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Republican Party chairman Lee Atwater, recovering from brain surgery, made a surprise visit to his workplace and presided over a 45-minute issues session.

"I was completely shocked," party spokeswoman Leslie Goodman said of Atwater's visit Wednesday. Atwater has stayed mostly at home or in a hospital since undergoing surgery in April.

He was driven to the Republican National Committee headquarters Wednesday afternoon and moved around the building in a wheelchair, Ms. Goodman said. Atwater takes anti-clotting medication intravenously through a device that is about the size of a portable tape player, she said.

His hair, which fell out as a result of treatment for the tumor, has begun to grow back. Ms. Goodman said at one point during a discussion of national issues, Atwater took off his baseball cap and said, "Hey, like my new hairdo?"

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