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Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

Burris to be Sworn in January 15

Democratic Senators Harry Reid and Dick Durbin have released a joint statement indicating that Roland Burris, appointed by embattled governor Rod Blagojevich, is now the Senator-designate from Illinois and will be sworn in as President-elect Barack Obama’s replacement in the Senate on January 15, 2009.

From Raw Story,

Democratic leaders Monday endorsed the bid by Illinois attorney Roland Burris to succeed president-elect Barack Obama in the Senate, after a row over his appointment by the state’s impeached governor.

Senate Democratic majority leader Harry Reid and his top lieutenant Senator Dick Durbin said Burris had provided fresh paperwork confirming his appointment after his credentials were rejected as incomplete last week.

“We have spoken to Mr. Burris to let him know that he is now the Senator-designate from Illinois and as such, will be accorded all the rights and privileges of a Senator-elect,” the two leaders said in a statement.

“Accordingly, barring objections from Senate Republicans, we expect Senator-designee Burris to be sworn in and formally seated later this week.

“We are working with him and the office of the Vice President to determine the date and time of the swearing-in.”

Blagojeich, successfully impeached by the Illinois House of Representatives on January 9th, requested upon Burris’ appointment, “Please don’t allow the allegations against me to taint this good and honest man.” Democrats determined to prevent Burris from being seated initially rejected the Burris appointment on grounds of unacceptable paperwork.

Burris was named to the Illinois Senate seat by scandal-tainted Governor Rod Blagojevich, who was arrested and accused of trying to sell off the plum position in return for political favors.

Democrats, fearing the political impact of accepting any senator picked by Blagojevich, turned Burris away from the Senate last week when he came to claim the seat, arguing his paperwork was not in order.

Raw Story

Burris praised Senators Reid and Durbin in a statement on the 12th and thanked them for the opportunity to work for the Obama administration alongside them.

“I’m truly humbled and honored to learn that later this week I will officially be sworn into the United States Senate as the Illinois junior senator.

“I’m thankful for the opportunity to serve and I ask for your support and prayers, so that I may work with you, my senator — my Senate colleagues and our new president to succeed at the challenges which face our state and our country.

I would like to publicly thank Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and my long-time friend and Illinois’ senior senator, Dick Durbin. Never once did I doubt their intentions were motivated by anything other than doing what was right for the people of Illinois and by what they believed had to be done to protect the Senate as an institution. It will be my honor to both serve with them and to learn from them.”

Roland Burris, January 12 2009


  1. You have to pick your battles, and Blago only chose Burris to show that he wasn’t selling the seat.  If not for the scandal, he would have gone for the highest bidder.

    From all accounts Burris is at least inoffensive, if perhaps not an exciting choice.

  2. leads me to believe that Burris is going to have a tough time winning in a statewide election. He’ll have the added burden of the Blago appointment to deal with, as well.

  3. rfahey22

    I will grant that there may be a little leeway for the Senate to investigate any impropriety in appointing Burris himself, but I think that the law probably tips in Burris’s favor overall.  Blago is very intelligent, essentially telling the world, “Ok, I’m under investigation, and so I will pick someone who is completely free from suspicion.”

    By the way, when the hell is a New York senator going to be appointed?  Are they waiting for Sen. Clinton to be confirmed?

  4. Michelle

    Not only will Burris never escape the cloud of suspicion, but it in effect adds some sort of credibility to that asshole Blago.  Burris never should have accepted the appointment because his entire career will be tainted with what is left of this disaster.  Chicagoans pretty much across the board can’t stand Blago, and they will easily transfer that hatred to Burris, regardless of his work for the state prior to this appointment. And yes, I am focusing on Chicago because that is the city that runs the voting machine in that state.  AND Obama was a remarkable junior senator.  It is beyond difficult to do anything remarkable as a junior senator, so Burris will most likely be a placeholder for the next challenger.  The big loser then is really the people of Illinois who will not like the replacement and will not be represented fully because Burris is tainted.

    And you know why else this pisses me off?  The damn Dems said that they were not going to seat him.  The toed the line on it, UNTIL again, they backed down.  Does Harry Reid’s word mean a damn thing?  How many times over the past two years have we seen them come out with a strong statement and then back down?  Christ.  The Republicans don’t need to worry about being put together because the Dems are still a bunch of weaklings.  Ugh.

    /stepping down from soapbox, smacking head, sighing loudly, and moving on now….

  5. psychodrew

    I listened to the podcast tonight walking home from school (my bike was stolen).

    When his news story came up, they said something like “Unfortunately for Roland Burris, he was opposed by all 57 Democratic Senators.  Fortunately for Roland Burris, those opposing him were Democratic Senators.”

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