By Nikki Schwab, Washington Whispers
The small squad of reporters at today's inaugural lunch, including Whispers, missed the big traumatic event. First Sen. Robert Byrd was wheeled out by a medical team. Seconds later, tablemate Sen. Ted Kennedy followed. Kennedy was reportedly convulsing and left the luncheon on a reclined wheelchair. Sen. John Kerry, who was sitting at a nearby table, briefly left with him.
We journos had been escorted out to give President Obama and his guests privacy while eating, and it was during dessert that both Kennedy and Byrd were taken away. Once let back in, we watched a much more subdued Obama give brief remarks. And there were three empty place settings at the table where Kennedy, his wife, Vicki, and Byrd had been seated.
Earlier on, we caught Kennedy looking well. Obama had even made a special trip over to their table to say hello to the aging senators. Kennedy, who has been battling a brain tumor for months, had suffered an apparent seizure but was awake and answering questions by the time he arrived at the hospital.
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