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. Phoenix

    I am so sick of people believing that just because a black face is paraded before African Americans that somehow they will be accepted. Remember, we didn't start supporting Obama until after Iowa.

    December 30, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  2. Arlene Illinois

    Thanks to Bobbie Rush **** Race is still alive in Illinois *****

    Thanks for the Lynch comment!

    December 30, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  3. Jerry

    When Blago goes to jail I hope his cell mate is named Bubba!

    December 30, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  4. burris - crook

    If Burris is so smart and former AG, why in the heck would he try for this appointment in the midst of this controversy AND knowing he will be blocked by Senate Dems?? The whole thing smells fishy. Fitzgerald stopped the investigation prematurely as well. He is covering for someone. Funny how these blind people see no problem in any of this. Imagine if it were Cheney or Bush, what a bunch of hypocrites.

    December 30, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  5. CanIcallyouJoe

    "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."

    It really sucks when a decent man is nominated, only to be overshadowed by the sleaze of the person who nominated that man.

    I would respect him even more if after he officially gets his senate seat, he immediately turns around and punts Blago from Illinois. Man, wouldn't that be fitting?

    His being picked by Blago does not mean, in ANY WAY, that Burris is on the same slimy level as Blago. And say what you want about his ethnic background and if it factored into his being picked, this white kid from the midwest is glad that another black guy is getting Obama's seat. (Yes, I'll use "Black" to describe him. Just like I use "White" to describe myself. He wasn't born in Africa, I don't see how he's African-American. He's just American. I was born here, and I'm not American-American.)
    He wasn't picked strictly because of that, but speaking from a purely anthropological standpoint, there are certain views that differ between a black guy and a white guy purely because of our culture and it's past – and I'm not really sure why that is always seen as a negative thing. Is our culture not about the mixing of viewpoints to create a better understanding for one another?

    December 30, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  6. John E Lexington KY

    B. should not have made the appointment. Having said that, Burris actually seems like a reasonable appointment. He should announce that at his age he will not run in two years. If he is allowed to take his seat and runs he will likely be trounced anyway. If not, the seat is likely to be open for at least six months. This may actually be the best possibility, though B. should be removed ASAP.

    December 30, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  7. Perusing-Through


    The longer Gov. Rod Blagojevich keeps up these antics, , , , ,

    . . . the 'cleaner and clearer' becomes the reputations of the previous seven candidates vying for Obama's vacant Senate seat. Stupid Blago is purging clean the mud he previously flung on Emanuel, Jackson Jr., Obama, Jarrett, and other aspiring Illinois Senators.

    December 30, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  8. Texas Teacher

    Sounds reasonable to me.... though the appointment may be above reproach, B has cast doubt on whatever he does. Therefore, I believe whatever he does should be under question/investigation. Sad... but like the old saying... " when you lie down with pigs... don't be surprised when you get up smelling like a hog."

    December 30, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  9. Bush lied - Blago is innocent

    Yeah, what a bunch of clowns. And Obama was swimming around in all this corruption for years and stayed on the high road. Only a fool could accept this. Burris must have been one of the most incompetent AGs in history to stand up and accept this nomination. But, that must be typical Illinois politics, they can't see anything wrong with it because they have been corrupt for so long.

    December 30, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  10. blagobama

    What do you expect? Fitz eneded the investigation early, all is well. Rahm is in the clear and Obama is no where to be found. Funny thing is, a majority of the kooks posting here see no problem with it. Amazing, it must be a 'temporary suspension of disbelief' in the words of another non-qualified NY senator.

    December 30, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  11. Go Blago......

    We're behind you--we know you are a corrupt bum but so are all the other politicians--so get all the money you can and get out--best of luck–

    December 30, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  12. Janice

    The appointment is tainted and should not have taken place. This is just a crook trying to be defiant and using the "race" card in hopes that we african americans would ralley behind Mr. Burris' appointment. Its a shame that Mr. Burris would use this opportunity to get the seat. Qualified or not, as an african american I strongly hope this appointment is rejected. ENOUGH with the race issue. DO NOT ALLOW THE GOVERNOR TO TAKE US DOWN THAT PATH.

    December 30, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  13. John in Ohio

    If Burris had any sense or decency he would have turned it down and not gotten himself into the middle of this.


    December 30, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  14. Tom

    Filthy swine Blago thumbs his nose at the USA with his "appointment".

    Kick this guys butt onto the asphalt ASAP and void the appointment!

    December 30, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  15. Rick

    Obviously Burris has no shame. Only a complete slimeball would accept this appointment. Hopefully Harry Reid will show that the Senate has some ethics by putting a vote to to expel him as the number 1 item. in the meantime, every aspect of Burris' life during 2008 should be investigated to see how much he paid for the seat, if any.

    December 30, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  16. CJ

    Mr. Burris seems to have a lot of good things about him. But, he has lost my confidence by accepting this appointment. It is unbelievable that he would actually ruin his "unquestioned integrity". This is the first time I have ever heard of him, and I don't like what I'm seeing.

    December 30, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  17. Pete

    He's not qualified because he wasn't elected. What happened to the promise to hold a special election? I live in Illinois, and I want my vote counted.

    December 30, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  18. Arne

    Illinois Gov. has NOT been convicted of any wrongdoing. only accused.
    He waited for the Illinois Legislature to present the candidate to fill the U.S. Senate seat and they did not. That is when he as Governor of the State of Illinois acted under the Law to Appoint the new Senator for the U.S. Senate seat to be vacated by Barak Obama. The Secretary of the State of Illinois does not have the authority to "certify" an appointee only a person who is selected for an elected office has to be "certified" as the winner of the election for that office.

    Senator Reid, in my opinion has over- stepped his authority in refusing to seat a duly appointed representative of the State of Illinois because the appointor is under a cloud of wrongdoing, but not the appointed.
    If this holds true and the new Senator is denied the appointment based upon Senator Reids vote then I find that our Constitution is but a sham.

    December 30, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  19. Proud American

    Richard Rohde Wow your so smart you scare me. Has anyone ever asked you to run for public office before? You know once a year a Idiots name is added to ballots around the country and if it's OK with you I would love to submit yours. You could win hands down. God Bless You Honey. Let's pray for special people in the coming new year.

    December 30, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  20. Blago appoints a black to win pardon from Obama--

    Nice move Blago-you're almost home free–you are too smart to be done in by an idiotic Illinois legislature-

    December 30, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  21. Pete

    I will talk to all terrorists without preconditions
    Oh never mind, that was a bad idea

    I will accept public financing
    Oh never mind, that was a bad idea

    We will hold a special election to replace Obama in the senate
    Oh never mind, that was a bad idea

    We will not allow anyone that Blago appoints to fill Obama to be seated,
    Oh never mind, that was a bad idea

    Change you can believe in
    Oh never mind, that was a farse

    December 30, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  22. Texas Teacher

    Judge Barack Obama on his preformance as the next President of these United States... not anything Blago has or is doing. Because there is "one ... or even several bad apples in the bushel does not mean that all the apples there are bad!"

    Old Time, Good Ole Boy politics are going to die hard, People, they are so engrained in the system. It does not matter which Party, it is a way of life for many and probably most!

    Barack Obama is new to politics, relatively. He has run on a platform of change. The very fact that he accepted only money from private donations on average approximately $87 each. Give him a chance before you crucify him on the White House Lawn figuratively... ( on a Saturday Night... hoods and all!) Because that is what these comments sound like to me!

    December 30, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  23. BlkPrince007

    If Democrats can accept Joe Lierberman back into the fold, with all of his insulting, unprecedented back-stabbing ways, we can surely take an appointee even from Gov Blajy. At least Burris has proven himself to be a LOYAL democrat. His appointment is perfectly legal even from a less than desirable source.

    December 30, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  24. Jim d- KA

    Jim D has been in the Kool-Aid again. Someone help him before BDS sets in permanently. Probably too late, though.

    December 30, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  25. Griff

    Interaction! So he is going to you're Office of Power. But how much... I fought against this with CNN. They knew better than me... The Blacks did not care either... A Black man in the White-House????
    The ilusion come true... Now they think they put him there strictly for them.... This will come and go continuously for the next four years: at least that.

    December 30, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
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