January 7th, 2009
01:07 PM ET
5 years ago

Majority say Burris shouldn't be seated

Former Illinois Attorney General Roland Burris makes his way to the Capitol on Tuesday.
Former Illinois Attorney General Roland Burris makes his way to the Capitol on Tuesday.

(CNN) - As Roland Burris gets set to press the Senate Democratic leadership to formally seat him in the chamber Wednesday, a new national poll shows the majority of Americans think the former Illinois attorney general should be blocked from serving.

According to a new USA/Today Gallup poll, 52 percent of Americans think President-elect Barack Obama's successor should instead be decided by a special election, while 23 percent think the second Illinois senate seat should remain open until the charges surrounding Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich are resolved.

Only 16 percent said Burris should currently be allowed to assume the seat.


Filed under: Roland Burris
soundoff (363 Responses)
  1. Benjamin

    Not what we think ,but what is actually law must apply here in the Burris fiasco. The governor, regardless of the allegations, is entitled to perform his duties until he is removed by the Ilinois legislature. We can't pick and chose what he can and cannot do. An immediate removal would have been the remedy, however those stipulations are not in place. Burris will eventually be the senator when the smoke clears. The governor may be replaced, let me emphasis 'may', because his charges does not include an actual act, only an intent. these type of charges are subject to vindication frequently. If there is not a history of illegal behavior, its extremely likely he remains the governor.

    January 7, 2009 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  2. Jim in Kansas

    This has got to be one of the silliest, most petty and pointless public scandals we've ever seen. We won't throw out people like Nixon or Bush (oddly, both Republican Presidents) even when their avarice and lust for power split our nation apart and took us to unimaginably expensive and tolling wars, but we will find a punching bag for our frustration in a black man who has FOLLOWED THE LAW. Mr. Burris may circumstantially be connected with the unsavory governor of Illinois by virtue of living in Illinois, but there has been NO evidence of wrongdoing, and the law is the law. We will either follow the law as a nation and as individuals, or we will abandon the law and lash out at an available target. Try to explain your pride in doing that to your grandchildren!

    January 7, 2009 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  3. richard rohde

    The arguments against seating Mr. Burris just don't hold legal water. They do represent an argument for change of a broken system that more reflects the will of the people and lessens the greed of the politicians.

    January 7, 2009 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  4. sensible Cape Coral l

    Note to rICK:

    How can you say that refusing to seat Burris is "overiding the will of the people". Roland Burris was NEVER elected to the post; he was appointed.

    January 7, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  5. Robert

    Innocent until proven guilty!

    Like it or not he is still the Gov and he still has the right to appiont anyone he wants.

    I wonder how many of you actually voted.

    January 7, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  6. Linda Johnson

    This man was nothing but a defocus off this Governor Rod with all his corruption. This man Burris I guarteen he is getting paid to pull this stunt and could care less about being a Senator. He has not been in poliitical for over twenty years. I beat if you start to investigate he got a lot of shady background and it will surface.
    See, I beat this Rod is using him for his benefit to shame President Obama this is to just keep up confusion which they are doing to as of this day.
    I and all citizens should not buy into this illegal acts which are going on as of this date.

    January 7, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  7. Tom in Delaware

    Since when did the will of the people have anything to do with Senate?!?

    That's why this country is a Repulic and not a Democracy.

    January 7, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  8. Susan

    This is not about race people. Last time I checked, Obama is black too.
    Blagojevich, being obstinate and in denial about his own corruption, has just given the state of IL and the Democratic Party a big F U. Burris has run a number of times for a number of positions and lost – senator, mayor, and governor. He's had some scandal in the news. His mausoleum shrine is perfect fodder for late night show ridicule. The Dem Party isn't keen on him because it makes Reps taking over the governorship of IL pretty high in 2010. That's why the Reps are pushing so hard for Burris to be seated.
    Having said all that, I think he should be seated. If it is found that he was involved in the "buying" or influence for that seat, then he can be put aside at that time and another person appointed or special election. Personally, I think they should seat him and then find some great Dem alternative as the Dem nominee for governor in 2010.

    January 7, 2009 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  9. Sissy Abermathey

    What should happen now is that Harry Reid and Dicky Durbin should be impeached for defying IL and US laws. Are they above the law just because they are democrats?

    January 7, 2009 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  10. Hispanic in Dallas, TX

    SEAT the man!!

    I don't believe those polls!

    Burris should be seated. End of story...why can't the Dems stop this and just get down to business. The country has too many other more important issues than this.

    This will be the Dems downfall...and Obama's as well.

    January 7, 2009 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  11. jrzshor

    hmm, this is just more evidence that the majority has no clue when it comes to politics. that politics is all about perceptions (fostered via and/or by the media). i am sure that this same majority is in favor of kennedy becoming a senator.

    brad pitt for pres in 2012!!! he's famous.

    January 7, 2009 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  12. Bette Johnson

    I am so glad that I don't have to rely on a CNN poll for anything... The negatives are so un-American, I'm not sure that Americans write them.

    January 7, 2009 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  13. Jean2

    It it. amazing how the media can drive an issue. AND THE MEDIA CONTINUES TO FOCUS AND DRAW THE ATTENTION TO RACE. IF THINGS ARE TO CHANGE WE ALL HAVE TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY.

    IN AMERICA ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS TO SUGGEST RACE AND ALL ISSUES THAT AFFECT ALL OF US TAKE A BACK SEAT WHEATHER MERRITTED OR NOT. JUST KEEP REPEATING IT ENOUGH TIMES.

    The Middle East, the economy,fraud, health care, jobs etc. Burris is the story.

    I AM DISSAPOINTED IN HOW ALL OF THIS IS PLAYING OUT. I AM A 70 YEAR OLD AFRICIAN AMERICAN , AND AFTER ALL OFTHE ACCOMPLISHMENTS BASED ON MERIT AND HONESTY BURRIS SHOULD NOT ALLOW HIMSELF TO BE PLAYED BY A ROGUE GOVERNOR.

    NOW JESSE WHITE IS CRUMBLING. SAD, SAD, SAD, SAD!!!!!!!!!!

    January 7, 2009 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  14. boered1

    @John in Ohio

    If I followed your reasoning all I would have to do is ACCUSE someone of a crime, get a friend at the police station to arrest them for that crime and that person is therefore guilty.

    that is interesting you should all listen to yourselves. In Gitmo we have people who were ACCUSED of a crime, never convicted never tried, and you cry that they should be freed and that gitmo is a terrible blight on the face of America and then in the same breath say that a man appointed LEGALLY by a sitting governor should not be seated because they are "tainted"?!?

    idiots

    January 7, 2009 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  15. Tim

    But the hypocrites, I mean democrats, will find a way to seat him.

    The silence is deafening from those who originally said there should be a special election and from Obama who said no one that Blago appoints should be seated.

    Like always, they didnt' think things through to the end and now have to revise their position.

    January 7, 2009 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  16. AndyL

    I guess James Carvelle hit the nail on the head, the new administration is not even in the White House yet and we have already been hit with 3 ro 4 scandals. Put on your seatbelt folks, it's going to be a rough ride.

    January 7, 2009 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  17. PJP in OK

    WOW!! Smooth move ex-lax!!!

    January 7, 2009 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  18. james

    Burris's latest behavior disqualifies him from serving. He has shown a lot of nerve and very little intelligence. Accepting a tainted appointment, and going against the will of his would-be coworkers. I have more disgust for this guy than Blago now.

    January 7, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  19. Lisa V

    This is just what I would have predicted: Last week, the Democrats were getting nailed by everyone (including the press) for not seating Burris. Now, that he may be seated, everyone is going to try to nail the Democrats for seating him. This confirms what I was thinking all along–that many of the pro Burris or Blagojevich comments were actually coming from Republicans trying to stir the pot. Now, they are trying to stir the pot the other way. People need to start getting wise to this sort of strategy, or it is going to be a rough four years.

    January 7, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  20. Timber

    Headlines say the Dems opposition to this candidate are cracking. Do they EVER stand up to what they believe????? All polls show the majority of americans believe he should not be seated. The Dems are wimps and I will never vote for them again, do nothing coward politicians.

    January 7, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  21. Gerry in Va. for Obama.

    The publics opinion of political affairs is and has been put in their heads by the media. The general public knows little of the political situation in Illinois in the past. It only knows what the media has put in front of us to hear or read in the past six months. Yes we all understand Illinois politics is a bit under the table and in SOME cases a little crooked BUT, beyond that we really haven't paid much attention because the crooked politics wasn't in our back yard. And now along comes this bad gov. of Illinois and all of a sudden we are big authoritys on how that state should run its business.. Whether any of us think so or not, the gov. of Illinois had the LEGAL right to appoint Senator Burris to that seat. It isn't up to we the people to have a say in that appointment and the media should suck it up and quit trying to run the government of the United States of America by gossip and inuendo... Why can't we give Senator Burris, who from all accounts has been an outstanding politician for the people of Illinois, a chance to do as well for them in the senate..

    January 7, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  22. scott

    Wow!!!! One political scandel after another and Obama isn't even in office. This is a disaster in the making. Well, we reap what we sow and now we are getting it. So far the Dems have made Bush look like Lincoln. lol....Its going to be a rough four years.

    January 7, 2009 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  23. Betty Pone

    NO, Roland Burris should not be allowed to be seated.
    He wants this seat for all the wrong reasons.

    January 7, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  24. bob in LA

    who is going to pay for this special election? I'm glad I don't live in Illinois.
    We had our governor waste money on a special election and i can tell you we wih we had that money back right now!

    January 7, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  25. Dealt, Portugal

    Blagojevich was certainly up to mischief with this nomination. He probably spent quite some time how he could create the worst possible situation. Surprisingly, Burris seems to have fallen for it. It wuold be quite easy to let it be known where it matters that he'd like that post but not from that particularly soiled hand.

    January 7, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
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