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AP says Burris will be seated, but criticism has been ignored *** Live press conference ***

Wednesday, Jan 7, 2009

* 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.

* BGA

“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

- Posted by Rich Miller        


89 Comments
  1. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Jan 7, 09 @ 9:40 am:

    - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Jan 7, 09 @ 9:40 am:

    If Burris is seated before Illinoians can determine for themselves the extent of his involvement with Rod Blagojevich, Burris may well end up the loser.

    The Illinois GOPers on the Impeachment Committee have an opportunity to dredge up Burris’ connections, contributions and deal making with Blagojevich and sit it upon his head for 2010.

    Burris may have wanted to become a senator in the worst way - and it looks like he just has.


  2. - what the heck - Wednesday, Jan 7, 09 @ 9:46 am:

    Rich,
    I may or may not agree with your assesment of the posibility of an african american being elected but honestly aren’t you glad at least Illinois will not be in the news for that and once the Gov thing is over maybe we can be known again for being the state that the President is from.


  3. - Leave a light on George - Wednesday, Jan 7, 09 @ 9:48 am:

    If this is true among the many loosers are Burris and Gov. F Bomb. Burris will now fade to a back bench seat warmer. His 5 minutes of fame will fade fast.

    Gov. F Bomb will shortly have the spotlight all to himself again and it ain’t going to be pretty.


  4. - Phineas J. Whoopee - Wednesday, Jan 7, 09 @ 9:49 am:

    I really don’t think the Democrats understand the ramifications of seating Burris. They are about to make Illinois turn Repub and probably bring other states along as well. I know the pendulum swings back and forth but this is ridiculous. Mark Brown is right, Obama needs to get on top of this issue otherwise he’ll be cooked even before he’s placed in the oven.

    Unbelievable.


  5. - Barnum and Blago - Wednesday, Jan 7, 09 @ 9:51 am:

    So they aren’t even going to kick it to the rules committee for the 90 days that would result in seating in a (hopefully) Blago-free environment? That would have seemed more sensible, they could seat, say Burris personally was taint free after investigating, avoid a legal battle and have less negative reaction from the public.


  6. - Conservative Republican - Wednesday, Jan 7, 09 @ 9:52 am:

    Why Burris will be the Senator:

    I think Professor Marshall hit the nail on the head and stated it succinctly- Burris has no scruples, perhaps even due to cluelessness, and is all about himself.

    But, knowing that, the US Senate Democrats are AOK with it. All they need is another reliable vote, to inch closer to the “golden” goal of a filibuster-proof majority. They have sized up Burris and know they can count on him to vote the way they instruct — isn’t that how he made his bones up to now anyway? Since, at the end of the day, that is all they care about, they will invite Burris into the club and seat him as Senator. In weeks time, he will be old news and a safe Dem vote.


  7. - jns - Wednesday, Jan 7, 09 @ 9:53 am:

    what a dissapointment. As a staunch democrat; my next Senate vote will be for a Republican.


  8. - Zora - Wednesday, Jan 7, 09 @ 9:54 am:

    Blago and Burris claim that we are being deprived of representation. But no representation would be far preferable to seating this pompous buffoon. More shame for Illinois at what should be our shining hour. Thanks Rod. Will you please go away now?


  9. - BandCamp - Wednesday, Jan 7, 09 @ 9:56 am:

    Illinois Democrats have kept themselves well insulated from the Governor’s antics. To a point, quite honestly, that surprised me. But by POSTING the reason to some to the Capitol to strip the Governor of his ability to appoint the Senate seat and then GOING BACK on their carrot on the stick, the state Democrats have put a nail in their coffin. This is will a campaign issue from today until the next election.

    I liked the comment a while back comparing the situation to the Lord of the Rings. Not unlike Burris, the members of the our state legislature thought THEY had the gold ring by ONCE AGAIN trusting the Governor at his word that he wouldn’t appoint a replacement. Rich cautioned what a disaster it would be if the Governor went ahead and made an “annointment” and look what has happened.

    I look at the smug smile on Burris’ face and it is the true symbol of Illinois politics.


  10. - Jaded - Wednesday, Jan 7, 09 @ 9:56 am:

    Polling also shows the public supports a special election to fill this seat, but the GA has refused to do that as well. I guess on this issue Springfield and Washington agree that they don’t care what the public thinks.


  11. - Conservative Republican - Wednesday, Jan 7, 09 @ 9:56 am:

    Advise to Republican Illinois legislators:

    When Burris testifies on Thursday, claim you have not had enough time to vet the background of Mr. Burris and his alleged connections to effectively cross examine him. Make his testimony. Don’t make any waves, and let the Majority allow him to become a Senator.

    The bad stuff can be used later, once he’s the Senator… and the goat.


  12. - Steve Miller - Wednesday, Jan 7, 09 @ 9:56 am:

    The folks who didn’t want Burris seated could
    have avoided it if 1) the had pushed thru the
    bill for a special election and 2)NOT said at
    the head end that they wouldn’t accept anyone
    appointed by Blago. It was inevitable that Blado
    would find SOMEONE willing to accept the appointment, regardless of what Harry Reid wanted
    done about the matter.


  13. - OneMan - Wednesday, Jan 7, 09 @ 9:57 am:

    I think a lot of folks are going to end up ‘wearing the jacket’ on this one


  14. - Commonsense in Illinois - Wednesday, Jan 7, 09 @ 9:58 am:

    Say what you will, but the bottom line is that absent action from the legislature, the appointment was within the Governor’s purview. If the Senate Democrats seat Burris, they’ll have to invest in him to keep the seat in 2010, and with all of us having the opportunity to see the enormity of Roland Burris’ ego on display this past week, I’d say it’s going to be pretty entertaining to watch.


  15. Pingback Peoria Pundit » Blog Archive » Politics: We’re stuck with Burris - Wednesday, Jan 7, 09 @ 10:00 am:

    […] Via Capitol Fax Blog: The Associated Press is reporting that Senate Democrats plan to accept Roland Burris as Barack Obama’s replacement. […]


  16. - Concerned Observer - Wednesday, Jan 7, 09 @ 10:02 am:

    FYI: ABC Radio News just reported in its top-of-the-hour update that the AP report is premature, and that Burris won’t be seated today. But we’ll see.


  17. - bored on 1 - Wednesday, Jan 7, 09 @ 10:03 am:

    When he is seated I plan on curling up under my desk and holding myself in the fetal position; I will be rocking back and forth and wimpering until this mess is all over.
    Maybe the Lord did ordain this, and then again, maybe it is the end times and Illinois hides the pit of hell mentioned in Revelations.


  18. - Phineas J. Whoopee - Wednesday, Jan 7, 09 @ 10:03 am:

    Watch for a Republican to emerge to challenge for Emmanual’s seat. How many people thought that was possible a few weeks ago.


  19. - John Bambenek - Wednesday, Jan 7, 09 @ 10:06 am:

    We don’t make decisions based on poll numbers, we don’t ignore the law after the fact. The Democrats had an opportunity to have a special election (which, admittedly may have failed) and they could have done a “no confidence” impeachment (which, admittedly may have been dogged by Jones). However, they have only themselves to blame because they’ve enabled him for years. We knew he was corrupt in 2006, so did they, and they nominated him anyway.

    But the fact is, Blago is still the governor and the laws are clear. You can’t refuse to seat a senator on the grounds of “I don’t like it”. If you want to change the law, change it. I would have liked to see a special election too. I would have even tolerated a blue ribbon Democrat commission headed by Durbin or someone else that imposed a pick on Blago.

    But lack of political backbone does not create a blanket exemption to start punching holes in state law, federal law and the US Constitution. Reid’s argument that the Senate can refuse to seat anyone they want should be terrifying to anyone thinking the issue through. The same argument could be made to not seat someone duly elected or for one party not to seat another party simply because they didn’t want them around. This is not a “might makes right” country, we are a national of laws. Burris shouldn’t have taken the seat, Blago shouldn’t have appointed him, but Burris is still the senator. We can vote him out in Feb. 2010.


  20. - ChiGal - Wednesday, Jan 7, 09 @ 10:06 am:

    If Burris is seated, after taking over the governor spot next month, can Quinn rescind the appointment and hold an election before 2010?


  21. - lifer - Wednesday, Jan 7, 09 @ 10:06 am:

    One question–if the certification of the Secretary of State for Illinois was required then he did not come to DC with the proper credentials. Either they need it or don’t and he should not have been accepted by the Senate. What if he were not qualified due to age would we ignore the birth certificate and let him in because we like him or whatever?


  22. - chiatty - Wednesday, Jan 7, 09 @ 10:07 am:

    It’s obvious that there are a lot of people who are rankled that the governor (yes he is still the governor) out-stunted the impeachment stunt of the legislature and flouted the righteous indignation of his many critics who believe that he should resign, plead guilty, cut his hair, wear a shirt made of his hair and accept a life sentence. In the end, of course, the governor is going to have to answer to a federal judge and jury. We all know the track record on these sort of cases and it doesn’t look good for him. On the other hand, the impeachment hearing does look sort of silly. They’re talking about vaccines and bad governmental decisions and throwing a bunch of grenades about the wiretaps. In short, they look almost as incompetent as the governor has appeared in recent years as state government limped along. Like many others, I thought he would have stepped aside, but you have to admire his moxie in fighting. He does have rights, after all. The worst thing he was charged with sounds like he was talking about doing something that might be illegal, but he was also talking about doing something that would appear to be done regularly in politics, albeit a bit hamhandedly. As for the Burris appointment, everybody involved in opposing this has been doing the wrong thing for the wrong reason. You don’t bring down somebody you think is a crooked by not following the law. They should just follow the law, seat Burris and get it over with. He’ll lose in the primary and some other democrat will pummel another empty suit republican in the general, anyway.


  23. - Pat collins - Wednesday, Jan 7, 09 @ 10:08 am:

    One would think Burris was an ax murderer.

    Not one who had been elected FOUR times statewide.

    Four.

    While it is not pretty, once (and thank you to DiFi for pushing the tiny snowball down hill) he is seated, Burris will owe no one anything.

    He knows “the establishment” did not want him. He knows there will be a billion people filing against him in a primary.

    And he will have two years to decide if he wants to be CMB, or PF.

    We will see :)


  24. - John Bambenek - Wednesday, Jan 7, 09 @ 10:10 am:

    Quinn can’t rescind appointment, appointment is done. Senate by rules requires Sec. State certificate, the Senate can waive the rules any time it deems fit.


  25. - Randolph Jackson - Wednesday, Jan 7, 09 @ 10:10 am:

    “So, they’re caving. Typical”

    That is a crummy, drive-by slam, Rich. What do you mean ‘Typical’?????


  26. - Phineas J. Whoopee - Wednesday, Jan 7, 09 @ 10:11 am:

    I find it weird why no one mentions the real reason why Burris does not deserve this seat. It is because others were unfairly and illegally excluded before his selection. Why should Roland Burris be the beneficiary of an illegal selection process? For example, I think Valerie Jarret should have been the Senator. I believe the evidence will show she was illegally excluded from the spot. How many others were illegally excluded because they wouldn’t pay to play? The taint is not selecting Roland Burris, it was illegally excluding the others.

    Why doesn’t main stream media or Dem leadership ever make this point?


  27. - JFH Oak Park - Wednesday, Jan 7, 09 @ 10:12 am:

    Talking Points Memo just reported that Reid’s says the AP report is “not true.”


  28. - John Bambenek - Wednesday, Jan 7, 09 @ 10:12 am:

    An important note though… because they didn’t seat Burris yesterday, but today he has the lowest seniority of every other Senator. Only Franken (if his win stands) and Clinton’s replacements will be lower. They are affording his as little clout as possible. It’ll be interesting to see what committees he draws.


  29. - BandCamp - Wednesday, Jan 7, 09 @ 10:13 am:

    It would appear to me that SOS White is still in play here, whether he recoils and signs after being told by DC leaders or by a court. But until he signs/certifies, the US Senate has every right to refuse the seat (unless they change their own rules). Am I wrong?


  30. - ChiGal - Wednesday, Jan 7, 09 @ 10:13 am:

    Pat Collins - How humorous! He “knows?” He “knows?” Give me a break. He “knows” nothing. He is an old, feeble, out of touch man with an ego that has and continues to dominate each and every thing he does.


  31. - John Bambenek - Wednesday, Jan 7, 09 @ 10:13 am:

    Illegal process? There is no process to a gubnatorial senate appointment, it’s totally the governor’s perogative. He could have had a “dancing with the politicians” audition to make his pick.


  32. - trafficmatt - Wednesday, Jan 7, 09 @ 10:14 am:

    So the mainstream media has only taken a cursory look at a local politician and made a determination based on a quick review.

    The only time that the national media will really dig in and check the background of a politician is if they are a pro-life, NRA member Governor from Alaska. Other than that, they don’t want to look into details. That was proven by their big surprise about Bill Richardson’s shenanigans.


  33. - Maggie - Wednesday, Jan 7, 09 @ 10:15 am:

    If they couldn’t accept Roland yesterday because Jesse had not signed off on this ? Why would it be legal today ?


  34. - Ravenswood Right Winger - Wednesday, Jan 7, 09 @ 10:15 am:

    Diane Feinstein (who got short shrift in the movie “Milk” which I recommend) apparently was peeved about not being informed about Obama nominating Panetta to be CIA Director. So she comes out yesterday and says Burris should be seated. She just egged Harry Reid.

    Matt Murphy for CookCo Board Prez in 2010! woot!


  35. - lake county democrat - Wednesday, Jan 7, 09 @ 10:16 am:

    I’m disappointed in the BGA — the rule of law says Burris is senator. Madigan is responsible for this as much as Blago if not more so.


  36. - Cassandra - Wednesday, Jan 7, 09 @ 10:16 am:

    I think he’s there for two years. I’m sure he’ll run again. And he’ll probably win. Who will oppose an incumbent in the primary, especially as our Blago will either be gone and more or less forgotten or running, exonerated, for a third term.

    As I’ve said, this is not a tragedy. Burris will vote the Democratic program, as would any Dem senator from Illinois. He’s a mediocrity at best but so are scores of other Senators. The Senate job is, well, a sinecure if the incumbent wants it to be. And many Senators want just that.

    The p0l who should be excoriated here is Harry Reid. All that theater and one wonders if the plan wasn’t to seat Burris all along. Could he have been playing to the folks back home? I think he is facing a tough re-election bid.


  37. - Stooges - Wednesday, Jan 7, 09 @ 10:18 am:

    I agree with Rich, Typical. These senators shot off their mouths about not accepting anyone appointed by this governor, making a huge public display so they could distance themselves from the Blago stench, but when it comes time to follow-through, they weasel word and rationalize.


  38. - Sap - Wednesday, Jan 7, 09 @ 10:19 am:

    Rod’s a bum for, among other things, appointing Roland. Roland is a bum for, among other things, accepting the appointment. However, Rod is the sitting Governor and holds the power to make the appointment until his term ends (or gets ended for him). Rod and Roland may be the only people in the world who like the appointemnt, but let’s look at the big picture. If we decide that we only have to follow the law when it suits us, we have much bigger problems than surviving for 2 years with a junior Senator who is nothing more than a politically appointed bum. Move on already, the State and the Country have enough real problems, but everyone, myself included, keeps getting distracted by the Roland Burris sideshow.


  39. - Follow the Law - Wednesday, Jan 7, 09 @ 10:19 am:

    This is not a cave in. This is following the law. They would have lost in court. Period. Smart move by the Senate Dems. This is a distraction to all the things they truly need to get done.

    I hope Reid sticks it to Illinois Dems when he finally announces that Burris is going to get his seat. They could have stopped this in so many ways.

    gutless state Dems wanted the national Dems to do their dirty work. Glad the national Dems didn’t cave.


  40. - The Doc - Wednesday, Jan 7, 09 @ 10:20 am:

    ==but honestly aren’t you glad at least Illinois will not be in the news for that and once the Gov thing is over maybe we can be known again for being the state that the President is from.==

    WTH, I strongly disagree. IL politics being pushed to the forefront of the national political scene may be the best disinfectant for the rampant and ingrained corruption, bloat, and mismanagement that state residents have been accustomed to for far too long. We richly deserve to be made an example of.

    Burris has been rejected multiple times as a statewide Democratic candidate. His list of accomplishments are tainted by a number of actions in both his capacity as AG and his brazen acceptance of the senate nomination from a disgraced and morally bankrupt governor. What little credibility he maintained has vanished for alligning himself with Blagojevich and his claims of never considering race as a factor in his decision making, which is contradicted by the etchings on his crypt, amongst others.

    He’s now, at age 71, the low man on the senate totem pole, surrounded by people in his own majority party that he patronized and that stated, in writing, of having no interest in him being a colleague. Think he’ll be afforded the opportunity to get plum committee assignments or advance meaningful legislation over the next 2 years?

    He’s practically guaranteed credible opposition from both statewide parties in 2010. And by credible I mean anyone else who chooses to run against him.

    Good riddance to all of these hooligans.


  41. - Captain Flume - Wednesday, Jan 7, 09 @ 10:21 am:

    Burris is not an “axe murderer,” just another opportunist Illinois politician. The national consciousness is being raised (or lowered) on the way this state does business. We have an “illegitimate governor,” as the Washington Post described Rod Blagojevich, wreaking havoc not only in his own state, but on the nation. His name will be legend. But shame on Roland Burris, too. His initial reception in trying to gain access to the Senate is just what he deserved.


  42. - Six Degrees of Separation - Wednesday, Jan 7, 09 @ 10:22 am:

    Rich-

    You were so sure of the US Senate’s ability to squash this thing like a bug yesterday. And I was starting to have my doubts about my opinion that Burris would eventually prevail, too, after reading Lawrence Tribe’s reasoning.

    Just goes to show you, politics has a way of twisting and turning on a moment’s notice. Feinstein was like a dirty bomb exploding in downtown Manhattan.


  43. - GOP'er - Wednesday, Jan 7, 09 @ 10:22 am:

    Is anyone else getting tired of all the drama and knee-jerk overeaction?

    Give Burris his d*mn seat already. If there is any evidence Burris is tainted, let’s hear it. Otherwise put up or shut up.

    This small round goes to Blago. He was under a microscope and so he picked a defensible choice. It’s not more complicated than that. The law is clearly on Burris’ side. Time for Harry Reid and the Blago haters to cut their losses on this one little front.

    Blago’s gone in a matter of weeks, 2 months at the most. This time next year his criminal trial could be underway.

    This Burris thing is small potatoes. With a new Pres coming in and a new Gov shortly after that, this latest distraction will soon be forgotten.

    Statements like “I really don’t think the Democrats understand the ramifications of seating Burris. They are about to make Illinois turn Repub and probably bring other states along as well” are just naive and silly.

    We’ll have a new Pres and a new Gov who will both be in their honeymoon periods. The Republican Party will be back to square one. The Dems still hold all the best cards in Illinois.

    Drama isn’t a strategy.


  44. - Chad - Wednesday, Jan 7, 09 @ 10:23 am:

    All along the law was very clear. Any appointee would have had the absolute right to take the seat absent corruption in the process of making that appointment. The only way to overcome the law would have been for a procedural delay in DC for political reasons. The Senate as an instution is too proud for that, so this result was easily predicted.

    This was a very unexpected mistake on the part of the Democrats, and the result is that there will be bitter Democratic primaries in several statewide races, and multiple political problems at the top of the resulting ticket.

    For some time now it has been difficult to predict the lowest political point for the state GOP, but I now think it is safe to say this point was immediately after the just-completed election cycle. This surely will be the time for the GOP to put forward Kirk for Senate and a similar gubernatorial candidate with a profile acceptable to statewide voters. This wil be their big break, and I hope they recognize and act on it.


  45. - BandCamp - Wednesday, Jan 7, 09 @ 10:26 am:

    ===Statements like “I really don’t think the Democrats understand the ramifications of seating Burris. They are about to make Illinois turn Repub and probably bring other states along as well” are just naive and silly.===

    Put this comment in a safe place and we’ll discuss in 22 months.


  46. - Phineas J. Whoopee - Wednesday, Jan 7, 09 @ 10:26 am:

    GOP’er, I would find some of your points-which seem to have some merit-allthough I disagree a little more believable if your handle wasn’t GOP’er.


  47. - Say WHAT? - Wednesday, Jan 7, 09 @ 10:27 am:

    I’m gettin screamed at over this in a big way. People are NOT happy. Folks are telling me that although they are registered Democrats, they will vote straight republican next election to clean house. The people I am speaking to are passionate and angry.


  48. - N'ville - Wednesday, Jan 7, 09 @ 10:27 am:

    Rich,
    On to the next disaster in waiting…
    Have you given any thought to what would happen if, say, the Governor did now show up to covene the Senate for the election of a President on the 14th?


  49. - OneMan - Wednesday, Jan 7, 09 @ 10:29 am:

    Talking like they are not going to seat him for now going to wait until the state supremes act.


  50. - zatoichi - Wednesday, Jan 7, 09 @ 10:30 am:

    Burris decided to step into this the arena. If it is based on ego, ignorance, desire, a place in history, bored being out of the spotlight, or willingness to help solve a problem is almost irrelevant. Without the Blagojevich tag this appointment would simply be another appointment as outlined in the Constitution. If the historical stats on apointments are right, he’ll likely do the time and fade. Will he run in the next election? The B tag will stick with him unless he does an outstanding job and not just warm a seat. Two years is plenty of time to develop alternative statewide candidates or someone can step up. Black, white, Dem or Repub makes no difference. Go for it. Get past this side bar and back on the main issue.

    I do like that phrase of “shameless opportunist hungry for media exposure”. Kinda defines a huge number of people…


  51. - Southern Right - Wednesday, Jan 7, 09 @ 10:33 am:

    I’m constantly impressed with our state and national Democrats leadership. The future looks so bright now with “change”


  52. - OneMan - Wednesday, Jan 7, 09 @ 10:33 am:

    Finally one of our own will become President…

    Ummm Senator don’t forget Ronald Reagan


  53. - Greg - Wednesday, Jan 7, 09 @ 10:35 am:

    He’ll be seated. He’ll run again. He’ll be a reliable vote for the Democrats and he’ll join Al Franken as the poster child for the Democrat majority.

    The amazing thing to me about all this is that the Illinois perspective on this matter– and I would include my friend Rich — pays little heed to the rule of law. The Constitution and laws of the land back the governor’s play. The Democrats were feeble, indecisive, and incompetent at both the state and national levels. Burris is their reward.

    And the idea that Harry Reid and the Senate or the Sec. of State of Illinois gets to decide who sits in the Senate when the law and the Constitution states otherwise — that the people of Illinois through the process they set up decide who represents them. The fact that it the end the Gov. was under a cloud and Burris is an egomaniac is a problem for voters, not office holders at the head of a corrupt party.

    If it were Cheney and Bush instead of Reid and White trying to overreach and abuse their power in this manner half the country would be breathing into paper bags trying to calm themselves down.


  54. - BandCamp - Wednesday, Jan 7, 09 @ 10:37 am:

    Reid just said that ultimately the whole of the Senate will vote on Burris’ seat.


  55. - wndycty - Wednesday, Jan 7, 09 @ 10:38 am:

    Reid & Durbin are embarrassing themselves. They know they are going to seat Burris, HOWEVER they want to act like they are waiting until he testifies tomorrow to make a decision. This delay is now about saving face, not about any form of process.

    I personally think Burris should be seated, BUT I’d have a lot more respect if they announced they weren’t going to seat him than to act like they are following a process. They are just setting up their “out” rather than acknowledging Burris and Blago called their bluff.


  56. - Pat collins - Wednesday, Jan 7, 09 @ 10:41 am:

    The people I am speaking to are passionate and angry.

    They are now. Will they be next election time? Maybe not.

    Burris “knows”

    We will need to disagree. Someone can be intelligent and still have an ego.

    the law

    Well, the Senate can indeed agree to “waive” the SOS certification. It is interesting that we will slide SOS White for “following his conscience” but we won’t give that right to others in private industry.

    Truth be told, it is SOS’s duty to simply put the IL Seal to those papers to say “Yes, the Gov REALLY did appoint Burris”. How do we force an elected officer to do his duties of office?


  57. - Concerned Observer - Wednesday, Jan 7, 09 @ 10:43 am:

    Quote: “How do we force an elected officer to do his duties of office?”

    Oh, if only we had an answer to that, perhaps the past six years under our current Governor would not have been in vain….


  58. - Gabriel - Wednesday, Jan 7, 09 @ 10:44 am:

    ==apparently was peeved about not being informed about Obama nominating Panetta to be CIA Director.==

    Just a rookie mistake that PEBO neglected to give advance notice to the chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on his selection for CIA chief?

    This is a pretty big mistake for anyone to make. That the opposition may come from PEBO’s own party only further damages the confirmation chances.

    Where’s Rahmbo? Is he the COS or what?


  59. - Old Elephant - Wednesday, Jan 7, 09 @ 10:45 am:

    Could Reid had said it wasn’t about race any more times?

    Loved the way they threw Jesse White under the bus.


  60. - Bill Baar - Wednesday, Jan 7, 09 @ 10:50 am:

    So what happens when Burris comes home for events, fund raisers, and so on? Illinois Democrats shun him because of the taint?

    How much say will he have on where all of this Federal money goes in the next two years? To State Senate districts supporting the Guv in his trial?

    All this to avoid a special election.


  61. - Lefty - Wednesday, Jan 7, 09 @ 10:56 am:

    I say Burris/Palin in 2012. Maybe they can save the world along with saving our country. Lately, reality seems more and more like a great Saturday Night Live skit.


  62. - Maggie - Wednesday, Jan 7, 09 @ 10:57 am:

    Well how long will it take for Blagojevich to call a press conference and declare victory.


  63. - Anon - Wednesday, Jan 7, 09 @ 10:57 am:

    Rich, who was the impeachment committee member who said that this thing has tentacles that reach everywhere? What did you interpret that to mean?


  64. - Dan S, a Voter and Cubs Fan - Wednesday, Jan 7, 09 @ 11:00 am:

    IMHO, the Dems control it all in Illinois Government and at the Federal level and now what we have for Government seems to be a total and complete FUBAR


  65. - Concerned Observer - Wednesday, Jan 7, 09 @ 11:02 am:

    I don’t understand why the courts have to get involved now. If Jesse White is upset about being ‘thrown under the bus’, if he feels he is a “fall guy”, as he said this morning, then why the heck doesn’t he call Burris, say “enough of this — fax me the document” and sign it?

    I’m not saying he should…it’s completely his prerogative, and I support his decision NOT to sign the paper. But from what I can tell, he could control the timing if he wants.


  66. - Maggie - Wednesday, Jan 7, 09 @ 11:02 am:

    Looks like the AP jumped the gun.


  67. - Conservative Republican - Wednesday, Jan 7, 09 @ 11:03 am:

    How about this Re Jesse White ( White caving in?) (from NRO):

    Now Jesse White himself is trying to distance himself from the situation. “They could have seated him without my signature,” White told WGN Radio this morning. “My signature is not necessarily required in order for the Senate to place the gentleman in the seat that he was appointed to by Gov. Blagojevich…My signature is mostly ceremonial rather than being a point of law.”

    “Do you feel like you’re the fall guy on this?” asked WGN’s John Williams. “The Senate conveniently has you to dodge their responsibility when they could have seated him.”

    “You’re absolutely correct,” White said.

    Williams asked it another way. “You feel, just to be clear, that while they said you signature, which should be there, is not, and therefore they won’t seat Roland Burris, it’s your opinion that they don’t need that signature, that they could have seated him if they wanted to?”

    “That’s exactly right,” White said. “They’re talking about seating him now, without my signature.”

    Finally, White was asked if he hopes Burris becomes the next senator from Illinois. “Sure, certainly,” White said.


  68. - Just Observing - Wednesday, Jan 7, 09 @ 11:03 am:

    Why is anyone even getting any thought to an a national poll on what Illinois should do with the Senate seat? Let’s see the results of an Illinois poll. All these Washington politicians and the media are saying Illinoisians don’t want Burris to take the seat in this manner — that may very well be true, but I have yet to see any evidence to back that up. I bet most people, like me, really don’t care.


  69. - Black Ivy - Wednesday, Jan 7, 09 @ 11:06 am:

    A “shameless opportunist hungry for media exposure”? These traits could describe any number of Democrats, and Republicans to boot (including Obama). To be an effective politician, you have to be comfortable under scrutiny. So, Burris is guilty of a healthy ego, he should still be seated and fill the U.S. Senate vacancy in Illinois.

    Perhaps the Senate Democrats realized that this seat is up for contention in 2010 - then Illinois residents can cast their vote for a U.S. Senator of their choosing.

    I, for one, am heartened to have African-American representation in the U.S. Senate.

    Also, wasn’t the crux of U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald’s the filling of the U.S. Senate seat. This recent development strengthens Governor Blagojevich’s contention that the wire taps confirmed merely “words” rather than “actions.” The case against the Governor has been weakened to say the least.


  70. - ChiGal - Wednesday, Jan 7, 09 @ 11:17 am:

    Pat Collins — But a truly intelligent person is smart enough to keep their ego in check! I don’t see that in Burris.


  71. - Phineas J. Whoopee - Wednesday, Jan 7, 09 @ 11:38 am:

    Is there any Democrat in this country that has a backbone. really, it is embarrassing. Didn’t all the Senators sign something a couple weeks ago saying no appointment from Blago. So what if it goes to court.

    BTW, Russ Limbaugh is cranking up the Jefferson’s theme song, “Movin on up” in tribute to Burris. Poor taste maybe, but I must admit, I chuckled.


  72. - BandCamp - Wednesday, Jan 7, 09 @ 11:57 am:

    I love it. A USA/Gallop poll shows 52% of Americans think Burris should NOT be seated. Only 16% think he should.

    But who cares what we think.


  73. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Jan 7, 09 @ 11:57 am:

    I remember about a month ago after the General Election determined that this senate seat would be vacated, Rich pointed out the baggage awaiting the individual appointed by Blagojevich. I understood his point, but thought that a smart politician could weather any ties to Rod by 2010.

    Not anymore. This tainted seat was revealed to be poisoned on December 9th, 2008. Obama’s seat became an electric chair. Whoever wanted to sit in that thing after that is a numbskull.

    Burris is so compromised by his enthusiastic embrace of Rod Blagojevich’s proposal of love, it took a man of even greater self love to fall for it. Burris has that. His monument to self love sits among the tombstones, as testiment to his need for attention.

    “I’m the magic man!”
    “We’re the Senator!”

    2010 will be a GOP year. Obama’s administration is in over it’s head with global and fiscal meltdowns and voters will be in an angry mood by next year. Rich’s warning was not heeded by Roland Burris, and we will discover that voters will not elect Rod Blagojevich’s pick in 2010.


  74. - Belle - Wednesday, Jan 7, 09 @ 12:09 pm:

    Reid says Burris won’t be seated. Reid says Coleman will never again serve in the Senate…Harry would so fit in, in Chicago wouldn’t he? And to PJ Whoopee - if you want people for a sit-in or a march while shouting at whatever the bother is this decade, you call the libs or right wingers. They show up in mass, even try to get arrested(for some bizaar reason), and create a ruckus for the news. You want a spine? Then you need someone with enough character to do what is right. You need to move to another state. Illinois is plumb outta pols with spines and it don’t look like we’ll be getting any anytime soon! :)


  75. - cermak_rd - Wednesday, Jan 7, 09 @ 12:17 pm:

    Anyone who thinks that Senate Designee Burris is stupid or not politically astute is out to lunch. Of course he knows the Gov is using him, but, if in the end, Burris gets what he wants, what’s the harm to him? Burris clearly wants to be Senator. I’m not sure why, but clearly, that is his goal and he’s willing to fight for it. The scene yesterday from Mr Burris Goes to Washington was splendid!

    And the law is on Burris’s side. If there were even an indictment against Blago right now, it might be different. But there isn’t yet. Obviously one is coming, but it’s not here yet. Nor has Blago been impeached yet. It’s coming, but it’s not here yet.

    And if Reid hadn’t been so pig-headed I would think he would be thinking that Burris is likely to vote with the Democrats most of the time, because, he is a Democrat. Once Franken’s (D-MN) seat is out of litigation, adding one more senator from IL means that it takes one whole more vote for the GOP to filibuster successfully, which helps Reid (fivethirtyeight did the math on that recently.)

    I’m not even sure Burris would run for re-election. He might, then again, he might not.


  76. - Speaking at Will - Wednesday, Jan 7, 09 @ 12:31 pm:

    “But the fact is, Blago is still the governor and the laws are clear. You can’t refuse to seat a senator on the grounds of “I don’t like it”

    This is getting tiresome. The law is the law, and its still absolutely positively wrong in every fashion to seat Roland Burris. Many things that are legal are plain wrong, and Harry Reid, Dick Durbin, and all the rest are showing how little spine they have today by caving in.

    I have not been this angry in a long time concerning a politcal matter.


  77. - grace - Wednesday, Jan 7, 09 @ 12:41 pm:

    phineas j. whoopee made a great point that i haven’t seen anywhere else - think of the many possible senate picks who might do something good for the state, instead of burris.
    ===I find it weird why no one mentions the real reason why Burris does not deserve this seat. It is because others were unfairly and illegally excluded before his selection. Why should Roland Burris be the beneficiary of an illegal selection process? The taint is not selecting Roland Burris, it was illegally excluding the others.

    Why doesn’t main stream media or Dem leadership ever make this point? ===


  78. - MikeintheSuburbs - Wednesday, Jan 7, 09 @ 12:49 pm:

    There is a good Op Ed piece today in the New York Times by a former law clerk to Justice Black at the time the Powell decision was written on this whole seating of Burris situation. I think it nicely sums everything up and would commend it to you all.

    Saving the Rule of Law and Democracy is more important than saving face. Burris will not be re-elected and Blago will be impeached and ultimately removed from office and Pat Quinn will inherit all of the problems the state is facing. Be careful what you wish for, you may get it.


  79. - Bubs - Wednesday, Jan 7, 09 @ 12:55 pm:

    The situation is just playing out to its logical conclusion, given the law. Checkmate.

    One could take a bike trip on the backpedaling by Reid and Durbin during that presser.


  80. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jan 7, 09 @ 1:06 pm:

    Fallout-

    Senate: Burris will run for “re-election” with no name opposition in the Primary. He will not be opposed because he will have the AA vote in his hip pocket. By Nov. 2010, as an elder statesman, of which there are few in Illinois, he will win by a significant margin.

    Governor Candidates:

    For Sure: Quinn, Madigan, Blago.
    Possible: Hynes

    Secretary of State Candidates:

    For Sure: None
    Probable: Giannoulias, White
    Possible: Hynes

    Giannoulias is not going to win the Gov nominiation but has a chance at SOS because of the AA resentment against White. Tumbling will get you only so far with AAs.


  81. - cermak_rd - Wednesday, Jan 7, 09 @ 1:08 pm:

    Speaking at Will,

    Why are you angry over Burris? Do you not like him personally? Is it just because it’s a small battle that goes to Blago? I’m pretty sure Blago’s gonna lose the war, here. I mean, sure there are maybe better pols than Burris, but I don’t find him so objectionable as to get angry about it. He’s a decent man with a long career in IL politics. Has he made mistakes during his life? Undoubtedly, most do and the ones who don’t lie about it. We’re only stuck with him ’till 2010 anyway.


  82. - Ghost - Wednesday, Jan 7, 09 @ 1:13 pm:

    So Reid is ok with the fact that Burris has been a long time contributor to the Gov’s campaign; and the Gov swore he would not give the seat to anyone who had not paid; Burris paid so Burris gets the seat.

    So Reid is ok with Pay to play.

    Setting aside the various folks who insist the law requires Burris be seated, setting aside thast I think that analysis is wrong on its face, the “law” is not the blind rigid document many pundits and commentors are implying. The “law” has lon recognized the doctorine of public policy, which allows for interpretations ofprovisions which step outside the 4 corners of the document, and allows for findings that are in the best interest of the public (i.e. the Senate being allowed to block a non-elected appointed senator from a Govenor who has specificaly been idnicted for trying to sell the appointment)


  83. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Jan 7, 09 @ 1:18 pm:

    Why are you angry over Burris?

    Why aren’t you?

    Blagojevich needed a stooge and this mausoleum edifice raising egomaniac took the bait and claimed God talked to Rod to approve his appointment. God obviously didn’t talk to Rod because we don’t have God on the FBI tapes, do we?

    And you are OK with that?

    Perhaps Burris will add a few lines to his monument which could read, “Wasn’t an axe murderer”, or “A decent man with a long career in IL politics”, or “Good enough until 2010″.

    Sorry we are so emotional over this obvious deception, but even sorrier you are not.


  84. - Cheswick - Wednesday, Jan 7, 09 @ 1:23 pm:

    I wonder what Roland Burris’s testimony on Thursday is going to sound like. Evasive or indignant? Whatever, it won’t be truly useful to the committee I’m sure.


  85. - Belle - Wednesday, Jan 7, 09 @ 1:25 pm:

    Cermak-rd : decent men do not put innocent people on death row for political gain. There was ample evidence that the guy was innocent. Burris gave a spineless excuse to blunder forward anyway. Burris decent? Nope, and I don’t like him.


  86. - carbon deforestation - Wednesday, Jan 7, 09 @ 1:33 pm:

    Great, great, great clip from the Daily Show Rich. Thank you! Laughing out loud. Those guys are true professionals, unlike the subject matter. The video of Roland’s tombstone/self-erected monument is priceless.

    Anon 1:06 - what are you smoking? can I have some?

    Burris will not only lose the democratic primary, he may very well lose to another African American. He got less than 50% of the black vote each of his last 3 elections. This phony baloney racial politics being hyped by Bobby Rush will be forgotten in a matter of weeks, but come election day 2010 voters will still know that Blago (who will be on trial or in jail at the time) was the one who appointed Burris. Burris doesn’t care, he got the last title for his tombstone. Good for him.


  87. - cermak_rd - Wednesday, Jan 7, 09 @ 1:59 pm:

    Belle,

    Burris did not put Cruz on death row. I believe that was done by DuPage states attorneys Fitzsimmons & Ryan. Burris simply didn’t use his office to drop the appeal before the IL Supreme Court. No doubt he feared if he looked soft on crime he would lose the election for governor he was running at the time. It was a mistake, in retrospect, but I can understand it. If he had dropped the case, the DuPage GOP would have used it against him and all Dems for the rest of forever. And Cruz, was, eventually released after winning a key Supreme court case and after Birkett finally stopped his Captain Ahab impersonation.


  88. - Capitol View - Wednesday, Jan 7, 09 @ 4:59 pm:

    We have to find a way of getting Jon Stewart here to Springfield. Not just his show’s usual fake background for a shot with one of his reporters, but Stewart himself to host a show from here.

    We can give him the Blue Room for an afternoon, and he or his staff can interview Blago’s attorney, Roland Burris, Lou Lang, Jack Franks, Bill Black, and the Elvis statue in the governor’s office.


  89. - Bobs yer - Wednesday, Jan 7, 09 @ 10:13 pm:

    Dang, that clip is funny!

    Sometime after all this is over, let’s see if we can get a few adults elected. We can all dish it out, so I guess we have to be able to take a little of this. But Darn, I hope the State isn’t planning on making a career of it.

    Old school politics got us into this…20 some years of increasingly inept R’s, then 6 plus of really dismal Dems. R’s get next turn…let’s hope the bad ‘uns are retired or jailed, and an honest one or two come forward to get us out of this. At this point (borrowing liberally from WFBuckley), I’d rather be governed by the first 200 names listed in the Springfield phone book than the crew we’ve got in there now.


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        * Governor Pat Quinn Takes Clemency Action
        * Proposed Rules for Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act Filed
        * Adopt-A-Highway Spring Cleanup Begins Today - Annual Event Honors Earth Day, Tackles Roadside Litter After Harsh Winter
        * Illinois Schools Win No Child Left Behind Waiver - Federal Government Approves Flexibility Needed for Successful Implementation of State Strategies to Improve Student Learning




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