Longtime Kennedy Friend Takes His Place in the Senate

Senator-designate Paul Kirk, a lifelong friend and former aide to the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-MA, and former chairman of the DNC, arrived on Capitol Hill at 12:40pm where former Kennedy staffers greeted their new boss with a round of applause.

"It's both exciting and sobering at the same time," Kirk told reporters, before he heading into the Russell Senate Office suite occupied for decades by Kennedy. A reception area is still adorned with historic pictures of the late senator's famous family.

Kirk is scheduled to meet with staff and later in the day sit down with Massachusetts senior senator, John Kerry.

With the dismissal of a lawsuit brought by Massachusetts Republicans, Kirk will be sworn in at about 3:30pm on the Senate floor.   Vice President Joe Biden, D-DE, as President of the Senate, is expected to preside over the ceremony, and Victoria Reggie Kennedy, wife of the late senator, is expected to attend.

Kirk will serve until the January special election.

The 71-year old was joined by his wife, Gail.