    August 24, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  61. Al Bledsoe in Dallas

    That would be up to the MA electorate would it not?

    August 24, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  62. John

    No....
    Ted should not resign. Isn't there a way he can vote on bills electronically. If not, he just won't be there to participate.
    John...
    Pampa,TX

    August 24, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  63. Tina Tx

    It is time for anyone who has been in Washington past 2 terms. It is now the time for term limits.

    August 24, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  64. george

    I think it is time that we recognize that this man of stature is in the process of getting his temporary successor named, and then a special election will be held after his death. This gives him a chance to still have a voice even though he cannot make it into the Senate Chambers.

    August 24, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  65. Chris

    Can legislators that are of an advanced age or infirmed really be effective? Isn't government supposed to be "civil service" meaning that you are elected, you pass laws and do the work of the country and then go back and live under the laws you enacted while another citizen does their service? Instead we have a political elite that once entrenched refuses to leave or give someone else a chance. Maybe they believe that nobody can fill their shoes. Arrogance.

    August 24, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  66. Kathy

    Yes it is he cant do much any more, he needs to give it up and be with family.

    August 24, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  67. Susan from Bham, Al.

    He should have resigned after Chappaqidick in 1969. His time is
    over and he should leave and let someone else represent Mass.
    There should be term limits for these Senators.

    August 24, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  68. Tony from Torrignton

    Long, long, long, long past time.

    August 24, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  69. John in East Syracuse, New York

    I think that Seator Kennedy has been holding out hope that he would be able to return to Capitol Hill one last time to cast a vote for health care reform. But of course he should resign now for the good of his constitents as well as his own well-being. He has performed great public service and should let himself enjoy the time he has left as much as possible. If he had done so earlier this year, Massachusetts could already be enjoying its full representation in the Senate despite the short-sighted tinkering with state election laws in 2004.

    August 24, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  70. Jeff in Minnesota

    If he is not fulfilling his Senatorial duties, then I would agree that it is time for him to resign. The fact that he played politics to change state law and now wants to change things because they are no longer favorable are just too bad. Another reason why America looks to be so self serving these days.

    August 24, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  71. Keith - Twinsburg, Ohio

    Sure is Jack.... We have been getting stabbed with these old 'dawg's' rusty knives long enough.... It's time we get some new sharp knives in the house & senate to do the carving...

    The old politicians have had their way to change whatever law they wanted to favor their own causes for so long, let a new dude learn how it's done... Maybe by then he would have accidently done some good for the country, before learning how to line his own pockets with our hard earned money.

    Yes...

    August 24, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  72. Ben from Boston

    Jack,

    Sad to say, the Senator should have stepped down several months ago when it became clear that his health would prevent his fulfilling his duties in the Senate. There could have been a special election this fall, and a new Senator by the time of the health care vote.

    August 24, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  73. Thom Richer

    Anyone sitting in Congress now should leave. It is obvious from the failed state we are in that no one is competent enough to run the government of the United States who is a member at present. Kennedy? For sure. The rest? Absolutely. It has become clearer and clearer that no one from the first Congress to the present Congress should remain in office for more than two terms. The temptation of personal gain, whether money or power, indisputably corrupts and detracts from accomplishing good for the people and adds to the decay in our government we are experiencing at this point in time.

    Thom Richer
    Negaunee, MI

    August 24, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  74. Mark in OKC

    All I know is that if I were sick with a terminal illness and knew I would never return to my job because of my health and age, I would certainly NOT continue to be paid full salary and benefits for YEARS like our Senators or Supreme Court Justices are able to do. It is totally unfair for Kennedy not to resign. Just like any worker in the U.S., if you miss so many days of work....you should lose your job....period.

    August 24, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  75. David Bebeau,Springfield Missouri

    Jack
    Even though he and I disagree on so many things.I do stand in respect of his service to our government.I think that in this situation Jack we must employ grace and respect.No he should only resign if he wishes to do so.
    David

    August 24, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  76. Roger

    Get your facts correct!
    *Kennedy did not change the law in 2004, just as he cannot change the law now. The Massachusetts state legislature changed the law, just as they can change it now, if they wish.

    Many elected officials have died in office, thus vacating their elected post without ever resigning. Kennedy is still the living elected senator. Let him resign if he knows he can not continue.

    The "news" should do its job: REPORT THE NEWS!
    Stop just hyping the hype! Stop searching for blood to make up your own news and instead actually REPORT THE REAL NEWS.

    -Roger-
    (Woodland Hills, CA)

    August 24, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  77. Dennis North Carolina

    only if he wants too.

    August 24, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  78. g ontario

    there should be a age limit to serving 65 and out and term limits

    August 24, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  79. Michael M Phoenix AZ

    Maybe, maybe not. Let's look at all the rest of members of Congress who are getting up there in age too. Most Americans are pretty much forced out at a certain age anyway from their jobs, so why not the Congress.....We do need at least term limits....say max of 3 terms per Senator and not eligible to run again...

    August 24, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  80. Greg, Ontario

    The 77-year-old Kennedy is battling brain cancer and he is working? I thought slavery went out with the civil war. Mind you even with that cancer and his age, he's got more on the ball than most of the GOP.

    August 24, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  81. Linda in Arizona

    No. He should hold on until the very last, and I hope he does.

    August 24, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  82. Wilmington, NC

    Yes!

    August 24, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  83. chris

    here's a better idea fire them all all 435 members ahd the 100 senators and repalce with average american people representing the american people

    August 24, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  84. Michael, Alexandria, VA

    Not until the law is changed back to the way it was before 2004. The time for him to resign was 2 months ago. I predict rather that he will be in DC in a wheel chair to vote for health care reform. Of course, we will know more after his visit with the President this week.

    August 24, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  85. Ed from California

    He's elected and has job security, leave him alone! Brain cancer is not the funnest one to have (if having one is fun). I'm sure he has the best doctors and is trying to fight this off. I hope the Senator kicks it's a*s! My mother died of it and it isn't cool. I hope you get well soon, Mr. Kennedy, and get back to work! Besides, you can't fire someone for being sick.

    August 24, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  86. Vivian Fauntleroy, Largo MD

    See Jack, in the corporate world, Sen. Kennedy would be on long-term disability. But out of apreciation for his service, no one would force him into retirement. The Sen. knows he's going to die; I know he is going to die; you know he is going to die. But for others to weigh in on his end of life decisions and insist upon his resignation - well, that sounds too much like that Death Panel thing that's been in the news of late.

    August 24, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  87. Brian

    Jack,

    C'mon, don't act like playing hardball isn't par for the course in the Senate. Did you ask Sen. Jim DeMint to resign when he said it would break Obama if they stop him on health care? Politicians care more about scoring points than they do helping Americans. If we throw one out, we should throw them all out.

    Brian
    Boise, ID

    August 24, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  88. Prudence

    No for heaven sakes. Let the man live his life out the way her has done for all of these years. In the service of his country......

    August 24, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  89. Gary H. Boyd

    Ted Kennedy is a good example of why most Americans have come to distrust politicians. The guy's fundamentally flawed yet, in his home state at least, that part of him is overlooked. Should he resign? Yes, that should have happened 25 years ago.

    Gary in Arizona

    August 24, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  90. Barbie from Hollywood, CA

    Ted has served the American People long and hard. I'd hate to see him resign, but if he can no longer cast votes needed due to his ill health, then he should be replaced immediately, and be heralded for extraordinary service to his country.

    August 24, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  91. Nora

    Absolutely, it's beyond time. Term limits should have been set on these people years ago. 2 terms would stop them from thinking they'd become Gods and perhaps would make them start listening to their constituents instead of the lobbyests and other influential power brokers. There are just too many in Congress who don't understand that they WORK for US not the other way around. They are government SERVANTS – paid by the American people. They live and work in a bubble and have no clue how a typical American family lives. Kennedy and many others should have been put to pasture years ago.

    August 24, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  92. Astrid Doolaege

    Oh yes it is time for him to go out of this planet too.

    He still have to face God for a crime he committed long time ago. Seems like people have short memories.

    August 24, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  93. Paul Brenner

    I think it is time he retired, does resign really count after such a long term in office?

    August 24, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  94. Sue from Redwood City

    I don't think Senator Kennedy should resign just yet. Cancer has good days and bad ones and he still seems sharp enough. He will know then the time is right to resign.

    August 24, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  95. Mari, Salt Lake City, Utah

    Jack, that should be his own personal decision. Perhaps what's keeping him going is that he has a cause to fight for.

    August 24, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  96. Cora - Hot Springs Ark

    if senator kennedy feel it's time to retire then maybe it is , and may the lord be with him and his family.

    August 24, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  97. Kelly, PA

    No. I like Ted Kennedy. If he wants to continue to serve, then leave him alone.

    August 24, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  98. Katiec Pekin, IL

    No, Senator Kennedy should not resign.
    He is one of the few who has fought so hard for middle class
    America. I do hope he is able to be present to vote for Health
    Care Reform.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:01 pm |
  99. jack in Lombard, IL

    Yes, he should resign. I'm sure it's very difficult for him to acknowledge his capabilities are diminished. I'm sure he wants to hang onto the position that defines him until the end. However, if he truly is thinking of the people – as he said he is – then he needs to admit that the replacement is needed NOW. It must have torn him apart to miss the funeral, but that single situation speaks volumes.

    Sorry Mr Senator, but it is time to tip your hat to the next in line.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:01 pm |
  100. bobwhite in Kansas

    The problem isn't with Ted Kennedy's Senate seat, it is with the entire Senate institution of government. Our representative democracy needs only the peoples house; Congress. Our national government no longer needs the Senate, and its rules only serve both the obstructionist and the priviledged. Imagine how much less all of government would cost without the US Senate.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  101. Cedric from Alabama

    As a College Student in Alabama, I dont fully understand the legacy of Mr. Kennedy but I can say without a doubt that it is time for him to resign. The Founding Fathers did not want people to serve in office for the rest of their lives. It is time for him to step aside and let someone with the health to take up what he leaves off.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  102. EARL (Big Eazzy) in Johns Creek, GA

    No...he's doing a better job than George W. Bush, sick!

    August 24, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  103. Scott Stodden

    I beleive it may be time for Senator Kennedy to resign but what about Robert Byrd who can barely stand let alone talk or get a sentence out. I believe these lawmakers such as Congressmen, Senator, etc.... should have to resign after a certain age. Senator Kennedy as we know is very sick and Robert Byrd is 90 some years old and I have always believed that the governor of each state should appoint Congress, Senators, etc... Its the right thing to do

    August 24, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  104. Donald, Canton, NC

    Today news correspondents speculated on wheather President Obama would visit Kennedy, but remarks were made that "They're taking it one day at a time (the family)."
    If this is a fair assessment of his failing health then he should immediately resign/retire so a replacement can be put in place IAW Massachusets law. And it should not be another Kennedy family member.

    Not only should Senator Kennedy resign/retire, but also Senator Byrd of West Virginia who has to be wheeled onto the Senate floor, but can't even hold and barely read a prepared statement.

    Both have given their "all" do this country, but now their states nor country are being served by the senior senators delaying the inevitable. Pass the torch and enjoy what time you have with your families. Neither, particularly Byrd, needs to die on the Senate floor.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  105. Ron

    There is no legal precedent to remove a sitting Senator for health reasons, so as long as Senator Kennedy wishes to stay on he must be allowed to do so.

    Pass comprehensive health care reform, and he'll retire a satisfied man.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  106. Courtney from Houston

    Absolutely! He needs to do it for himself and for everyone else. I also think this raises an important question: Where are the term limits for congressmen? Without term limits we are limiting our chance for new ideas and strangling real democracy.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  107. Meg from Troy, Ohio

    Jack–
    It proably is. If he was too sick to go to his sister's funeral, he's probably too ill to be a senator. He should focus on himself and his family as he battles his cancer.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  108. Dawn (Portland, Oregon)

    As sad as I would be to see him go, Sentaor Kennedy should resign and allow someone to take that seat who can actually fulfill the duties of a senator, especially now. His service will always stand as an inspiration, but he needs to tend to his own health and family.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  109. Allen in Hartwell GA

    Jack, Teddy should have gone home to his family long ago. Since when did the Senate become the "House of Lords"? No one should stay in either house of Congress more than six years. We need to treat congress like jury duty – when your name comes up you have to go to D.C.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  110. john j. grimes Watertown, Ma.

    Many of us in Massachusetts are amazed at the arrogance of Sen. Kennedy's proposal to change the rules of the game that he altered 5 years ago so as to benefit Democrats. These people remind me of acrobats, in that they keep their balance by saying the opposite of what they do. What incredible nerve these hypocrites possess.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  111. Alex in Seattle

    With all due respect to Senator Kennedy, if he can no longer represent the people of Massachusetts he should resign. Since health care is such a big issue with him, I think he will make it in to vote for the final health care reform bill before he leaves. Additionally, I think the state law should stay as it is and not depend on the party of the current governor. Remember Blagojavic, Jack?

    August 24, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  112. Jerry

    Yes, He should resign, and so should Senator Byrd. We need term limits, The abuse of our politicians is running rampant. They are just like the top bank Executives They just don't get it. Jerry/ Iowa

    August 24, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  113. Lynn, Columbia, Mo..

    It should be up to him. He's fought for healthcare reform for a very long time. Let him be in the Senate when it passes and let him die in peace.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  114. Lisa in Shelton

    If his health already precludes him from being able to attend sessions and vote on crucial legislation or appointments (like FOR Justice Sotomayor), and if it will only continue to deteriorate, yes it is time to resign. Get the ball rolling – never underestimate Congress' ability to drag things out!

    August 24, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  115. Lisa, Dublin, Ohio

    Absolutely. If he's too sick to be there for his family, he's too sick to be involved in shaping laws and policy that affect this country. I'm sorry he's so ill, but it's time for Teddy to go. We already have enough people on the hill that like to play fast and loose with the rules.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  116. vern-anaheim,ca

    senator kennedy is not going to recover from his brain tumor and should resign.let massachusetts call a special election in the future even though it could cost democrats some senate votes until the special election.i don't believe the democrats will lose kennedys seat in the special election as massachusetts is a heavily democratic state where republicans are not popular with the general public.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  117. Richard McKinney, Texas

    Jack Ted Kennedy should have resigned back in July of 1969 when he left Mary Jo Kopechne under water in the car he was driving in a tidal channel on Chappaquiddick Island, Massachusetts. I don't think Kennedy should have ever held a public office after that. It amazes me what the American people will elect into office in this country time and time again. I guess people just have short memories Jack. Mary Jo was someone's child.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  118. Allen, Cypress, Texas

    Jack,

    Ted Kennedy don't need to resign. Senator Strom Thurman practically died in office, so why should this be different for him. Besides Jack, like you said, the law is the law. As much as I love and admire Senator Kennedy, there should't be any double standard. Democrats aught to play the hand they're dealt.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  119. Elizabeth, Clarksville, Tennessee

    Senator Kennedy has run a long hard race in life. He is looking very frail and I am sure the passing of his sister has left some very sobering thoughts in his mind. He probably will not resign until he is sure that the seat he vacates will be filled by a Democrat. If he has no guarantee of that he will stay until the very end. He would rather not see the successor than to see a Republican in his seat.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  120. Kerry Diehl

    He should have been gone years ago!!!

    August 24, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  121. Esther massillon ohio

    death before dishonor

    August 24, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  122. Michael Roepke - Dallas, TX

    How about Robert Byrd. Frank Lautenberg, Daniel Inouye, Daniel Akaka or Arlen Specter, each older than Senator Kennedy or the Hills; Rep Baron Hill.
    Heading into the 21st century, I think most voters would find it amazing how many Senators ar over 70.
    Are these the folks we want to make disissions about the internet, DNA research, space exploration, or even our ability to see a Doctor in another 20 years?

    August 24, 2009 at 5:48 pm |
  123. Louie

    Senator Kennedy should be pushing Senator Byrd to the "Old Folks' home where they can retire together and let some new ideas flow into the senate that is contaminated by not having term limits.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:49 pm |
  124. Jack Dempsey

    Jack, I have all the respect in the world for Ted Kennedy but the shape this counrty is in I think it would be a good time for everybody in congress and the senate to resign. Jack from Nice, Ca.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:53 pm |
  125. Joanne - Minnesota

    Jack,
    Yes, and everyone over the age of 70 should resign along with him. No one over the age of 66 should be allowed to run for any office, because at the age of 70, common sense starts to walk out the door. Times change, and we need people in the government who understand that. Right now we have a lot of people who are stuck in the fifties, only nothing is like the fifties. We need to clean the slate of all these old thoughts and get people in office with fresh thoughts and a new look for our citizens, and business. We can not compete in a global world with a fifties atittude!! We need a healthcare system for the people and our country, not the insurance companies.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:54 pm |
  126. Jason

    Can we say "Term Limits"?! If they weren't so worried about getting re-elected they actually may vote with a clear head and make one or two intelligent choices on behalf of the rest of us. Anytime a legislator needs to purchase a home in/around D.C. because it's become their permanent home, it's time for them to leave office.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:55 pm |
  127. noel

    Yes, he has done all he can,because he cannot served the people any more the way their need him to. A vision start with a person but does not end with them, someone elese have to carry carry it on.Thanks Mr.Ted Kennedy but its time to hind it up.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:59 pm |
  128. Charles R

    Typical Ted Kennedy move. Out with him!!

    August 24, 2009 at 6:00 pm |
  129. Steve Canada

    His long service should be respected, and he should not resign. I understand his desire for health care reform, but changing the rules to perhaps squeeze it through is not the way to go..

    August 24, 2009 at 6:01 pm |
  130. C.K. of Colorado

    Long time overdue!

    August 24, 2009 at 6:06 pm |
  131. Mrs. Eileen Curras widow to Hernandez (WWII)

    It is cruel this society. Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy was doing it job even when he is sick. Jeff Jacoby should receive a reality check of his own. How do you account for the service of a Senator? Does the health condition of 77-year-old Kennedy should take him out? It seems to me that the Media is losing control. Seems to me that the Senator only wants what is best for his state. Obviously the senator is not too sick to play some very raw politics.

    August 24, 2009 at 6:06 pm |
  132. Albert K.. L.A, CA

    Jack, is this some kind of double standard? George W, Bush and Sarah Palin were never truly able to do the jobs they were elected to do. Ted Kennedy could be brain dead and do a better job than either of those two.

    August 24, 2009 at 6:06 pm |
  133. Mike Armstrong TX.

    This guy is over the the hill and at the bottom with a shovel digging a hole just so he can take a few more steps retire already go have some fun.

    August 24, 2009 at 6:10 pm |
  134. John, Fort Collins,CO

    I feel Senator Kennedy should stepdown at a time he, and only he, feels is most appropriate. Given his extraordinary personal service (not to mention his family's), the time for Mr. Kennedy to step aside is none of mine or any anyone else's business. He has been, and is a wonderful man. I am humbled...the only thing I have to offer is my personal thanks and best wishes for God's blessing on he and his family.

    August 24, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  135. Jackie in Dallas

    That is not our decision to make, Jack. Senator Kennedy has constituents who have voted him into that office…consistently…for nine terms of office. He is noted for his ability to work with Republicans and to craft bills (more than 300) that have passed and become law. If nothing else, his advice should be sought on a lot of issues.

    Senator Kennedy, I am sure, is pondering this question at length during his treatments for cancer. He is balancing his effectiveness and what he can still do for his constituents and his country against his increasing awareness of mortality. It is his choice, Jack, and I for one, believe that he will make the correct decision without any help from us.

    Hopefully, though, if he does decide to resign, the torch will be passed to a new generation that appreciates what a lifetime of service and dedication means.

    August 24, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  136. Dennis

    UM....Not until the Governor appoints his successor!

    August 24, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  137. Sly, from Michigan

    Yes, Along with the rest of people in Congress who's been there more than 30 years.

    August 24, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  138. John in Herndon VA

    Nope, its time for ALL of them to resign so we can get some folks who will do the PEOPLE'S business. That'd be a change I'd bet we can all get behind.

    August 24, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  139. grady

    No. Senator Kennedy should remain senator until he dies. And I hope that he lives a long, long time.

    August 24, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  140. Phil

    Of course he should re-sign...He should have left the hill years ago!...Makes me sick as a MA resident that these crooked Democrats have been manipulating our state for years. We are all sick of it here!

    August 24, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  141. Fran of Huntington, NY

    It's time for most of them to resign. TERM LIMITS. If there were term limits we'd get something done.

    August 24, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  142. Calvin Hunter

    Shouldn't we let someone die first before we bury them? Once again Jack, sounds like you have both asked and answered the question. It must be nice running a one man news show and actually getting paid.

    August 24, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  143. Danielle

    I don't think it's time he should step down. If the rule says there would be a vacancy until after a special election, then either way the citizens of Massachusetts are not getting their representation in the senate!

    August 24, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  144. garymac Lancaster Pa.

    No, They don't make the pope step down when he's sick.

    August 24, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  145. Jim

    It was time for Kennedy to resign in 1964,

    August 24, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  146. Jeffrey from LA, California

    This is an extremely sensitive question. What you are asking is, should the man who has served longest in the U.S. Senate and who has fought for the American people give up his seat. My answer to your question is, no he should not resign. This man was for a long time considered the lion of the Senate and just because he lost his roar doesn't mean he should have to see his seat be taken away. He lived a great portion of his life as a U.S. Senator, let him die as one.

    August 24, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  147. Roger

    He should have resigned when he drove off the bridge!

    August 24, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  148. Elaine Bessette

    Yes, Kennedy should resign and let his seat be filled by someone who is capable of doing the job. Apparently he and his family still don't understand that the US doesn't have royalty. He doesn't have a right to remain in the Senate until his death and he can't appoint a replacement for himself by changing the MA laws.

    August 24, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  149. keith,lancaster ky.

    Typical liberial thinking, if the law isn't to there liking at the moment lets just change it to fit our needs, would you call this a flip flop, senator

    August 24, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  150. Allen

    As much as I want to see health care reform passed in some form
    the law is the law and to many in washington seem to bend it to thier
    purposes already no he shouldn't get the change even if it means a
    republican would replace him.

    August 24, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  151. Joni

    Senator Kennedy has worked on this for such a long time. Let him do whatever to fulfill his final wish!

    August 24, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  152. rich

    Ed will need to go and this goes back to my point about term limits this way we don't have to have career politicians working with big business to create lavish life styles that don't work for the middle class GREED!! We need leaders that actually represent the middle class not the rich not big business just the people that voted them in!! So Ed should step down and stop playing death bed politics!!

    rich

    August 24, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  153. George W

    Absolutely not! He is by far the best Senator in the history of this country.
    We need him as long as possible.\!

    August 24, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  154. bill oman

    Jack,

    Senator Kennedy has done more for the poor, the disabled, the uninsured, and minorities than most politicians combined. I believe he has earned the right to determine when he should leave office.

    August 24, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  155. Katie Miller

    Dear Jack,

    I am a life-long Massachusetts resident and I believe there is no need for Senator Kennedy to resign due to his health. Throughout his illness he has shown tenacity and courage and has represented the people of the Commonwealth very well. I have no doubt he is making daily phone calls to his very capable staff and colleagues in the Senate. The man is remarkable and will do his job till his dying day!

    Katie Miller
    Weymouth, MA

    August 24, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  156. jay

    Yes, it is time for him to resign.

    August 24, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  157. Ken in NC

    Absolutely not. "If a lion resigns today as the leader of the pack, he will be his brothers meal tomorrow".

    August 24, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  158. heinz gadient

    with all due respect to Ted Kennedy, it is high time for him to resign. It is not his right to try to determine who his replacement will be. Let the people decide.

    August 24, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  159. Ed in Cincinnati

    Why should he when so many others are afflicted from other forms of brain ailments?

    August 24, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  160. Gary Lyons

    No. It is not time for Kennedy to resign. Not until it takes 50 votes in the Senate to decide an issue.

    August 24, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  161. David P Vernon

    Tucson, AZ – There is no reason for any Senator to resign, ever. Senile Senators have continued to run, get re-elected, and serve. Senators have been censured and continued to serve. Seantors have committed cromes and continued to serve. The Seante has the power to expel a Senator for cause, but I believe this power has not been used since the American Civil War. Senator Kennnedy may have to be brought to the floor for the cloture vote on health care on a gurney – so what? Current law takes a long time to replace a Massachusetts Senator – better to stand pat and hope the old boy lives long enough for one last legislative victory.

    August 24, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  162. Art Norton

    It is past time for Kennedy to resign, he is for double standards, as long as they are in his favor. He is wanting one last horah, to heck what the people want, it is and has been what Ted wants.

    August 24, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  163. Matt Bridgewater, Mt. Pleasant MI

    Jack, what you're not taking into account is "what best represents the voters of Massachusetts." While I understand there are moderates and conservatives in the Cape State, it's heavily liberal. In 2004, an outgoing GOP governor appointing a Republican Senator in a very liberal state should Kerry have won would have been a slap in the face of democracy. Similarly, denying the state of Massachusetts two pro-health reform votes would be a low blow to the people of Massachusetts.

    August 24, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  164. Mateo

    Yes, Kennedy needs to go. He cannot physically do his job, therefore he needs to do the right thing and retire. He represents us, the people of Massachusetts. As he said in his recent letter (to request the law he fought to get be changed), it is a disservice to the people to not have a senator. Right now, we don't have a senator, he cannot work and therefore he should resign... for the people!

    August 24, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  165. Frank Mitchell

    Jack: Unfortunately, Resignation STILL Leaves the Seat Vcant for at LEAST FIVE Months. under the Existing LAW. Should it Be chnged??? AS a Ma. resident I say YES, BUT This State Legislators make the Congress look like the ROMAN Senate, Soo ALL BETS ARE OFF!!!!! Frank

    August 24, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  166. Brian Smith PhD

    It was time to kick Kennedy out of the Senate 37 years ago. Term limits should have kicked him out then. We need term limits in Congress. Otherwise we let big business gets its meat hooks deeper and deeper into Members.

    August 24, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  167. Dan Cooper -- Seattle

    Jack, have you no shame? 'Is it time for Ted Kennedy to resign'? The only One with the power to tell SENATOR Kennedy to resign is God...and it seems as though he'll be doing so soon. Until then, give the man his due. Ted Kennedy has and CONTINUES to do, more than many in the Senate with no diabilities. It's interesting how so many are lining up to "put out to pasture" people of age and/or disability. Just a thought . . .

    August 24, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  168. Julie from L.A.

    Of courese Kennedy shouldn't resign Jack.

    Even if he just stays home the rest of his term, he's still doing a better job than 40 other Senators.

    August 24, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  169. Dot

    Yes, it is indeed time for Senator Ted Kennedy to resign. Dot

    August 24, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  170. Lashlo

    No, it is not.

    August 24, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  171. Scott

    NO! The other Kennedy brothers served their country to the very end. Teddy will, and should follow suit.

    August 24, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  172. Jim Green, Seguin, TX, www.Inclusivism.org

    Jack-you sure know how to kick a guy when he's down--Of course, Kennedy should NOT resign--Kennedy has supported healthcare reform for years-FOR THE BENEFIT OF ALL AMERICANS–and for that reason, alone, he should vote now if he can-he wanted the law changed so Americans would not be cheated out of reform-AGAIN!

    August 24, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  173. Paul Dennett

    Is it time for Ted Kennedy to resign?
    Yes, without any reservation. I am sorry that he is experiencing a major medical disability, but I feel that he has way overstayed his visit. Kennedy shouldn't be permitted to be changing rules for his personal benefit. It's time for the Kennedy regime to be put to rest.

    August 24, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  174. Jacque D (Oregon)

    If they are worried about the possibility of him not being able to show up for a vote then the best way to assure that possibility would be to resign but at the same time that would require a speedy assignment of a new senator to fill that seat NOW. Juggling to keep his seat while at the same time trying to assure the vote for the health reform is selfish and resigning is the best way to assure that possiblity.

    August 24, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  175. Sam Bronx, New York

    it was time for him to resign when he was first hospitalized for his brain cancer months ago. His ego would not let him consider surrendering his power so quickly, and so in disdain of the needs of the people of his state that he claimsto be concerned about, he continued to hold the seat. Had he resigned then, a replacement could be in office now, and the issue would be moot.
    So in typical fashion for the twisted noblesse oblige he subscribes to, he now wants Massachussetts to change the same law he orchestrated changing before when it would could have turned a seat over to the Republicans back to enable a successor to take over immediately, and vote according to his will.
    And would said successor be hand chosen by him via proxy of the Governor? (That is a rhetorical question, I am sure we all know the answer without even needing time to consider it.)

    August 24, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  176. Pat from North Carolina

    No. He should not step down. I keep seeing this picture in my mind: The senate is voting on the health care reform, and just as Senator Kennedy's name is called, he comes onto the floor and votes yes...the 60th vote. He may have to be wheeled in on a gurney, but if he is alive, I believe he will be there.

    August 24, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  177. Paul Fellner

    Perhaps not time for him to resign ... but someone should point him to a place where he can get some "end of political life counseling!"

    August 24, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  178. David

    Kennedy should have resigned last Fall. He was being selfish then and is being selfish now. Why doesn't he announce that he's retiring and to go ahead with an election for his replacement?!? He can be the Massachusetts Senator until the replacement is elected.

    August 24, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  179. Paulia

    No Senator Kenndy should not resign. In fact, the Congress should pass a health care bill in his name. He has been more effective than many of the other senators in Congress and should die as a senator because he is the last of the hard working lions who set an example of how it should be done. He has earned that honor.

    August 24, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  180. Dave Nickel

    It is time for all members of congress to resign. Where else but government can someone coast by with a 15 percent approval rating? Toss them all out on their keesters!

    August 24, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  181. Scott

    NO! The other Kennedy brothers served their country to the very end. Teddy will, and should follow suit.

    Davis, California

    August 24, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  182. Ed in Cincinnati

    Why should he, when so many other Senators are afflicted from other forms of brain ailments?

    August 24, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  183. Joe Lazzari

    Senator Kennedy should have resigned 40 years ago – immediately after the 7/18/69 tragedy at Chappaquidick. He has been and still is a disgrace to those of us who believed in the first "proclaimer of change" and what we could do for our country!!

    August 24, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  184. dixie

    No he should not resign, strom thermon didn't. It is til death do you part, unless you choose to leave, why would he do that?

    August 24, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  185. Charlie Erwin,TN

    It's definitely time for Kennedy to go plus about 99 more I can think of.

    August 24, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  186. Ronald Moran

    Yes, he should resign. No one can predict the future and any attempt to do so, as in the honorable senator's wish, is a tactic decidedly different from his beliefs just a few years ago. I don't blame him for trying, but I think he should let the laws in place take care of this situation,and not try to alter the means by which legislators are elected in periods of crisis, such as this.

    August 24, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  187. amm1943

    Absolutely time for Ted Kennedy to go!
    He has a belief system that includes the 'divine right of succession". Fortunately we live in a constitutional democratic republic and not a constitutional monarchy.

    This is right up there with blocking a windfarm some miles offshore from Martha's Vineyard.
    Wouldn't want to block the royal view, would we?

    The Kennedy clan invented the double standard.

    August 24, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  188. Tony Downing

    This is nothing out of the ordinary for Mr. kennedy, His seat belongs to us ad we should pick our representatives, this is not Chicago! it's dispicable to change a law back and forth to suit his greedy interests. I suggest that both he and Mr Byrd take pain killers and seek end of life councelling per Dr. Obama. The Senate is not a Nursing Home for the terminally ill or infirmed!

    Tony D.

    August 24, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  189. Dan in Japan

    No, he shouldn't resign!!!
    As important as healthcare reform is for the future of the US and its economy and citizens, if he has to be carried in on a stretcher with 20 people carrying all his life sustaining machines and monitors, we need that vote!!
    Since the repuglicans aren't going to support anything that doesn't funnel government money directly into the coffers to Big Pharma, the dems. need to push through what Americans need, universal, single-payer healthcare. (Like Japan has!! It's great!!!)

    August 24, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  190. Sotnik

    I would like to see Kennedy leave office. And while we are house cleaning let's thrown out Chris Dodd, Barney Frank and Nancy Pelosi.

    August 24, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  191. Robert Spear

    It's not only time for Ted kennedy to resign but the rest of the cronies in his croniesm crew! The people of this country would like to see our elected officials take care of the people instead of their cronies. They have been debating the same stuff for over 40 years, Don't you think it's getting old? ( Democrats and Republican both)

    August 24, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  192. CEDRIC

    Kennedy is is playing political footbal. Resign! That doesn't fit with what he trying to do. No! He should not resign. How about everytime you suggest something we ask you to resign.

    August 24, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  193. Joan

    Kennedy obviously can no longer actively participate in the legislative process. He should resign immediately. Perhaps he can talk Sen. Byrd into retiring also.

    August 24, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  194. Tim from Hot Spring, AR

    I'm afraid that it is. Kennedy is denying the citizens of Massachusetts equal representation by not resigning. I'm sure he'd love to pull one last political move by establishing a Governor's appointee, and I wish him luck with that. However the fact remains that he isn't able to exert his influence regarding health care reform and it's time that he treat the position of Senator with the respect that he himself earned and bow out with dignity.

    August 24, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  195. Tunde Olaifa

    No elected leader should in the normal course of events be allowed to choose a successor...democracy basically guarantees and puts that in the exclusive domain of the people, not other elected reps.

    August 24, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  196. Mike in Marin

    No He should NOT Resign! The Kennedy Family has given to this country Unlike any other family and if we need to bend the rules for any one I would like it to be for a family like theirs.

    In contrast, Bush changed so many laws to get his way that we don't even recognize the American legal system OR our own CONSTITUTION!

    I think Sen. Kennedy's wish to preserve health care is a noble deed that he should be assured that the voters who put him in office will see their will done in the term that he was "Legally elected" to forfill.

    August 24, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  197. Matt Bridgewater, Mt. Pleasant MI

    Kennedy could very well be getting ready to make one last heroic journey to Washington. He's been a fighter for people in Massachusetts and America for half a century. This could be a move to help him set up one final, powerful vote. The governor denies this, and Ted Kennedy is forced to give his life voting in Congress so that others can have health insurance. Maybe this is the overture to his curtain call, where he'll make one last emotional vote to tip the tide in favor of the public option.

    August 24, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  198. Paulia

    No Senator Kennedy should not resign. In fact, the Congress should pass a health care bill in his name. He has been more effective than many of the other senators in Congress and should die as a senator because he is the last of the hard working lions who set an example of how it should be done. He has earned that honor.

    Paulia
    Texas

    August 24, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  199. Bobby

    Jack,
    He should have retired forty years ago when he left Mary-Jo behind to drown and chose his health care over hers.
    Bobby
    Stockton, CA

    August 24, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  200. Ken in NC

    If people think it is time for Senator Kennedy to resign they should pass Health Care Reform and he will resign the day after it is signed into law.

    How ya like them apples?

    August 24, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  201. Ruth

    My beloved Uncle recently passed away from the same type of brain tumor Senator Kennedy has. There is no way Senator Kennedy can do his job properly while battling with this type of cancer. As a Massachusetts resident, I do think he should resign but dread the fact that his Senate seat when then be open for a Republican to possibly take.

    August 24, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  202. Len Leff

    Yes, he should retire, but a better idea is fire all the congressmen and senators and replace them with a true representation of the electorate.

    August 24, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  203. Tom

    I hope he won't resign as long as he can participate in the battle for quality health care for all. He is the greatest senator alive, and the people of Massachusetts support him.

    As for your complaint about asking for a change in the temporary appointment procedure, I agree with Senator Kennedy's proposal. The replacement should come from the same party as the senator who is resigning. That way we the people of Massachusetts won't be represented by someone who might be opposed to Senator Kennedy's views, as would have happened if Senator Kerry had been replaced by a Republican.

    hometown: Florence, MA

    August 24, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  204. jeane

    No. He should do it when he is ready.

    August 24, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  205. Tyler

    If Senator Kennedy wants to leave behind a legacy of doing what's best for the country and his constituents in Massachusetts, he should give up his position and power, possibly the most difficult act for one in his line of work to complete. We need Senator Kennedy to set an example of when to remove oneself from public office – as soon as it becomes obvious that the person can no longer fulfill the duties of said office. Senator Kennedy is not fit to serve the people of Massachusetts as he once did, as they deserve to be represented.

    August 24, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  206. Gene R Georgia

    Jack, Like so many Senators, Ted Kennedy has stayed well past his ability to serve.

    August 24, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  207. Annie, Atlanta

    It sounds like he may be getting his ducks in a row to do just that. And why shouldn’t he play raw politics for a lifelong cause? What’s left of the GOP certainly has convened their army of mouth breathing knuckle draggers to scream against our best interests in favor of corporate profit, at any cost. Game on.

    August 24, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  208. David, Texas

    Time to hang it up. He hasn't voted substantially in well over a year. In this Congress, he has missed (261) 97% of votes. Massachusetts is not being represented. Hopefully his staff is smart enough to have some offers in their pockets. Wonder if he's gone in front of the Death Panel yet? (LOL)

    August 24, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  209. Jimmy H

    We must remember that members of congress are first and foremost representatives of the people of his/her state. The decision of whether Sen Kennedy should step down is not held in my opinion or the democrats' or the republicans' or pundits'. It belongs solely on the people of Mass. If they feel he is still capable of filling the office and properly represents their needs/interests then he should stay; if not, he should honorably resign.

    August 24, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  210. Pierre (Springfield Massachusetts)

    Jack I'm 17 years old, born and raised in Massachusetts. I think it is time for Senator Kennedy to resign. But health care reform needs to be passed before he throws in the towel. He calls the health care battle the fight of his life. Now its time to live up to those words Mr. Kennedy.

    August 24, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  211. Ken in NC

    Absolutely not. “If a lion resigns today as the leader of the pack, he will be his brothers meal tomorrow”.

    Hang in there Senator and Jack.

    August 24, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  212. Norman D. Weibel

    The Senator has been so disabled he couldn't attend his sister's funeral. To me, this suggests strongly that he has been too ill to perform his duties as a representative of his state. His brain cancer is probably a death sentence; even if it is reversed, his ability to function is likely to be damaged.

    This makes his continued holding of his seat a disservice to his constituents. His moral imperative is to resign and allow a special election for his replacement to be held.

    August 24, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  213. Cameron in SF, CA

    Yes, because he cannot represent his constituents effictively anymore nor would anyone expect him to. If Steve Jobs can do it, so can Teddy!

    August 24, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  214. Tim Peoples

    It 's about 40 years past due for Ted Kennedy's retirerment. Our distinguished Sentor should have been forced to resign with his involvement in the death of Mary Jo Kopechne in 1969. Obviously time are different now; when they ask you to resign for touching someone foot in the men room. I guess he is use to having his cake and eating it too. Tim – Raleigh NC

    August 24, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  215. Steven DeConti

    Resign!!! He should be revered. I've been pushing around concrete for thirty years now and Ted has done more for the working man than anyone alive. I'm so sick of you mid-western morons and idiot southerners bad-mouthing the Kennedys and Massachusetts. Stay the hell out of our state, but no, you can't keep away from our great hospitals and universities.

    August 24, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  216. Gina Russo, Naples, FL

    As a former constituent of Sen. Kennedy, I'm sad to say that yes, he should resign ASAP. If I'm not mistaken, the law in question gives "up to" five months to hold the election, rather than mandating a five-month waiting period. If he quit now, he would be doing his final bit of service to our country. The hardest part is just letting go..., and I, for one, will miss him... But if push comes to shove and the Blue Dogs still aren't ready to recognize that they do not belong to "the party of NO", the rest of the Senate Democratic gang could surely hold back the final vote until a replacement for Sen. Kennedy is elected.

    August 24, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  217. Richard Conte

    No Jack, NOW is not the time for Ted Kennedy to resign.

    He should have resigned after abandoning the scene of the accident which killed Mary Jo Kopechne in July 1969.

    The time for his resignation was 40 years ago!!!

    August 24, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  218. Calvin Hunter

    We should give him some more time to heal before making any decisions about replacement.

    August 24, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  219. Frank, Jacksonville, Florida

    Yes, time for Sen. Kennedy to resign. With little known about his actual capacity to make decisions as a result of his brain cancer and who is really behind the request to change the law, his constituents should support his resignation, however reluctantly.

    August 24, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  220. Mike O

    Absolutely! Obviously, the man can no longer perform his duties as a U.S. Senator. He was too weak even to attend his own sister's funeral and he certainly has one foot in the grave with the other on a banana peel.
    Senator Kennedy has enjoyed a long and distinguished carrer – despite his numerous transgretions; namely; Chappaquiddick. Like the professional athlete he has come to the end of his career and is no longer the Teddy of old, he's just an old Teddy.

    August 24, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  221. Kim in Dodge City, KS

    He can resign if he wants, or stay on the job if he wants, but passing a law to give the governor the right to pick his successor is not the right thing to do.

    August 24, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  222. Roach in Raleigh

    Yes, it's probably time for Mr. Kennedy to resign, but, not under pressure from anyone in Government.
    No one made Ronal Reagan resign when he obviously suffered from Alzheimer's disease.

    August 24, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  223. Agnes

    Yes and the sooner, the better. This dynasty has lasted tooooooo
    long.

    August 24, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  224. Dude'

    it is time for them all to resign. now that it is a democratically control congress, nothing has changed. They still talk from both sides of the mouth.

    one mans take should not control the fate of a state, let the people do a special vote, then the chips may lie (ly, or Lye)

    Look - god bless the lion of the Senate, but lord condemns the Hypocrite .

    anyway that is my two sense - what is good for the goose is good for the gander...

    ft valley, GA

    August 24, 2009 at 6:29 pm |
  225. Virginia (PA)

    No. He and his family have literally given their lives for this country. Honor him by honoring his request.

    August 24, 2009 at 6:29 pm |
  226. chris

    He is probaly the politician most dedicated to haelping the american people

    August 24, 2009 at 6:29 pm |
  227. lynne from NC

    I can't really answer this question because Senator Kennedy is one of the few fighting for us 'have nots.' He was there in the mud trying to make it better for all when he didn't have to be or care because he already had his.

    But on the other hand, to stop the mess that we now have, I think it would be a good idea for term limits in the Senate and House. No more than two terms each. That way the lobbyists would have a harder time screwing the American public and politicians can vote with a clearer conscience.
    .

    August 24, 2009 at 6:29 pm |
  228. gloria

    No Jack! Why should Mr. Kennedy retire, he can make a better decision on his sick bed than some of those cowards we have representing us now in the best of health.

    August 24, 2009 at 6:30 pm |
  229. Mahnaz /Los Angeles, CA

    Sorry Jack, the Senators that are healthy and do not have Brain Cancer can't do a dam thing for the people in this country, let the Senator Kennedy have his remaining days and may be a poor and damaged brain help us more than the one who have healthy one.

    August 24, 2009 at 6:31 pm |
  230. Chris - Denver

    I'm sorry the guy has brain cancer– truly I am. But if he can't show up for work, it is clearly time for him to resign. If we end up not being able to defeat a Republican fillibuster because he is unable to show up and vote, it will be a terribly ironic tragedy.

    August 24, 2009 at 6:32 pm |
  231. Heather Harvey-Stymiest

    Dear Jack,

    I have long appreciated your honest and blunt political analysis, a rarity in modern day media. Today, however, I took exception not to the question you raised regarding Ted Kennedy but to the sarcasm that accompanied it. The fact that he is gravely ill does not make him a saint, nor does it erase his past. Like all of us he is a combination of both saint and sinner. But unlike most of us, Kennedy was born into immense wealth and as such could have chosen a life of luxury. Instead he chose a life of service as did his brothers before him, and has paid a profoundly high price. This, in my opinion, leaves him deserving of being discussed, especially at this point in his life, with dignity not sarcasm.

    Heather Harvey-Stymiest
    New Brunswick, Canada

    August 24, 2009 at 6:32 pm |
  232. Wendy, FL

    Well Jack absolutely not, do me a favor ask the GOP to get out of the way so the Dems could do the jobs that the voters elected them for. Excuse me Jack its time for me to eat dinner.

    August 24, 2009 at 6:32 pm |
  233. Sally Chandler

    I was so heartened to hear your report on Ted Kennedy's attempt to change the law in Massachusettsto let the governor appoint a temporary senator should Kennedy be unable to finish his term. Congratulations to you, Mr. Caffery, on pointing out that a few years ago when a Republican was Governor, it was Kennedy who pushed to change the law THEN; now he wants it back the way it was, since there is a Democratic governor who would do the appointing. Thank you for being bold enough to say "Nice try, Kennedy...." That was perfect. I live in Massachusetts. This is so clearly 'politics as usual' with NO regard to what is morally correct ~ but there aren't a lot of people here who would stand up for what is right and say something against a Democrat. Thank you.

    August 24, 2009 at 6:33 pm |
  234. Charlie Grebenstein

    Jack,

    Senator Kennedy has earned the right through service to the nation to be the sole judge of whats appropriate as his health declines to a certain end.

    With respect to whether he should resign, Massachusetts politics has been a contact sport since the time of the Pilgrims. The reality is that if Senator Kennedy wasn't manuevering for advantage, that would be a sign that his capacity was diminished.

    August 24, 2009 at 6:33 pm |
  235. Don S.

    Jack, this is really an open invitation to all Kennedy-haters. I, for one, appreciate Senator Kennedy's efforts to empower the middle class and the poor, and prevent us from being short-changed in the legislative process, dominated by the oil, pharmaceutical, insurance and defense special interests. Because of his record, I will support him in whatever he decides to do. I've witnessed this type of cheap political theater time after time, ad nauseum. Why don't we jump on the bandwagon, and go after some ultra-conservative wing nut, bankrolled by the aforementioned special interests, for a change? Maybe Grassley, after his "pull the plug on grandma" nonsense?

    August 24, 2009 at 6:33 pm |
  236. j/NJ

    Is it time for Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy to resign?

    No it is not time...Senator Kennedy is alert and functional as far as we know...besides, resignation is a private decision that should be made without news media meddling or interference...

    August 24, 2009 at 6:33 pm |
  237. jim

    It's long past time for him to be gone. Not only him, but I could name a dozen more that should follow him, including Lieberman and Specter. I just can't beleive with the Congress' approval ratings where they are, that nobody has mentioned term limits for both the Senate and the House.

    August 24, 2009 at 6:34 pm |
  238. Harrison

    Indeed senator Kennedy should be shown the door.. His effort to change a law, is only an affirmation of his partisan politics and the political trouble with Washington . If you are not a member of the solution then you are a member of the problem senator. NEXT !

    August 24, 2009 at 6:36 pm |
  239. Dave

    Of course it's time for him to retire. He has served this country well and deserves respect. The bigger question to me is Why do we allow so many old white men to make all of the desicions for the country. Yes we need people with experience but having so many elderly men that are out of touch with the common person running the country is crazy.

    August 24, 2009 at 6:38 pm |
  240. Mike - Taunton, MA

    Jack,
    The irony here is delicious. Kennedy said it is crucial for Massachusetts to have two voices in the Senate, yet since last year he has missed all but a handful of votes in the Senate. You call that a constant voice? The time for Kennedy to resign was a year ago, after he was diagnosed.

    August 24, 2009 at 6:38 pm |
  241. Donald in CA

    Kennedy should go when he decides to go. Leave him alone.

    August 24, 2009 at 6:39 pm |
  242. Dorothy Weidman

    Yes, Sen. Kennedy should give up his senate seat. If he is too sick to make senate decisions, he should not make decisions for the state of Mass. The law to have an election for his seat should stand.

    August 24, 2009 at 6:40 pm |
  243. Rich

    Ted Kennedy resign ,it is time , not only for him, but a lot of others who no longer have the ability to serve. We need term limits.

    August 24, 2009 at 6:40 pm |
  244. Ross in Las Vegas

    Should every person going through major health problems resign? He was elected by the people of Massachusetts who knew his age and the health risks that go along with it.

    August 24, 2009 at 6:42 pm |
  245. Barbara, Los Angeles

    Why are the people who are pushing for forced retirement or term limits trying to institute government control over people's lives?

    The Tea-baggers and Birthers should be outraged by such talk.

    August 24, 2009 at 6:48 pm |
  246. Lisa in Shelton

    term limits means we'd have more of these dopes getting free checking, great healthcare, retirement, etc than we do now.

    August 24, 2009 at 6:52 pm |
  247. Jose F. Colon

    Listen Jack, this is a question which breaks boundaries: respect, dignity, care for the elderly, veterans or not, and finally: something so insulting to democracy that it feels like it would be impossible for you to have asked it. And my answer is: NO!

    August 24, 2009 at 6:53 pm |
  248. minnie

    Yes, Kennedy should step down. He is the perfect example of why we need 2 term limits for Congress.

    August 24, 2009 at 6:56 pm |
  249. Mike

    Jack,
    If you or I had pulled the stunt he pulled at Chappaquiddic, we would be getting out of jail soon. Yes he should resign...he never should have been re-elected.

    August 24, 2009 at 6:56 pm |
  250. Drew

    I like Ted Kennedy, but lately he's not been able to fulfill his duties, so yes he should think about resigning.

    August 24, 2009 at 6:58 pm |