December 9th, 2008
01:31 PM ET
6 years ago

Durbin wants special election to replace Obama

Durbin is calling for a new election to replace Obama.
Durbin is calling for a new election to replace Obama.

(CNN) - Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin said Tuesday he wants a special election called to fill President-elect Barack Obama's Senate seat.

At a press conference with reporters on Capitol Hill, Durbin said he wants the Illinois legislature to act quickly to pass a law setting a special election in light of news Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich has been charged with seeking financial gain over the appointment.

Currently Blagojevich has the sole authority to select Obama's successor, and is still able to do so unless he resigns or is impeached from office.

"No appointment by this governor under these circumstances could produce a credible replacement," Durbin said.

In the press conference with reporters, Durbin also defended his state, saying the vast majority of politicians in Illinois are honest.

"I believe that the overwhelming majority of politicians in Illinois and outside are honest, hard-working people in both political parties," he said. "There will always be exceptions in both political parties who – when given the opportunity to use power – misuse it."


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (328 Responses)
  1. Matthew

    Sounds good. Anyone appointed by Blagojevich will immediately be tainted (fair or not). Let the voters decide. Hoping Tammy Duckworth gets the seat!

    December 9, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  2. Ed Stack

    The Governor is now out of the picture.........young people should not be able to serve in high offices......higher officials should start at age 55 and go up.......thye should have some range of intelligence and knowledge before they serve the people..........

    December 9, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  3. Fan of the USAO

    Yes, Sen Durbin, I agree

    December 9, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  4. mb

    What is wrong with the Lt. Governor? PE Obama's replacement should be in Washington right now. I would not subject the people of Illinois to this and besides who has the money.

    December 9, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  5. Chi4Obama

    I agree with Sen. Durbin. I have always believed in the notion that public figures should always be "elected", and not "selected".

    Hence, the people of Illinois should have their say as to who will replace Obama in the U.S. Senate.

    December 9, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  6. David Goldman

    SOUNDS GOOD TO ME.

    LET THE PEOPLE DECIDE INSTEAD

    OF A COLLECTION OF THUGS.

    December 9, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  7. Lyndon from CA

    A special election would dispell any doubts about electability while an appointment by the chief executive would. Let the people of Illinois decide immediately on their senate representative.

    December 9, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  8. Jen

    I agree! Blagojevich has lost all credibility in selecting Obama's successor.

    December 9, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  9. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    ABUSE OF POWER SAME AS GOVERNOR SARAH PALIN OF ALASKA, BUT SHE KEPT IT IN THE FAMILY. PALIN SHOULD HAVE BEEN REMOVED ALSO.

    December 9, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  10. Frank

    How about they just sell lottery tickets and the winner gets the seat. It can't be any worse than what we have.

    December 9, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  11. Ryan Erik de new mexico

    MUST HAVE BEEN THE ONE WHO PAID OF THE GOVERNOR OF ILLINOIS~!!!!!!

    December 9, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  12. Rose

    Power is a very scary thing!

    December 9, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  13. ObamaramaBOT Watch

    The FBI affidavit said Blagojevich had been told by an adviser "the president-elect can get Rod Blagojevich's wife on paid corporate boards in exchange for naming the president-elect's pick to the Senate."

    Enough said.

    December 9, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  14. gt

    VERY GOOD AND SMART MOVE... THANK YOU SENATOR...

    December 9, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  15. Jody Monroe

    The people should have the power, it should not be with greedy politicians. A special election is the best idea to restore faith and confidence in our elected officials.

    December 9, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  16. karen-phoenix

    Really good idea Dick Durbin!!! Wish we could have a new election in AZ to replace Janet Napolatano. She's sooo good and her replacement will take us back 20 years.

    December 9, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  17. chris @ stl

    Special election is a good idea. Blagojevich should not be allowed to nominate the replacement for PE Obama.

    December 9, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  18. Brenna

    2 problems. In Canada, they annouce there is going to be an election and then 6 weeks later, it's election day. Here are the 2 differences, Canadians have public financing so the politics always have some money giving right away while in this case, there's no time to fundraise and that would unfairly favor an independent wealthy candidate.

    The second that elections are federalized in Canada and exist year round ready and waiting while in the United States, it's at the state and county level and therefore Illinois county are completely unprepared for this special election and it won't run well and you're going a lot of fraud allegations afterwards.

    Also note, Illinois needs a senator at some point...

    December 9, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  19. Evan

    I think Blago should be impeached!

    December 9, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  20. DIZIZI31

    This would be the "right" thing to do

    December 9, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  21. Ron

    Blagojevich should appoint himself – he would fit in perfectly with the rest of the congress.

    December 9, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  22. ch

    Would have been nice if Durbin had also called for the voters in MI and FL to be heard in the democratic presidential primary.

    If those voices were heard and those votes counted, there would be NO vacant senate seat in IL.

    December 9, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  23. Robin

    Thank God, Barack has left Chicago, however, Fitzgerald should have been more diligent when he was investigating Bush and his administration regarding the CIA leak. Oh, I forgot he is Republican. How convenient.

    December 9, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  24. Bridgette-PA

    "Currently Blagojevich has the sole authority to select Obama's successor, and is still able to do so unless he resigns or is impeached from office."

    "No appointment by this governor under these circumstances could produce a credible replacement," Durbin said.

    Come on people, get it together up there! This is ridiculous! Do the American People really have to tell you high paying/ranking fools what to do in this case!

    December 9, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  25. John from Brooklyn

    And I think that this would be a good law for New York as well......

    The winner would be the voter's choice, as opposed to the candidate with the most famous family connenctions.

    December 9, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
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