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New Balance 574

"They talked about what ifs. But not in South Dakota," Rounds said. "You focused on what was important. We talked about Tim and his family. We talked about the challenges ahead, and we prayed."

substantial weakness on his right side, aides and family say.

The two term Democrat suffered a brain hemorrhage New Balance 574 during a conference call with reporters in Washington on Dec. 13, with his party in control of the Senate by two votes. During a frustrating but apparently successful rehabilitation, Johnson, 60, stayed away from the Senate and stayed mum about any 2008 re election plans.

A series on ABC News' "Nightline" was to kick off tonight, focusing on Johnson's long, exhausting therapy. "Nightline" reporter Bob Woodruff, who suffered a brain injury from an explosion in Iraq, was on hand in Sioux Falls.

Johnson's brain injury was the result of a disorder called arteriovenous malformation. He suffered speech impairment and still has New Balance 620 Black Trainers

New Balance 574

New Balance 574

"It was a treat for all of us to have him come home like that, and in good shape," said Mick Denevan, a retired Sioux Falls business manager who has volunteered on past Johnson campaigns.

Today, he appeared from behind a dark blue curtain for a welcome home ceremony at the Sioux Falls Convention Center. He spoke for about five minutes, with his wife Barbara helping support him. His speech was labored, but enthusiastic.

Many who know Johnson say his mind is intact, and just his speech and movement are impaired. That's how it appeared to Renee Walter, a radio DJ from New Balance 574 Women Pink

New Balance 574

New Balance 574

Mitchell.

Inevitably, the event was a well choreographed spectacle, a return to public life and a starting point for political calculations. Johnson did not declare his electoral intentions, but many in the audience said afterward they expect him to run again.

"I have always taken great pride in putting South Dakota first and working as hard as I can to fulfill my commitment to do what is best and right for you and our great state," he said. "Let me say this tonight going forward: I am back."

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But Johnson's strong "I am back" drew applause and was the clearest indication of any intent to run again. Johnson also joked that "I have an unfair advantage over most of my colleagues right now my mind works faster than my mouth does."

New Balance 574

New Balance 574

Republican Gov. Michael Rounds spoke before Johnson, and recalled how pundits speculated in the wake of Johnson's hemorrhage.

New Balance 574

New Balance 574

´╗┐Johnson says 'I am back

"If I was a betting person, I would bet he's going to run again," said his wife, Jody.

After an eight month recovery from a brain injury that threatened to shift control of Congress, Democratic Sen. Tim Johnson stood up from a wheelchair and back into the spotlight today before a crowd New Balance 990v3 Pink

of several hundred in his home state of South Dakota.

But politics seemed ready to surface. A Johnson withdrawal could reshape the 2008 race, and make it easier for the GOP to pick up a senate seat in this Republican heavy state. Rounds is one of the few big name Republicans to be mentioned as a possible candidate, but has said he has no plans to run.

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