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. LucieLee

    Just what gives the Democratic Party the right to make these lopsided deals, when they allow the traitor Joe Lieberman anything he wants, just so they can have his vote?!! Something just smells here.

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

    This Blago stuff is just downright gross

    January 5, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  3. Dave

    LOL, Senate Dems back down – cry racism and you can win!

    The Illinois Senate is a joke, and should have already started impeaching Gov. Blago, but politics got in the way, everybody wanted to be a Senator...

    January 5, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  4. demwit

    But what about Blagoveich's wife? Michelle got the royal treatment on the board.., why not Patty??

    January 5, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  5. dallas female


    it has nothing to do with race. how can anyone say that after the dems fought so hard to get our new president.

    it has to do with the fact the Burris is tainted and i wouldn't be surprised if he was the highest bidder.
    Blaaaaaaaagh-ovitch is giving the middle finger to everyone. i can't believe congress would compromise.

    January 5, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  6. Laura, Boston

    I can't believe this! First CNN reports that the Secretary of the Senate won't approve him because he doesn't have his documentation. Documentation that he should have since he was appointed by a sitting Governor.

    Now they are going to accept him so long as he agrees not to run in 2 years. Who do these people think they are to try and stop someone who is qualified and meets all the constitutional requirements from holding any office.

    This man has done nothing wrong. He accepted a position. If Caroline Kennedy is appointed are they going to hold her to only serving 2 years? Think about it!

    January 5, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  7. Ken in NC

    @ Joyce and @ Jeff in Illinios

    Under both CSRS and FERS, Members of Congress are eligible for a pension at age 62 if they have completed at least five years of service. Members are eligible for a pension at age 50 if they have completed 20 years of service, or at any age after completing 25 years of service. The amount of the pension depends on years of service and the average of the highest three years of salary. By law, the starting amount of a Member’s retirement annuity may not exceed 80% of his or her final salary.

    Burris would not get retirement or other benefits if he leaves
    Congress in less than 5 years.

    January 5, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  8. carlo

    Blajoavich is a real toad for doing this. He calls it political maneuvering. I call it pure slime. This is a country, and constituent's interest we are dealing with. I wish politicians like him would stop treating the job of running this country as if it were a game of chess.

    January 5, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  9. Vicki5

    I believe it is against the law to petition someone NOT to run for office.

    January 5, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  10. Boston Irish

    Hey, Caroline Kennedy might as well show up with him. I'm sure they'll seat her too. How much validity will his promise be when all he has to say is it was made "under duress" as they wouldn't let me have my job without the promise.

    January 5, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  11. Callie

    I don't care what this man say I would not want him given the seat if I was in his state. All I hear is that this seat must be given to a african-American, not that he is the best person for the job. The people in his state have choosen not to elected him every time he has ran in the last 13 years so why should they now have to have him. THe state is going to have a special election because of some of the pres. elect other chooses, so why don't they let the people of this state just elect who they want. With all the problems this state is currently having why not let the people speak.

    January 5, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  12. Martin

    This is purely politics as usual. I'm sick of this. I thought this kind of stuff would stop now that Obama is president. Shouldn't senators be there to do a job, not just be a placeholder in an attempt to retain the seat for the current political party? This is very disappointing. Does Burris really believe that he represents the Illinois people when he wasn't elected by Illinois voters?

    January 5, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  13. Anne E.

    He should NOT be seated. Period.

    January 5, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  14. Rob

    If this goes through, then I promise you that in two years, when they come to him and expect him to uphold his end of the deal, he'll go back on his word, and then, surprise surprise, the race card will be dealt yet again.

    Hopefully enough people in Illinois will come to their senses by 2010, and realize that the Democrats (especially in Illinois) can do nothing but run this country into the ground. Then they will vote them out, get in some Republicans, and then get the country on the way back up.

    The whole mess with Illinois, and now the apparent victory (or should I say theft) by that loser joke Franken just proves that this Congress is well on its way to maintaining that single digit approval rating it worked so hard to get in 2007.

    January 5, 2009 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  15. BS not Maverick

    What the heck does that have to do with anything??? They screwd up trying to have cake and eating it too. The people should just demand a special election, enouhg of the bull crap, and I am an independent and voted for Obama. Enough!

    January 5, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  16. Super D

    Got to hand it to that snake Blago. He out "Clintoned" the Obama team.with this appointment....yeah, technically, it's probably legal.

    Now they probably have better seat him, else more political pine tar on all of them.

    This episode is funny, what is happening in Minnesota is not. it's a crime.

    January 5, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  17. Grimm

    A senate seat shouldn't be negotiable. The laws are quite clear on how one gains a senate appointment. I think Burris made a mistake accepting the nomination from Blagojevich in the first place. I think his second mistake was trying to enter the senate floor knowing that he was missing the other signature required to enter. If he agrees to "negotiate" for the interim term then that will be his third mistake. I don't know if he's qualified or not but I do know that the way he's going about this is clearly not the best way to go about it...

    January 5, 2009 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  18. Kevin in Ohio

    Wow..... soooooo, what happens when he decides to void the agreement. Typical democrat shortsightedness. And it enables more corruption. We'll just have to get used to that.

    January 5, 2009 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  19. Andy J, Upstate NY

    Wow. I wish i could say i was surprised, but with the spineless weasels that we call our Congressmen and congresswomen, this is all to predictable.


    Grow a back bone and stick to your word.

    "We won't seat him. We will block the doors to the Senate Chamber"

    "We might seat him if he promises to not run in 2010"

    Guess they got the memo that, as Burris put it, his nomination is "Lord Ordained".

    Don't mess with god, or a black liberal, you racist bigots.

    January 5, 2009 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  20. Change - Yeah Left

    Wow – the Dems changing their mind after they said one thing. Amazing, isn't it? Crooks helping crooks!

    January 5, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  21. Island girl

    Change in America: I am trying to catch your drift. Are you for or against?

    January 5, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  22. don't compromise

    have a special election, he can run in that, anything Blago touches at this point is poison

    January 5, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  23. Joe

    This is ridiculous. He knows the people of Illinois want nothing to do with an appointment by an obvious psychopath yet his own lust for power propels him forward without any thought to the people he represents. Slam the door in his face and put him on a bus back to IL

    January 5, 2009 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  24. flybyshoeing

    Why doesn't Harry Reid just switch parties.? He back downs or votes against his party all the time. Most recently the auto bailout. He voted NO.

    January 5, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  25. joyce

    I do not know how in the world this guy Blog can get away with being so corrupt, and nothing thus far having been done. And to to everything off, he make an appt to the Senate Seat he wanted to sell..And then you have Burris acting as if this seat is really his and he earned it..I would have had more respect for Burris if he had done like the first canidate, and simply said " No", because it was the only moral and ethical thing to do. But I degress, i forgot who i was dealing with...tainted , you betcha!

    January 5, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
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