Graham will have surgery today

U.S. Sen. Bob Graham will undergo heart surgery today at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.

The surgery was originally scheduled for Feb. 3, but according to a news release from Graham’s office, it was rescheduled so that the senator can begin to recover.

“I want to get the surgery done as quickly as possible so that I can begin the recuperation process,” Graham said. “The sooner I can get back to work for the people of Florida and the nation, the better.”

Doctors will replace a damaged aortic heart valve in the 66-year-old. Graham said the recovery will include a hospital stay of about a week, followed by another week at home. The news release said he has informed senate leadership of his scheduled absence.

Graham said he expects to return to work by late February. It is at that time that he is expected to announce his intentions regarding the presidency. It has been rumored for months that Graham will throw his hat into the ring for the Democratic nomination.

Graham has been one of the more vocal Democrats concerning the possibility of war with Iraq. He has called for President George W. Bush to present definitive evidence before attacking.