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. California Gold

    Anyone who believes a politician's promise to not do something, please stand on your head.

    Burris? The man who made a deal with the devil in order to be a Senator? Yea this is a man who is worthy of trusting. This is a man whose word is worthy of believing. Blech.

    January 5, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  2. a new year

    isn't this a bribe???

    January 5, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  3. Howard

    The problem is, Burris' appointment, as distasteful as the appointor is, may be completely legal. If so, the Senate may be ordered by the Supreme Court to seat him. I suspect that some cooler heads in the Senate now realize their leadership may have spoken too soon and are now looking for a face-saving exit.

    Ready! Fire! Aim!

    The real problem in all this is that the U.S. Attorney may have gone off half-cocked when he blew the whistle on Blago before he actually had a chance to DO something wrong instead of just talking about it.

    Ready! Fire! Aim!

    January 5, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  4. Vern

    Kevin in Ohio...what a stupid statement. I guess you must be a Republicant with such a comment. Corrption is everywhere..we just got through with 8 years of it.

    January 5, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  5. Steve

    I say that they make the deal. There are more important fights to be fought.

    January 5, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |

    Don't seat him. Period. Are you crazy?

    January 5, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  7. That Other Jerry

    Oooooohhhh, a promise from a politician not to run for office. Yeah, THERE'S something you can take to the bank!

    January 5, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  8. Joyce

    Thank you, Michael ATL GA, for your reponse. Can't say that the answer makes me happy! What a farce. I'm from Illinois and I really didn't mind not having two senators for a while. Then today Blagojevich sets a date for an election to pick a replacement for Rahm Emmanual's congressional seat. They could have done both elections at once!

    January 5, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  9. Truth Hurts

    Burris is qualified and should be seated. Just because Blago is tainted and accuse of wrongdoing does not have anything to do with Burris. And then 2010 let it be a run off!!

    January 5, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  10. S.A.M. from Virginia

    That sounds like a good compromise.

    January 5, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  11. Former Republican Army Wife

    Hey Martin, Obama is president? When did this happen? I thought we had another few weeks. I think it is pathetic that the only person crying racism in this whole debacle is Blago and Burris themselves. Burris tried to run for Governor twice, and lost twice. He ran for mayor once and lost. Even if he did run in 2010, I highly doubt the people of Illinois would have anything to do with him. This is nothing but a way for Burris to stroke his ego by being appointed to a seat he never could win on his own, and a way for Blag to take some of the spotlight off himself. The Illinois voters are the ones losing the most over this whole debacle. Illinois has become the laughing stock of the nation.

    January 5, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  12. MD

    People, including the Idiot Senator from Nevada.

    Read the US constitution, Blago (the CURRENT governor), may appoint who he wants and Reid CANNOT prevent this.

    It is appalling that the dems are now using the very kind of Chicago political deal they rail against.

    Hypocracy lives on in DC.

    January 5, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  13. john

    Martin, a few logic fallacies here.

    1: Obama isn't the president yet.

    2: The governor is still the one with the power to appoint the new senator so the senate can't simply ignore one of their peers. Remember he hasn't been charged yet.

    3: Since the seat is vacant the new senator is appointed by the governor. This happens all the time he would not have been elected by vote any way. The problem here is that the governor is corrupt and doesn't have much credibility.

    January 5, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  14. Skip, a black man

    It is a sad day!

    January 5, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  15. Eve

    Virginia, the mess was fully underway long ago – unless of course you have been living in a lap of luxury. Too bad that Obama has been handed the pooper scooper.

    January 5, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  16. DW, NY FOR OBAMA '08

    This was the only way Burris would have become a Senator (handed to him). Apparently, he has never been able to win anything he ran for. Let him have the two-year seat. Then, he'll have to give up the seat when it's won in the next election.

    January 5, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  17. Ellison F.

    They should seat him, with no strings, another Dem can run againt him in 2010 that how a free country work hah good old boys system. It bit you in the butt.

    January 5, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  18. earle,florida

    Absolutely amazing, a triumph for the democratic system? Is ths country missing a few achronyms at the end US-SR! This is disgusting,appalling,incomprehencable,just to hard to believe,...

    January 5, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  19. Bill, Streamwood, IL

    If Roland Burris is qualified and did not "buy" his seat from Gov. Blago, then he should not have any restrictions. After all, he was legally appointed by a governor, who despite all the fuss, is innocent until proven guilty. If it is determined that Burris cut some sort of deal with Blago, then he should be removed and prosecuted.

    The "option" of seating Roland Burris if he promises not to run in 2010 is so pathetic and political, one might have thought the idea came from across the aisle.

    For all their indignation and bluster, the Democrats are showing that they are exactly the wimps we were afraid they might be.

    January 5, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |

    You can bet the devil is in the details. This is a shame. You can best believe they don't want another African American too close to the presidency.

    January 5, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  21. Concerned Democrat.

    Burris was LEGALLY nominated and as such IS THE SENATOR of Illinois and should be seated.


    This is why so many Democrats are starting to get disillusioned.

    First we have Gov. Blago and all the dirty Chicago Politics

    Then we have Rangel who Pelosi has yet to address properly

    Then we have the New York Senate seat who Harry Reid and the Kennedys are trying to manipulate.

    Let's hope Governor Patterson puts New York first and tells the Kennedys NO! New York should be more important than the Kennedy name. After all this is a Democracy not a Monarchy.

    Enough is Enough!

    The Burris appointment was legal so they need to seat him and focus on Rangel who has become a liability as well.

    January 5, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  22. PA

    The idea of allowing Roland Burris to be seated in the Senate as long as he agrees not to run in 2010 is not in my opinion a compromise but rather a political gester to save face or an inane idea that apparently no one could trump hence decided to use!

    In my opinion, it's inanity at it's best, serving no purpose and having no sensible foundation or reasoning. Surely among the many educated, experienced, professional, members one would expect better.

    January 5, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  23. Harriet Michel

    Typical of the Democratic leadership to throw down a guantlet then backup in the name of "compromise". PE Obama, after supporting Reid's position, is now left exposed. Roland Burris' hubris will deliver him an honor he could never earn. Shame on him and shame on the Democrats for being such jellyfish!

    January 5, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  24. H-ROD


    January 5, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    Martin January 5th, 2009 2:57 pm ET
    >>>>>I thought this kind of stuff would stop now that Obama is >>>>president.

    Yea,, right Martin. You actually believed that?

    Obama got elected, I accept that, and hope he does well.
    BUT, that is exactly the problem, people fell for the god allmighty theory surrounding Obama which the media pushed. Way too many people actually believed this man could change Washington and the world.
    CHANGE to BELIEVE in is what we heard.
    Again, I hope Obama make this country better, even if he did not get my vote, but I honestly feel there will be a lot of people sitting around about two or three years from now saying,,, Well gee whiz,,, he is not the god we thought. Not much has changed in Washington.

    January 5, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
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