By Brian Williams, Anchor and managing editor
That they said a prayer in the Republican and Democratic Senate caucuses today says a lot about the news we received earlier this afternoon, and the man it concerns. It was a fear of so many who heard the news Saturday morning: Senator Ted Kennedy had suffered a seizure. Those who know that brain tumors sometimes present that way were given pause -- and a good many folks have spent the past few days hoping that it would turn out to be something else.
Because of the times we live in, and the man we're talking about, it's inevitable that much of the coverage of Senator Kennedy's illness will be viewed through a partisan lens. Viewed instead through the lens of American history, it's important to remember that Edward Moore Kennedy, in the course of his lifetime, lost a brother, a sister, a brother, a brother and a sister. Joe, Kick, Jack, Bobby and Rosemary. Ted endures. As the nucleus of the family, the Irish-American political dynasty, as the liberal lion, as the icon from Massachusetts. A uniquely American figure -- flawed and checkered, robust and ebullient, fighter and survivor. Now this father of two cancer survivors enters the "cancer community" himself. So many of us are members -- either personally or by extension. At a hearing two weeks ago, Ted Kennedy called for a "new war on cancer", never dreaming he'd soon be a warrior himself.
We'll have coverage of this news tonight, as well as tonight's primaries. We have an exclusive story on oil, and we begin the reprise of a terrifically popular series called "Trading Places." We hope you can join us tonight.