December 31st, 2008
07:29 PM ET
5 years ago

Is Blagojevich playing a game of racial 'chicken'?

Gov. Rod Blagojevich announced Roland Burris as his pick for Illinois' open Senate seat on Tuesday.
Gov. Rod Blagojevich announced Roland Burris as his pick for Illinois' open Senate seat on Tuesday.

(CNN) - Gov. Rod Blagojevich's pick of a prominent African-American to succeed Barack Obama in the Senate has led to suggestions that the move is calculated, but the governor says he's just doing his job.

Blagojevich on Tuesday announced he'd appointed former Illinois Attorney General Roland Burris to replace Obama in the Senate, ignoring warnings from Senate Democrats who say they will block anyone he appoints.

Obama said Tuesday that he agrees with the Senate Democrats' decision to block an appointment by Blagojevich, but it's unclear if the Senate has the right to do so.

FBI agents arrested the governor on December 9 after federal prosecutors alleged, among other things, that he had tried to sell Obama's former Senate seat. Blagojevich denies wrongdoing and has ignored calls to resign.

Blagojevich's announcement left observers asking - whether the governor was playing a game of racial "chicken," daring Senate Democrats to snub a respected African-American.

Conservative radio host Larry Elder said race was clearly a part of Blagojevich's plan.

"What he has done is this: He's chosen a black person and dared the Democratic Senate not to seat him because there would then be no black senators in the Senate whatsoever.

"I'm not saying that the former attorney general isn't a man of integrity and wouldn't otherwise, in his own right, be able to serve competently as a senator.

"But you don't have to be a cynic to understand that race was part of Blagojevich was doing right here," he said.

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soundoff (81 Responses)
  1. Nola

    Governor Blagojecvich and his ego is using the former Attorney General to deflect the media away from his problems. Mr. Burris is so into himself that he can see that he is being used. Mr. Burris reminds me of Napoleon Bonaparte -

    December 31, 2008 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  2. Mike O'Brien

    Would someone.., please, explain to me and the country.., how Governor Rod Blagojevich 'became' the Governor of Illinois ? I find it hard to believe that the great people of Illinois would elect this guy. For the great state of Illinois.., please, Governor Rod Blagojevich and your big mouth wife.., 'resign'. Before, your own state senate 'impeach' you in February. What a 'disgrace' to the great state of Illinois. However, your appointment/nominee for Senator of the state of Illinois to the United States Senate is a good one. Roland Burris is a excellent chose.., a reliable, honest and honourable man. Better then you are. Maybe, the great people of Illinois should have a 'special' election in February 2009 to elect a new Senator for the state of Illinois for two (2) years. Let the people.., speak, vote or at least be heard. Mike O'Brien in Montana

    December 31, 2008 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  3. Suzi

    Blagojevich is playing games trying to deflect attention from his own problems. He's been investigated for FIVE YEARS and Fitzgerald has had so many other witness come forward to give information against Blagojevich that he's had to ask for an extension on the indictment.

    Blagojevich is a mess and now he's trying to involve the whole country instead of just his own office. We don't need this disruption now. The senate said they would not seat ANYONE Blagojevich selected. The only one making it about race is Blagojevich, Burris, and Rush.

    Can Blagojevich get any more slimy and disgusting? Sadly, I think this is just the tip of the iceberg.

    December 31, 2008 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  4. Amber

    Do fish swim?

    Do birds fly?

    Do bears take a giant crap in the woods?

    Blago's a snake.

    January 1, 2009 12:15 am at 12:15 am |
  5. eddy

    When does all this corruption stop in AMERICA.American politicians are like bad drug that you can't kick the habit.

    January 1, 2009 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  6. Daniel

    Anyone who honors the Constitution and doesn't use it as toilet paper would allow this pick to be seated. Habius Corpus and the states right for equal rep. under the law. If you honor the law then every man has the right to defend themselves in a court of law not the court of public opinion and last I have check no one has been convicted of anything. let alone Burris. Let him serve and rep. the state of Ill. Harry Reed should honor defend and uphold the Constitution as well as Barack Obama as soon as he takes the oath of office.

    January 1, 2009 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
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