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Ted Kennedy: Support Is 'Uplifting and Touching'

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Steven Senne/AP

While not mentioning his cancer diagnosed earlier this week, a contemplative yet outdoorsy looking Sen. Edward Kennedy said Thursday it was “good to be home” at his family’s place in Hyannis Port, calling Cape Cod “the best place on earth.”

In a video aired in Boston and then shown nationwide on CNN, Kennedy also acknowledged the “incredible amounts of wonderful notes and letters from friends and colleagues in the Senate, as well as from people here in outpouring of support,” which he called “very uplifting and touching.”

He added that he was “enormously grateful.”

Kennedy, who reportedly has been in good spirits, has been receiving words of support from both sides of the political aisle. White House spokeswoman Emily Lawrimore said President Bush (whose No Child Left Behind bill was pushed through Congress by Kennedy) was “deeply saddened” by the news of the senator’s diagnosis, and the chief executive called the Kennedy family personally and referred to the senator as “my friend.”

“All of us are so pleased that Senator Kennedy has gone home, and our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family,” Bush said on Wednesday, as he signed into law an anti-discrimination measure spearheaded by Kennedy.

On Thursday, Kennedy spent some time with his wife, Victoria, and their two dogs, Sunny and Splash, aboard their boat – his second such sail around Nantucket Sound since he came home this week.

Kennedy, 76, was released from the Massachusetts General Hospital on Wednesday after being diagnosed there with having a malignant brain tumor. Initially, Kennedy had suffered a seizure the previous weekend at the family compound.

Weekend Plans

Kennedy, who is scheduled to rest this weekend in anticipation of next week’s expected announcement of his course of medical treatment, had planned to deliver the commencement address Sunday at Wesleyan University in Connecticut.

“Senator Kennedy accepted knowing it would be an historic opportunity for the school and all those attending, including his daughter Caroline Raclin who is graduating and his son Ted Jr. who is attending his reunion,” Kennedy’s office said in a statement.

Instead, Sen. Barack Obama, whom Kennedy is supporting for the Democratic presidential nomination, will fill in for him, reports CNN.

“Considering what he’s done for me and for our country, there’s nothing I wouldn’t do for him,” Obama said in his own statement.