December 30th, 2008
03:11 PM ET
13 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.

Full story

Filed under: Illinois
soundoff (185 Responses)
  1. Missy

    The things going on in the government of this country and without a doubt, in Illinois, make me ILL! If, it isn't bad enough to have the person that is going to be our president .. then, we have a corrupt governor .. making an appointment to the open senate set ..
    Question .. what the hell have the Dems gotten done in both the house and senate in the late two years? Only a fool would think that they can do anything good for this country. Nancy is just as they get.
    The house needs a leader who can get things done. She is totally ineffective!

    December 30, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  2. Sherrol in Canada

    Burris looked like a fool, standing behind Blago and grinning like a cheshire cat. Do you mean to say that he's so ambitious and wants so much to be a US Senator, that he would accept Blago's appointment.

    This whole mess is truly bizarre, words cannot express this folly.

    December 30, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  3. Mari

    It is obvious that Blagojevich has no self-respect nor does he respect Burris.

    Why isn't Blago facing impeachment?!

    December 30, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  4. Steve

    Jeez, I wonder what the final price tag on the Senate seat ended up being? Mini-Me Jackson was the low-bidder at $1million it appears.

    December 30, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  5. Jim (TX)

    Blago names a black guy to fill a black guy's Senate seat – Check

    NY appoints an unqualified woman living off her name to fill the seat of an unqualified woman living off her name – likely check

    Delaware keeps a Biden in office, even if it means overlooking more qualified candidates – likely check.

    The dems should be pretty happy about these 'changes'. We have our diversity, and we still maintain the status quo. Gee, thanks.

    December 30, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  6. Dave

    This is like one of those 'second chance offers' from Ebay. Burris must have placed the highest, non-winning bid.

    December 30, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  7. Alan

    This Blago needs to be PUT DOWN.

    What is taking the Illinois legislature so long?

    December 30, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  8. Armando Ortiz

    Burris has just become fodder. Straight, simple – to the point.

    December 30, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  9. Richard Rohde

    The fact that a former Democratic Attorney General for the State of Illinois accespts the post from Blago says a lot about the state of Illinois politics.

    December 30, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  10. God Help Us

    Good pick Blago. Leave Blago alone and let him govern, go after Karl Rove

    December 30, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  11. Edward Zalisko

    This is a legal strategy.
    Blagojevich can now claim that all the talk about selling the senate seat was just talk, and that he never followed through on any of these offers. Instead, he appointed someone who was not discussed for compensation.

    December 30, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  12. Stefylee2001

    Blagojevich's disrespect is unbelieveable. He should not be allowed to appoint anyone until he IS proven innocent. It is a shame.

    December 30, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  13. Richard Rohde

    How will John Steward and Keith Olberman and the lunatic left blame this on Bush is the only remaining question. Knowing this the people who post on this board, they will somehow pin it on Sara Palin's day old grandson.

    December 30, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  14. Lauren the Designer

    And NO ONE knows integrity like Rod Blagojevich.

    December 30, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  15. Independent

    Where are lawmakers??? Please arrest this thug and keep him in prison for a long time!

    December 30, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  16. Lexx

    This guy Burris has lost whatever credibility he earned as a public servant by getting into bed with Blago. Figures Blago would get the old school Jessie Jackson era people to play the race card.

    December 30, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  17. Laverne

    Clever and crafty I must say!

    December 30, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  18. Juan Grain

    Blago is a nut case and anyone that joins him is a fool.

    December 30, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  19. Sherrol in Canada

    My goodness, the man that's talking now can be hardly understood.

    It was one of the most confusing press conferences I've ever witnessed. Blago and Burris looked out of their league trying to answer questions.


    December 30, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  20. adam

    This must be payback by Blago cuz he knows the Senate won't seat Burris. Blago has ruined any chance Burris might have had. This Blago fellow is quite devious and he will do much damage before he goes away.

    December 30, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  21. MArtha Husk

    As smug as many of you feel about Blagojevich's making this appointment, it seems a shame to me that Burris would be punished by your feelings. Many have said Burris has the credentials and an outstanding career, both on CNN and MSNBC. Statements have been made quickly and without thought it would seem to me. Let this play out.

    December 30, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  22. I told you so

    The Dems in the senate SAY they are not going to accept this pick. Let's see if they stand by their word or as usual do not.

    December 30, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  23. Sherrol in Canada

    Burris' actions at the press conference proves that he will not be an effective US Senator. He appeared to be disjointed and not too aware during the question and answer period.

    December 30, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  24. Lexx

    Burris is a hysterical joke! I thought politics would get dull but ya know I think there needs to be a CNN map tracking the ins and outs of Illinois politics. Heck this is better than the Surreal Life.

    December 30, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  25. I told you so

    Missy is right!!!! Fire Nancy Pelosi!!!!!!!!!

    December 30, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
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