Oddly, Robert Byrd appears to be the only Democratic senator who hasn't made a public comment about the public option, however numerous media accounts have counted him as a supporter.

Robert Byrd called Ted Kennedy "my best friend in the Senate, my beloved friend."

As he cast his vote, he shouted:

This is for my friend Ted Kennedy. Aye!

In March, he shocked the political world by telling the Charleston Daily Mail that he would support a reconciliation fix:

Yet a bill structured to reduce deficits by, for example, finding savings in Medicare or lowering health care costs, may be consistent with the Budget Act, and appropriately considered under reconciliation. With all due respect, the Daily Mail's hyperbole about "imposing government control," acts of "disrespect to the American people" and "corruption" of Senate procedures resembles more the barkings from the nether regions of Glennbeckistan than the "sober and second thought" of one of West Virginia's oldest and most respected daily newspapers.

It is, frankly, inconceivable that he would vote against health care reform, Ted Kennedy's greatest dream, simply because it had a public option in it, especially when he has never expressed opposition to a public option.

changed March 13, 2010