McConnell, Graham Released From Hospital

Sens. Bob Graham and Mitch McConnell were both released from National Naval Medical Center Friday after undergoing heart surgery within weeks of one another.

Graham, D-Fla., had his aortic valve replaced on Jan. 31, and McConnell, R-Ky., had triple bypass surgery Monday.

Both men said they are recovering nicely.

"I am feeling great and am happy to be home," McConnell, 60, said. "I am touched by all the well-wishes I have received from my friends in Kentucky and across the nation. I look forward to getting back to work soon."

"I am especially grateful for the skill of my doctors and the excellent care I received at the Naval Medical Center," Graham said.

McConnell, the No. 2 Republican in the Senate, was undergoing a routine screening last Friday when arterial blockages were found. He consulted with Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., a heart and lung transplant surgeon, before undergoing the procedure.

Graham, who said he would take a month before deciding whether to join the Democratic race for the 2004 presidential nomination, learned of his heart condition while getting the medical check-up most presidential candidates undertake before announcing their vim and vigor for the race.

He will spend the next 10 days recovering in his daughter's home in northern Virginia, then announce around March 1 whether he plans to enter the race.