NEW YORK—Rather than bestowing a final, icy tap to Caroline Kennedy's unsuspecting clavicle, the ethereal entity known as Death suddenly receded into the darkness last Thursday, after Kennedy announced her decision to withdraw her bid to become a U.S. senator. The sole surviving child of slain president John F. Kennedy said she made the choice to drop out of the running after considering the declining health of her uncle, Massachusetts senator Ted Kennedy, who is suffering from an extremely rare and incurable brain cancer. "I am permanently and unequivocally removing my name from consideration for this post," Kennedy said as the shrill cry of a whip-poor-will sounded in the distance. "Right now, I just want to be with my few remaining family members." Sources said Kennedy plans to use the break from political life to devote more time to her personal interests, including flying lessons, ski-football, and late-night drives through Martha's Vineyard.