January 5th, 2009
02:34 PM ET
12 years ago

Dems consider seating Burris if he promises not to run in 2010

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/05/art.getty.burris.smiling.jpg caption="Democrats may consider a compromise if Roland Burris agrees not to run for the Senate seat in 2010."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - CNN has learned that one possible compromise idea being considered by some in the Senate Democratic leadership is allowing Roland Burris to be seated in the Senate as long as he agrees not to run in 2010.

A senior Democratic source familiar with Senate leadership deliberations tells CNN that a Democratic concern about seating Burris is that his association with Rod Blagoveich would make him so tainted that he would lose the Democratic seat if he ran in the next election. This idea would clear the field for other Democratic candidates the leadership considers more viable to run in 2010. The source would not be named because of the sensitivity of the discussions.

Democratic sources cautioned that this is just one idea being discussed and that the Democratic leadership hasn’t formally settled on making this offer to Burris.

The source familiar with the deliberations said one key to this avenue of compromise, and a way around declarations that anyone Blagoveich appoints is tainted, would be to give the Burris appointment political legitimacy by having Illinois Lt Gov Pat Quinn publicly bless it.

When asked about the possibility of agreeing not to run in 2010, Burris told reporters in Chicago: “I can’t negotiate in the press.” (In an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer later Monday, Burris appeared to reject the idea.)

Update: The fact that Blagojevich "tainted" the pick is one reason Democrats are resisting the move, according to the Democratic source - another is, regardless of whether or not Burris is viewed as tainted, the 71-year-old former attorney general is not someone party leaders think can win statewide. They're hoping for younger, more appealing candidates they think have a better shot at keeping the seat.

Filed under: Roland Burris
soundoff (162 Responses)
  1. Proud American

    What a joke, looks like Blog wins.

    January 5, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  2. Joyce

    Sounds feasible to me....he actually would be an interim senator. However, I would be curious to know if he would get a full pension.

    January 5, 2009 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  3. AJ

    Well, I'm sure that will be enough for Burris. He is just anxious to add a senate seat to the monument he has built for himself!! Ugghhhh, what a disgusting human being!

    January 5, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  4. Joyce

    Sounds good to me...an interim senator. Would he still get the full pension? Hope not.

    January 5, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  5. Pam

    Doesn't matter if he runs in 2010. Whoever ends up with this Senate seat doesn't stand a chance for re-election after this debacle.

    January 5, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  6. Jeff in Illinois

    If I were him, I'd take it. Serve 2 years, and get 100% income, with raises, for LIFE, and FREE TOP-NOTCH healthcare FOR LIFE.

    January 5, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  7. obama-mama

    Everybody always trying to make a deal. That's what's wrong with the government. Burris should have turned down the position when offered by Blago and went about things the legal way. Let Burris earn the seat. Have a special election.

    January 5, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  8. change in America

    I am African American I dont agree with Burris taken Obama senate seat but this is outcry to American andybody could run for 2010 senate seat if qualified this is racism I hope African American protest in Illinois this stupid.

    January 5, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  9. Kpawlak

    That figures. How predictable.

    January 5, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  10. Independent, IL

    Ummm... excuse me, but isn't that for the voters of Illinois to decide? This dem senate is a complete waste of taxpayer money. Burris is actually a clean candidate, despite our idiot governor. Can't say the same for Pelosi, Dodd, Frank or Reid.

    January 5, 2009 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  11. Sharon Kitchen

    The "new" congress starts Wed.
    If the "powers" that be let him in.....then he can run a campaign in 2010,which would let whoever wants to run against him run.
    The lit.Gov could "bless" his appointment.
    Whatever they are going to do,should happen tonight.
    This country is starting a "NEW" page.
    Everyone ABOARD ??????????????????????????????????

    January 5, 2009 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  12. Francisco Cardenas

    I think whether he runs or not 2010 should be up to him and his supporters.

    January 5, 2009 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  13. ACFX

    Take it if the rest of the Senate agrees to the same!

    January 5, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  14. Noel

    so a guy shows up at the door without the proper documents from his state and the Senate will let him be seated??? What is this? Guess I will give it a try.

    January 5, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  15. Molly Weasley

    I don't think he would win a Illinois Democratic primary in early 2010 anyway, no matter who ran against him.

    January 5, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  16. Maggie from Virginia

    The Dems are using their heads. That's change I can believe in.

    January 5, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  17. ros

    They better do something fast. or they will have egg on there face. They dont have a legal leg to stand on to deny Burris this appointment.

    January 5, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  18. Kenneth

    That's ridiculous! Either reject his appointment or let it ride. How can any governing body tell a citizen of the United States of America that they can hold an office only if they deny their right to run for said office in the next election? Whoever came up with this idea should be investigated for corruption as well. Whether or not Burris is appointed and does a good job is irrelevant. I would sincerely hope that with his credentials he is fully capable of making appropriate decisions but when the voters have the opportunity to elect their representative then their decision is all that matters regardless of which party wins the seat. We need to get beyond these partisan politics and elect the best person for the job ... PERIOD!

    January 5, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  19. Jason

    So democrats are more concerned about partisan perserverance than truth and justice.

    Talk about party first!

    January 5, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  20. Laverne

    Sounds like the Dems can't do much to stop this appointment. Oh well, Burris will be 73 by then and probably should be thinking about retiring anyway. It may not have been a wise choice for Burris to accept the appointment in the first place, but at least he does have a clean and honorable work history. Oh Fitzgerald, looks like you really screwed this one up!

    January 5, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  21. Kathy in Michigan

    He accepted an appointment from a Gov who was arrested for corruption, is being impeached, and is going to be indicted soon!!! This says alot about this man. He is blinded by his desire to be in the Senate. I as a democrat do not want him seated.

    Secondly, as a multi-racial person, I am appauled at Bobby Rush's injection of race. If he were so concerned about a black person being in the senate, why didn't he support Obama in 2004, he supported a white person. He speaks with forked tongue.

    Burris should not be seated at all!

    January 5, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  22. Mike

    promises not to run in 2010??? Have you ever known any, ANY, politician to keep even one promise??? The man is as crooked as Blago, he just hasn't been caught yet.

    January 5, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  23. Barb

    The more I hear, the sicker I feel! An I.Q. test, and yearly polygraph for all politicians should be a requirement!

    January 5, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  24. Kelly

    Democrats of 2009, don't think that just because we won the white house and a few more seats in the Senate and the Congress that we can do what we want to do. The Republicans tried that and see where it got them. Don't tell this man that we'll give you the seat now if you promise not to run in 2010. As long as he is eligible, he can do what he wants to do and neither myself or the democratic leadership should tell him otherwise.

    January 5, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  25. NY republican

    How can someone (or a group) tell someone else that he or she cannot run for a political office? Did our flag change from red and white stripes, etc. to a red field with a hammer and sickle overnight or did I miss something?

    January 5, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
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