Cheney to have surgery next weekend to treat aneurism

WASHINGTON (AP) – Vice President Dick Cheney will undergo an elective surgery next weekend to treat an aneurism in an artery behind his right knee.

The condition, discovered earlier this year during a routine checkup, needs to be treated “as to not become a problem over time,” Steve Schmidt, counselor to the vice president, said Friday.

“The procedure will be performed under local anesthetic,” Schmidt said. “It will take place next weekend. It will involve a short hospital stay. The vice president will return to work shortly thereafter.”

Schmidt said more details will be announced next week.

An aneurysm is a ballooning weak spot in an artery that, as blood pounds through, can eventually burst if left untreated.

Those in the knee, popliteal aneurysms, act a little differently. They’re less likely to burst than are aneurysms in other parts of the body. But blood clots can form in the weakened artery that can break off and cause a stroke, or block circulation in the leg.

Typical surgical repair is to open the leg and sew a fabric patch onto the artery to reinforce the weak spot.

Schwarzenegger confirms he’s running for re-election

SAN DIEGO (AP) – Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger confirmed an open secret Friday, telling supporters that he’s running for re-election next year – an early announcement designed to re-energize his sagging political momentum.

“I’m going to follow through with this here. I’m not in there for three years. I originally got into this … to finish the job. I’m in there for seven years,” he told an enthusiastic crowd of about 200 invited guests. “Yes, I will run for governor.”

Schwarzenegger had hinted as much for weeks, saying Wednesday he wanted to stay to fix the “broken system” of state government. Privately, advisers have urged the Republican governor to declare for months, though the election isn’t until November 2006, three years after he arrived in Sacramento in triumph following the historic recall of Gray Davis.

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