Boston (US), Feb.21 (ANI): Rumors are doing the rounds that a very sick Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy may pass on his political baton to wife Vicki, as he continues to battle with brain cancer.
Kennedy's friends say that his battle with brain cancer has entered its final rounds, and that he is presently at an undisclosed location in Florida, resting and sailing.
"He's someplace sunny, near the water, where he can rest and sail. Time is of the essence. It's very sad," the Boston Globe quoted one of his friends, as saying.
Kennedy was rushed to the hospital after he collapsed during a luncheon that followed President Obama's inauguration, and returned to vote on the stimulus bill.
Although family members have said publicly that the senator is doing "good," privately those close to Kennedy say he may only have a few months to live.
Kennedy was diagnosed last May with a malignant brain tumor and his prognosis was poor. According to pals, the senator spent every day that he could last summer on the waters off Hyannisport sailing his beloved yacht, Mya.
He has returned to Washington only sporadically since being diagnosed - most dramatically a month after his first seizure to cast the deciding vote on an important Medicare bill.
Because of Kennedy's condition, there has been off-the-record speculation about the future of his Senate seat.
A Boston broadsheet described the former Victoria Reggie as "a great lawyer" with "tremendous political skills" and "great sense of humor."
It portrayed her family as Kennedy doppelgangers and Vicki's father, Edmund Reggie, as one of Ted's closest companions.
No member of Ted's family has said anything to the Globe on the record so far.
Word on the Hill is that some Kennedy staffers are quite unhappy with the rumors that are in circulation, finding it far too critical of Ted.
But, they also admit that Vicki has been a stabilizing influence on Ted. She is credited with helping him to secure re-election in a hard-fought battle with Mitt Romney after the near-career-destroying Palm Beach rape scandal.
Should Kennedy be unable to finish out his senate term, which ends in 2012, a special election must be held within 145 to 160 days of the seat becoming vacant.
The big question is: Will Kennedy make it known that he wants his wife to succeed him. (ANI)