* 12:27 pm - The Daily Show’s take…
*** 12:20 PM *** I suppose now would be a good time to point out how wrong I was about the US Senate Democrats. I thought they might have more backbone. Wrong. I also thought that the national media wouldn’t be such a bunch of easily manipulated goofs who would fall for Rod Blagojevich’s blatant racial play. Wrong again. In fact, they seemed to enjoy reveling in the goofiness.
*** 11:36 AM *** I missed much of the presser because I had no cable, but this seems like a good enough summary from the Washington Post…
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.), following a meeting with Burris this morning, praised Burris as “candid” and “forthright” and seemed to lay out a two-pronged path by which the former state attorney general could end up in the Senate.
The first is for the Illinois state Supreme Court to rule on whether or not Burris can be seated without Secretary of State Jesse White signing the certification of his appointment. (White, for his part, appears to be distancing himself from his decision not to sign the certificate — arguing he was never opposed to Burris.)
The second is that Burris appear before the state legislature to answer questions about any and all of his ties to embattled Gov. Rod Blagojevich who appointed Burris to the post. Burris is scheduled to do so tomorrow.
“Once that’s done, we will be in a different position,” said Reid.
*** 10:11 AM *** No deal?
We just asked Harry Reid spokesman Jim Manley for comment on whether the story about Roland Burris being accepted as a Senator from Illinois was true.
“It is wrong,” Manley replied via e-mail.
*** 10:07 AM *** LIVE: Roland Burris News Conference
* The AP has this breaking story…
Senate Democrats plan to accept Roland Burris for President-elect Barack Obama’s vacant seat.
Details to come.
So, they’re caving. Typical. They’re weak and afraid and want to get this behind them, even though polling clearly shows that the public wants Burris barred from the Senate.
The Democrats have been desperate to make Roland Burris’s Senate appointment about Rod Blagojevich and not about Burris, himself. If this is about Burris, then the Dems will appear to be picking on an elderly African-American. Not good.
Still, those of us who know him best have an obligation to point out that Burris isn’t quite the elder statesman that the Democrats anbd the national media are making him out to be. For instance, here’s Mark Brown…
[Burris is] proud and pigheaded and wants this one last star on his chest so badly that he is similarly delusional.
“By accepting the appointment, you are supporting the governor,” said Jay Stewart, director of the watchdog Better Government Association. “You are allowing him to exercise his authority and show up the rest of the world.”
* The State Journal-Register is absolutely spot-on in its description of Burris as a “shameless opportunist hungry for media exposure”…
In our view, anyone who would accept anything from Blagojevich at this point automatically exhibits a serious lack of judgment. Burris’ acceptance of this appointment in particular — knowing it was opposed by the Senate, virtually everyone in Illinois and even the man whose historic election created the vacancy — exemplifies such a lack of judgment. […]
If Burris didn’t know when he accepted Blagojevich’s offer that all of this would happen, then he lacks the minimal foresight we expect from any competent public official. If he knew this would happen and accepted anyway, all the worse.
* Analysis from the Sun-Times…
[Mary] Kenney, an attorney for the Cook County Public Guardian, said Tuesday that Burris’ acceptance of Gov. Blagojevich’s appointment “brings to mind how, in the Cruz case, Mr. Burris failed to realize the ethical obligations of a criminal prosecutor and how, now he again fails to recognize the difference between right and wrong. . . . There is a cloud over his appointment. He should have declined it.”
Ultimately, Cruz was acquitted. By then, DNA evidence linked Brian Dugan to the murder. Dugan, who is serving a life sentence for two other similar murders, is now awaiting trial in that case. […]
Attorney Lawrence Marshall, one of the lawyers who helped obtain Cruz’s acquittal in 1995 and who is now a professor at Stanford Law School, said in a separate interview, “Then and now, this is really the same person and the same behavior, which is that — although I don’t think Roland Burris is an evil man — I do think his career has been about one thing and one only — the advancement of Roland Burris.”
Marshall said that in the Cruz case, Burris “lied to the public . . . and refused to take responsibility one way or another. He came up with a bogus story that it wasn’t his job to decide whether to prosecute the appeal. Now, he is acting consistently — he is saying, ‘I don’t care. I’m not going to worry about what’s right. I’m going to worry about what’s best for Roland Burris.’”
* And Brown had this stark warning for African-Americans who are backing Burris’ bid…
For those who see this as a matter of racial pride for the African-American community, let me point out that in taking the seat for the next two years, Roland Burris is destroying any chance of an African American holding it during the following decade.
In the first place, he’s not going to get elected. Most Illinois voters wanted nothing more to do with him before this, and now he’s finished. But he’s going to run anyway because his ego is so big, and in the process, he’ll keep any another African American from getting through the 2010 primary.
That’s the certain math of racial politics in Illinois, the only state in modern history to elect two African Americans to the Senate and certainly capable of making it three with the right candidate.
* And then there’s this…
Since the 17th Amendment established procedures for filling vacancies in 1913, only 60 of the 180 men and women appointed to the Senate — an even one-third ratio — have won the next election in their own right, according to records kept by the Senate.
Of the remaining 120, 63 did not run, 56 ran and lost, and one, South Carolina’s Alva Moore Lumpkin, died two weeks after his appointment in 1941.
While a slim majority of appointed senators who sought election did win, their success rate pales in comparison to the overall incumbent-retention record in the Senate, with a low of 64 percent and a high of 96.9 percent in the 25 elections dating back to 1960.
* Chris Britt cartoon on Burris’ ego
* State GOP Reveling In Democrats’ Current Circus
* Burris stalemate mars Congress’ opening day
* The Burris Circus and the Politics of Race
* Burris Gains The Support Of Feinstein, Some Black Caucus Members
* Oscar for Burris in Supporting Role: Margaret Carlson
* Was Roland Burris’ swagger in a suitcase lost by the airlines?
* Secretary Of The Senate Explains Why Burris Wasn’t Seated
* The Senate says ‘no’
* Democratic opposition to seating Burris cracks
* Burris barred—for now
* Burris might get seated today
* Burris’ best bet could be federal court
* Rolland Burris asking Illinois Supreme Court for help with his certifcation papers
* What people are saying about Burris
* Daley: Burris has ‘cloud over him’
* Opposition to Burris not race-related
* Blagojevich race card lands softly in Senate fight
* Supporters Surface as Burris Campaign for Senate Seating Continues