December 30th, 2008
03:11 PM ET
14 years ago

Blagojevich names Burris to fill Obama seat


Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich announced Tuesday that he will appoint Roland Burris to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Barack Obama. (Getty Images)

CHICAGO, Illinois (CNN) - Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich named former Illinois Atty. Gen. Roland Burris on Tuesday to replace President-elect Barack Obama in the U.S. Senate, calling him a "wise and distinguished senior statesman" with "unquestioned integrity."

Watch: Blagojevich names Burris

FBI agents arrested Blagojevich on December 9 after federal prosecutors alleged, among other things, that he had tried to "sell" Obama's former Senate seat. Blagojevich denies any wrongdoing.

Burris does not have to be formally approved by the Senate to be appointed by Blagojevich. But the Senate could refuse to seat Burris or seat him and investigate the manner in which he was appointed, and unseat him if they discover any wrongdoing.

Watch: Burris accepts Senate nod

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, has threatened not to seat anyone the governor appoints, and has called for the Illinois Democrat to step down.

Updated 3:11 p.m.

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Filed under: Illinois
soundoff (185 Responses)
  1. Michael - CA

    This is all a part of Blago's plan:

    -He picks a good guy, no bad past, no faults; so that way when the Dems reject Burris, Blago wants the country to accuse the Dems of being unfair and judgmental

    -If they do pick Burris, then the Republicans will have a field day, also what Blago wants.

    Game, set and match, Blago. You sir are truly good at being corrupt.

    December 30, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  2. Susan from S Illinois

    Will someone PLEASE get this laughing stock of a Governor out of the Governor's Office. And take his sidekick Burris with him. Burris is almost as big a joke in Illinois politics as Blagojevich.

    December 30, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  3. valwayne

    This appointment is probably the only chance that the state of Illinois has to get an honest Senator. With the glare of the media and a Federal D.A. on him Blagojevich had to appoint an honest man. Watching the democrats working to get rid of Blagojevich fast before we find out all he knows about Obama, Rahm Emanuel, Rezco, and other dirty Illinois politicians is a hoot! Even more fun than watching Senate democrats try and block an honest African American from taking a Senate seat he was legally appointed to so they can keep the spot empty for the some other corrupt politician from Illinois.

    December 30, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  4. Apples for sale

    Blago wants to go out swinging but he may end up like poor Mike Connell whos plane ran out of gas just short of the runway the day before he was to testify in the rico case for rigging the 2000 and 2004 elections for the republicans.

    December 30, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  5. Joyce

    I am concerned that Mr Burris, who always has enjoyed a good political reputation in Illinois, has harmed himself by accepting Blagojevich's nomination.

    Blagojevich should not have offered this position to anybody! He has allowed the dirt on his hands to rub off on a decent man (Mr. Burris).

    Bobby Rush further injured Mr. Burris by insinuating he needed to be senator because of race. I want my representative to have knowledge, honesty and ability regardless of what color he/she is.
    Bobby Rush has made this a race insulting to Mr. Burris

    I am quite sure that there are many people who agree with me that when race is a deciding factor in any decision or nomination, I cannot support it. Qualifictions, not race, religion or sex count.

    I am an Obama supporter and think he will be a great president, I have supported him all through his campaign because of his qualifications, not color.

    I live in Illinois and if Blago really cares for the citizens of Illinois, he would quietly leave!

    December 30, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  6. jail

    I agree unfortunately with Reid, and what possessed this Burris to put himself in this situation, you roll with pigs you get dirty

    December 30, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  7. amt

    Blago did not do anything that other politicans have not done. They all promise favors for support, if they get elected they promise to do whatever for someone, they put friends in high places, blago was just more blunt & bold about it, and how can the senate not accept his appointee ? Stevens (Alaska senator) after being convicted of 7 felonies of corruption the senate gave him high praise for his 40 yrs of outstanding services in the senate. & he's not in jail. blago may be corrput but none of them are squeeky clean.

    December 30, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  8. Helen, NY

    It is interesting to watch liberals fighting liberals. Barack's era has lots to be watched. Obama drama has just begun. This is all at tax-payers' cost.

    December 30, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  9. Kim. Dallas, TX

    For the record, the vetoes that George Bush made were all in the last two years of his presidency, thus verifying his inability to work with a Democratic controlled congress-even then, the Democrats did not have a strong hold on Congress with just a two sat lead in the House and a few seats in the Senate. Bush had 12 vetoes in just two years time. I believe statistically, that would be more than most presidents in any given two year period, although I have not looked at each man's record. Looking at numbers alone just doesn't give the entire picture of Bush. He had Republican control the first six years and our country paid a huge price during that time.

    December 30, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  10. TexAnnie *-*-*-*-*

    Burris was an idiot to accept this nomination under the current clouded circumstances.
    Even Obama is saying Blagojevich shouldn't have made an appointment. Burris should have declined.

    December 30, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
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