Tales from the Trail

Senator Durbin has small tumor removed, “resting comfortably”

The Senate’s number two Democrat Richard Durbin had a small tumor removed from his stomach on Thursday and was “resting comfortably” after the operation, his office said.

USA HEALTHCARE/Durbin should be out of the hospital in Chicago in a couple of days and expects to resume a full schedule by next week, the statement from his spokesman Joe Shoemaker said. 

“According to Durbin’s doctors, there was no evidence that the tumor had spread beyond the site from which it was removed,” the statement said, adding that preliminary biopsy results “demonstrate a favorable prognosis.”

After he has recovered from the surgery, Durbin is not expected to require further treatment.  The gastrointestinal stromal tumor was discovered a few weeks ago during a routine medical checkup.

Durbin, who is from Illinois, will not need to rush back to Washington, as the Senate is in recess until mid-September.

McCain gets taste of freedom at biker convention

john-m.jpgSTURGIS, S.D. – Republican presidential candidate John McCain attempted to harness a powerful engine of heartland conservatism on Monday — addressing a giant rally of motorcycle enthusiasts.

Hundreds of thousands of people converge on the remote town of Sturgis, South Dakota, each year for a week-long festival of rock music, wild, good times and American biker culture.

“I recognize that sound,” McCain said as dozens of bikers revved their engines as he walked on stage in a sustained growl of approval. “It’s the sound of freedom.”

South Dakota voters talk issues with Clinton

RAPID CITY, S.D. - While pundits pondered the intricacies of how Hillary Clinton might drop out of the presidential race, voters in South Dakota greeted the candidate on Monday in a traditional style by talking about issues that affect their lives.

As she campaigned in a Rapid City diner, Clinton chatted with a nurse who asked about improving health care and a woman who wanted to talk about veterans’ care.

A few feet away, a young woman described a friend paralyzed in a wrestling accident and implored Clinton to support stem cell research.baby.jpg

Hillary the Fighter versus Hillary the Uniter?

boxer.jpgLOUISVILLE, Ky. – As Barack Obama gains momentum in his battle with Hillary Clinton for the Democratic Party’s 2008 presidential nomination, there are signs that the scrappy New York senator’s inner fighter may be giving way to the uniter who will knit the fractured party back together once the bruising nomination process ends. 

But parsing her recent campaign speeches from West Virginia and South Dakota to Oregon and Kentucky, Clinton does not appear ready to give up the fight just yet.  

At a speech late on Friday here, Clinton appeared initially to aim for a conciliatory tone toward Obama, only mentioning her challenger to draw comparisons between women and blacks — two groups that she said had suffered greatly under the original U.S. Constitution written by America’s founders.