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. Name

    Blago probably didn't get the offer that he wanted from Burris, so he decided to kill Burris' future.

    Way to go Blago

    December 30, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  2. In the Name of Honesty

    In the spirit of lacking any trust, I would like to know who the heck paid down old Hill Dog's campaign debts. Seems that ONLY AFTER she was nominated to be secretary of state did her debts go down. Have she and Bill already started stealing White House dishes and renting out the Lincoln bedroom again.

    One constant cannot trust a CLINTON and I want to know who is feathering their nest this time.

    December 30, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  3. Dozirulf

    This guy has got some real nerve.

    December 30, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  4. Texas Teacher

    Alll I can say after reading about six articles on this same subject here is let's kick the SOB B... to the curb... and question every move he makes from now on! Seriously.... I don't care what or who he appoints to where... the man needs to second guessed on all fronts! Time for some real transparency in both parties!

    December 30, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  5. Roger

    Mr. Burris isn't responsible for the alleged sins of Blago. Let Burris serve until 2010 and the people of Illinois can elect whoever they want after that. Legally speaking, Blago is still entitled by law to make the appointment. The Legislature has failed to remove his appointment power or to set a special election.
    Denying the Senate of a single African-American and creating an extended vacancy in the seat will only lead to needless court battles. Senate Democratic leaders need to focus their time on the pressing issues like the U.S. economy, clean energy and our budget deficit. Let US Atty Patrick Fitzgerald and the Illinois legislature take care of Blago. The US Senate doesn't need to get involved in that mess.

    December 30, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  6. Arne

    Was there any offers made for the Senate Seat that Blago is accused of trying to sell ?
    It takes two to tango as the saying goes. As I see it this entire matter was a hoax by Blago and never meant to be fulfilled.

    December 30, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  7. happy new year

    just when you think the political soap opera is about to come to some kind of ending, here comes another episode.

    December 30, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  8. Joe the Boxer

    To California Gold,
    it's nice to know you, as one of Bush's supporters of past campaigns, is involved in the business of criticizing integrity.

    December 30, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  9. Daniel Cabrera

    I was expecting this, MORE OF THE SAME!,...he-he-he CORRUPTION IS SO AT LARGE that this is just another move.
    As soon this 'Obama-wave' goes away, and a set of decent and honest leaders take the helm of our great nation,all will be better.

    Do not dimay, we need to see all this garbage so we can appreciate the good later.

    Daniel Cabrera
    Merrillville, Indiana

    December 30, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  10. southerncousin

    How in the heck do these weirdo liberals on this board keep relating everything to Bush? I had read about Bush Derangement Syndrome, but I unitl I started reading this board, I had never experienced the irrational hatred. I myself intend to treat VPE with all the dignity, respect and support the liberal democrats gave to Bush during his term. IMPEACH OBAMA.

    December 30, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  11. KJL

    The present governor has no business chosing anyone. Even if Burris happened to be the best choice for the position, his appointment should be made by Blago's successor.

    December 30, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  12. Mesa Mick

    See, picking Burris proves Blago is nothing but a liberal closet racist! (Blago must secretly be from the South)

    He pick a black guy to replace Obama knowing full well the press would immediately pick up on it, diverting attention away from his high crimes and misdemeanors.

    The shame goes to Burris as well for letting Blago use him like that. To me that proves he's not fit for the U.S. Senate even if he was a lily white repug from TN...

    December 30, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  13. Rod B

    Ya homeschooling...THAT's the way to get an education... Even if you're qualified to teach your kids, they're not getting the social interaction that today's kids need to succeed in a corporate market. Even if you're involved in gatherings with other home schooled families and allow your children to go out of the house, they are still not learning to be independent. What a mess you're making of your kids lives all to shelter them from the evils of the real world.

    December 30, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  14. Helen, NY

    This is very interesting that all liberals are fighting for power within themselves. Obama drama has begun even before the inauguration. Watch out for more fun at tax-payers' cost.

    December 30, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  15. Pam

    raul December 30th, 2008 4:51 pm ET

    Typical chicago politics !!!

    Burris is from Centralia, IL, not Chicago.

    December 30, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  16. Charles

    Blagojevich is brilliant. He may be corrupt, but he is ingenious as well. It is a good political move to appoint his 2002 rival, Burris. Also, Obama supported Burris over Blagojevich in 2002. Some people suggest that Burris' skin colour (black) may have been a factor as there will probably be less opposition to the appointment of a black man. I think Blagojevich is just trying to give legislators and the media new fodder as a way create a distraction from his own legal problems to the new appointee (Burris). Case in point: the media is already talking about the Supreme Court decision that overruled Congress' decision to deny Adam Clayton Powell his seat after he was re-elected in 1967.

    Fargo, ND

    December 30, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  17. Danny

    These lines are filled by extreme liberals. Texas Teacher will lose her job if Obama take sup home-schooling. Proud American cannot be proud anymore because he has radical views. I wonder if he is working for MoveOn....Get a life.

    December 30, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  18. R Lloyd Heberden

    WHAT IS THE TRUTH? There are those who wish to castigate
    Governor Rod Blagojevich in his naming Roland Burns to
    the US Senate as Senator Roland Burris. "Human" nature may
    not be so reliable as to give "credit" to those who wish to impeach the Governor! It is not that long in America the we had the Salem Witch
    Trials and the Lynch Mobs of the 19th and 20th Centuies. Where is
    the written documents that there was a 50,000 dollar price attached
    to selecting a new US Senator from Illinois?
    Be careful America! Possibly you might see the French Film of just
    a few years ago, where it showed God revisiting Earth, and seeing
    the way that humans acted, God cut his throat with a striaght razor!
    Thank you all at CNN, and a Happy New Years to all of you who
    present the invetigative news and current topics.

    December 30, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  19. Callie

    I can not believe that so many do not understand what happen today. Here is a man that wanted the Sen. seat so bad he would do any thing to get it, I believe he could not win in an election so this was the only way to get it. I guess he felt having his friend there to speak on his behind was also a good idea, but all I could hear was that people should be happy with the gov. choose since they he is black. After the election we just went throught where many of us keep saying that you elect a person who is the best not a person because of the color of there skin, this is a step back. But with what I seen with this gov. that nothing new.

    December 30, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  20. Burly

    The man needs to cut his bangs!

    December 30, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  21. Joe the Drummer

    Selling a senate seat huh, I thought almost all Senaters sold their seats out to corporate interests so why is everyone picking on Blagojevich?

    December 30, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  22. l.j.

    This guy has balls. Good thing because he is lacking in the brains department....

    December 30, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  23. Chris in Va.

    Innocent until proven guilty in a court of law...........or does that not apply here?

    Is that another right as an American citizen Dumbya suspended?

    December 30, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  24. Don

    What a fool.. Does he really think the Dems will accept his selection?

    December 30, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  25. Brian in SC

    I have to recant my previous statements. This type of nomination is disrespectful and divisive. As a African-American, it appears like this is a tactic being put out to divide our community and the US public opinion as a whole.

    Thank you pres.-elect Obama for denoucning this selection. Gov. Blago needs to respectfully resign.

    December 30, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
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