January 15th, 2009
12:30 PM ET
6 years ago

Burris heads to his swearing-in

Burris is set to be sworn into the Senate Wednesday.
Burris is set to be sworn into the Senate Wednesday.

CHICAGO, Illinois (CNN) – Veteran Illinois politician Roland Burris headed to Washington for his official Senate swearing-in Thursday afternoon.

"It's called faith. And we knew that we were in the right. The law was on our side. And all we had to do was prevail," he said of his political struggle to claim his Senate seat. Embattled Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich appointed him to fill the junior senator position vacated by President-elect Barack Obama.

"We are on our way to Washington to be sworn in. And I'm looking forward to it," Burris said as he left Chicago's O'Hare airport Thursday morning with his wife. "As a matter of fact, I will go to work this evening. There will be votes taken tonight and tomorrow. The family will be coming back tonight (to Chicago). But I will have to go to work."

Senate Democratic leaders said Monday that the former Illinois attorney general presented the appropriate credentials for his Senate appointment.

Some Senate Democrats had argued that Burris should not be seated because he was appointed by Blagojevich, who has been impeached on corruption charges by the Illinois House of Representatives and is accused of attempting to "sell" the seat Obama vacated.
Blagojevich now faces a trial in the Illinois Senate.

Illinois Secretary of State Jessie White sided with those Democrats and did not sign the appointment certificate. In refusing to seat Burris last week, the Senate cited a 125-year Senate rule requiring the secretary of state's signature to certify an appointment. But the Illinois Supreme Court ruled Friday that the secretary of state's signature is not necessary.


Filed under: Roland Burris
soundoff (74 Responses)
  1. BS not Maverick

    He will be swearing in and he will be swearing out when the time comes!

    January 15, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  2. Independant Vet

    HEY , HEY HARRY REID WAS WRONG AGAIN.

    BUT MAKE NO MISTAKE HE WILL PULL OUT ALL STOPS FOR FOR AL FRANKLIN. MAY COST ANOTHER BAIL OUT PACKAGE AN A FEW MORE ACORN VOTES . SO IF IT TAKES BREAKING THE LAW , HARRY REID IS THE ONE TO GO FORTH WITH IT . PORTI POTTIE , WITH OUT A SEAT WARMER FOR HARRY REID NEXT TUESDAY.

    WE DID SEE JUSTICE PREVAIL FOR THE NEW ILLINOIS SENATOR.

    January 15, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  3. Jazz

    I think he is a clown in a Blagvich suit. I don't trust him in the Senate Seat. I hope he can prove me wrong but his buttttttttttt will not be what I am expecting. He can't even talk a good walk..

    January 15, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  4. MP

    Outstanding Burris! Hurry up and board the train! There are important decisions that need to be made. First up, should we change the name of the White House? Second, I'm sure there is at least one or two innocent detainees in Cuba, and it's not right that they should have to suffer. Let's let everyone go and start spending $350 billion on a halfway house. And for the construction workers this means 20 job openings 3,999,980 to go!

    January 15, 2009 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  5. ChicagoSuz

    I predict that Roland Burris will work his butt off and do a great job as Senator from Illinois. His pride won't let him do otherwise. He was the Attorney General and Comptroller, so he's versed in the law and the economy. I think we should take a wait-and -see attitude before condemning the man outright...

    January 15, 2009 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  6. annie the Democrat

    YEAH!!!!

    Finally........all this drama created by Harry Reid is over!

    January 15, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  7. Common sense prevails finally

    Hopefully, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is finished playing games and politics, and will start to do his job – something he has failed at miserably since taking over the leadership.

    How do you spell GOP majority after the mid term elections?

    H-A-R-R-Y R-E-I-D

    January 15, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  8. Rick

    Geez, Harry Reid is a doofus. Just a few days ago he was spouting off about "Burris will never be seated" and now here is Senator Burris being sworn in. C'mon all you good folks in Nevada...it's time to send Harry packing.

    January 15, 2009 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  9. One Dollar Please!!!

    @Jesse Jackson January 15th, 2009 2:43 pm ET
    I want my five million dollars back! My kid was supposed to get this seat! What happened to my five million dollars! Why doesn't anyone respect me after all I've done! paid five million dollars to get Jesse Jr. into that seat. What happened here? Give me back my five million dollars! IDIOT!!!!

    January 15, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  10. Steve from Illinois

    It is sad that many really good Democratic candidates turned down the appointment because they did not want the stigma of being appointed by a corrupt Governor.

    Rolland Burris was way down the list of people that were considered. He also does not have the support of the citizens of Illinois and will have no chance of being re-elected. He won't even come close in the Democratic primary.

    Burris has a colossal ego and wanted the appointment (he could never have won the Senate seat) so he could add it to his list of accomplishments on the monument he built for himself. Also the pension and benefits for serving two years are a big reason that he prostituted himself by accepting this appointment.

    Any honest person would have waited a few weeks for Blogo to be impeached and accepted an untainted appointment by Pat Quinn who will be the next Governor.

    January 15, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  11. WELCOME TO THE OBAMA SHOW!!!!!!!!!!!!

    BLAGO WON!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 15, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  12. Feeling Disgusted in LA

    As an African American, I am disgusted by his acceptance of the office. He is an opportunist, and does not care about his people or his country. He cares about one person and one person only, himself.

    This should have been a good opportunity to replace Barack Obama with someone who is as eloquent as Obama; however, this is what we get, a bad representation of all African Americans.

    January 15, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  13. Erik from Real Pennsylvania

    Congratulations, Senator Burris. Best wishes.

    January 15, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  14. RJ

    Let it go people.
    We all knew he would be seated.

    Remember... we're ALL innocent until PROVEN guilty.

    Blago may be an SOB, but he hasn't been convicted of anything in a court of law.

    January 15, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  15. CHANGE.COM

    Burris won this round because Blagojevich tried to outsmart the system. Burris also played the race card. I am an African American, if I were living in Illinois, I would not vote for him if he dares to run for senate in two years. There is something inherently wrong with him that is hard for me to fathom. Mr. Burris, sir, you can now add Senator Burris on your Chicago graveyard monument. For, that is the only reason you accepted this tarnished appointment.

    January 15, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  16. Honestly Folks

    As an Illinois resident this is a sad day. The people deserved to vote in a special election but the dems would have nothing to do with it.

    Once more, Burris was a willing, ignorant pawn of enbattled Gov. Blago. He was more than happy to contribute to the crisis for his own political gain.

    I look forward to voting him out in 2 years.

    January 15, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  17. Mike, Syracuse NY

    Blago: Brilliantly played.
    Reid and Senate Dems: Spinless as a jellyfish
    Congressional Black Caucus: Shameful
    Burris: Shameless

    Winner: the race card. Losers: Voters of IL

    January 15, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  18. Samuel

    Senator Roland Burris appointment is LEGALLY RIGHT
    Senator Roland Burris appointment is LAWFUL
    Senator Roland Burris is QUALIFIED
    Senator Roland Burris is a GOOD MAN
    and guess what Senator Roland Burris is an AMERICAN and he has his home in ILLINOIS.

    Question: What is your problem America about his appoinment?

    Answer: Probably your answer is, he was appointed by the indicted Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich and therefore his appoinment is tainted.

    WRONG. The Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich is not guilty until he is guity. Therefore, my advice to you all bitter people is go get life and live it. It is good for your health.

    January 15, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  19. Butch Dillon

    This is the man who regularly lost Illinois elections in which he aspired to higher office. Clearly, Burris is not the choice of the electorate for Obama's senate seat. No doubt Blagojevich has influence designs based on this appointment. He obviously sees a clear route to federal funds for himself with Burris in a bill influencing and voting position. It's likely that Blagojevich will survive his legal problems and go on to enrich himself by spreading Chicago corruption into the senate. Caving was not the best thing Reid could have done in this case.

    January 15, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  20. Geeque - Chicago,IL

    I WILL NEVER VOTE FOR ROLAND BURRIS, HE IS AN OPPORTUNIST AND A COWARD. HE WILL BE THROWN OUT DURING PRIMARIES IN 2010, YOU WATCH.

    January 15, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  21. dimes

    January 15th, 2009 2:43 pm ET

    I want my five million dollars back! My kid was supposed to get this seat! What happened to my five million dollars! Why doesn't anyone respect me after all I've done!

    I paid five million dollars to get Jesse Jr. into that seat. What happened here? Give me back my five million dollars!
    ------------------------–
    I agree with Jessie! He paid for the seat he should own it. Blogo should not have given Burris a discount.

    January 15, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  22. fletc3her

    Burris is a crook. He stole this seat and his term will be tainted by the way that he took office. The people of Illinois deserve a Senator who is not part of the governor's cabal, but they are stuck with Burris now.

    January 15, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  23. Blago Wins!

    zzzzzz asks: ???? What did Obama have to do with this? Did I miss something?
    __________________________________________

    Yes, you were too busy making zzzzzzzzzs. Obama, like Reid and the others, said Burris should not be seated. Blago called their bluff and outfoxed them all.

    January 15, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  24. dimes

    Samuel,

    Yes Roland Burris was legally appointed.

    Yes he lives in Illinois.

    Yes there are some rather serious questions about his integrity.

    Did he pay for the seat?

    Why in his first public appearance after the appointment did he play the race card? After all Illinois is the only state I know of that has had two prior black senators.

    Does he care about the citizens of Illinois or does he just want another line carved in his personal monument?

    Did he take the position just for the pension and benefits?

    Why did he not wait a few weeks until Pat Quinn was Governor or maybe if Blogo won his impeachment trial he could have been appointed without a suspicion?

    You see this is not being bitter; there are these and many other questions about the "great Rolland Burris"

    January 15, 2009 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
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