January 6th, 2009
11:30 AM ET
14 years ago

Burris arrives on the Hill

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/06/art.roland.cnn.jpg caption="Burris arrived on the Hill Monday, as media swarmed."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - Former Illinois Attorney General Roland Burris, named by Illinois' controversial governor to fill Barack Obama's Senate seat, arrived at the U.S. Senate Tuesday morning for the start of the 111th Congress.

The secretary of the U.S. Senate on Monday rejected Burris' appointment because it does not conform with the Senate rule requiring that the secretary of state - in this case, Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White - must sign the certificate of appointment along with the governor.

White has declined to sign the certificate, siding with some Senate Democrats who say Burris should not be seated because of the cloud over Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who is accused of trying to sell Obama's Senate seat.

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Filed under: Roland Burris
soundoff (139 Responses)
  1. boered1

    legally there is no reason not to seat him, morally he has not been tied to anything illegal so seat him, politically well i guess this must be the overridding concern! Seat the appointed Senator! The constitution gives the Senate the right, if someone does not meet the requiremetns to be a Senator to refuse them but under no other circumsstances do we REALLY want the Senate to decide who getw seated? I can see the Republicans now... they someday have a majority and refuse to seat ANY democrats.. (or vice versa!) seat the leagally appointed Senator!

    idiots

    January 6, 2009 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  2. Meh

    Good luck w. that , Burris, you old fool.

    January 6, 2009 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  3. Rita

    This guy Burris is a joke. Has anyone else seen him on these news shows acting like nothing is wrong? He is in total denial and he has an attitude and a smirk with it too.

    January 6, 2009 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  4. BB

    He needs to chilll – just hold back and stop creating all the havoc. His mere PUSH to be in the news is causing me to have second thoughts about him. It's his ego, not the people, that he's concerned about.

    Enough of the drama "queen" crap.

    January 6, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  5. Lauren the Designer

    All of this drama could have been avoided if Blagojevich had just kept his mouth shut. He should have never been allowed to appoint anyone.

    January 6, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  6. obama-mama

    Awww he's come such a long way, might as well give it to him.....Ha ha ha ha ha....This guy is a hoot.

    January 6, 2009 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  7. Laverne

    Should not, would not, could not. Even though Blagojevich is under a cloud of suspicion, he has not be convicted of anything. His appointing Burris is legal and binding whether dems like it or not. You can't change the rules in the middle of the game, just ask Hillary!

    January 6, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  8. What a mess

    Yeah...? We all know that he was going. You might have wanted to wait and see if they seat him, since that would be the news part of this story.

    January 6, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  9. Nathan,

    Blagojovich has played this one right. He has a black candidate who can't be seated because a black secretary of state in Ill won't certify him because a black President-elect dosen't think that he should be seated. Burris wanted to be a senator so bad that he didn't mind becoming a pawn in the Blagojovich's game. As an African American I find Burris allowing himself to be used by this criminal appalling and it indicates that he is not fit to represent the state in the senate. If Burris can't see the ethical issues of being picked by this man and the obvious racial overtones Blagojovich is trying to exploit then he clearly isn't intelligent enough or independent enough to serve.

    January 6, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  10. Joe

    What is up with this goofy cell phone video coverage as Burris enters the Senate building. All you see is flashes of the floor, the steps, the ceiling and everyonce in a while an unrelated person. It looks like the cell phone owner is dancing in circles.

    Enough already!

    January 6, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  11. AnaB

    Oh to be a fly on the wall...

    January 6, 2009 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  12. Sherrol in Canada

    What a spectacle!! Burris must be relishing being on the national stage and I guess, due to his blind ambition, doesn't mind being a pawn. He's just milking it for all it's worth.

    I do believe statements around this circus are becoming out of control though. Talk of an "appointment from God", "don't lynch him" etc....

    Way too much drama! No one here deserves an academy award!

    January 6, 2009 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  13. Sharon

    I'm from Illinois and I DO NOT want Roland Burris or ANYONE that he picks. Roland Burris was never popular in Illinois politics or he would have beat his opponents over the years. Now appointed by a criminal who I voted for but betrayed me, I hope goes to prison for a long time. Burris gave money to Blag so this is payback, what an arrogant creep!

    January 6, 2009 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  14. AJ

    I bet the stone carvers are adding this to his monument to himself right this minute . What a schmuck...

    January 6, 2009 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  15. Ray Fisher

    I am greatly dissappointed in the Democratic party for not handling this situation during the Presidential campaign to pick Obama's and Emanuel's replacements should they win the election to continue the theme of a seamless transition. It is shocking that the first glitch in the new era of politics ushered in by President Obama should come from his own party reinforcing Republican claims of a party not ready to govern. Why must the Democrats traditionally snatch defeat from the jaws of victory???

    January 6, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  16. Grimm

    Governor Blagojevich has not been found guilty of anything yet. He is still the governor of Illinois regardless of what anyone may think of him. It is his legal right, as the governor, to appoint someone to the senate seat vacated by PE Obama. He made his choice.

    There is no evidence or even speculation that Burris does not meet the minimum requirements to fill the seat for two years.

    Illinois SOS Jesse White has no right to refuse signing the appointment certificate.

    Reid does not have the legal authority to deny Burris.

    All of the above equates to the appointment must stand. When people in positions of power begin bending the rules/laws to suit their own personal sense of right/wrong we the voting public lose big time. The fact that some type of compromise is being considered is insane. To "negotiate" Burris' appointment would place Reid in the same company as the Blagojevich being accused of trying to "sell" the senate seat. Either way you cut it, to "negotiate" or "sell" a senate seat is just wrong. Like the old cliche states "two wrongs don't make a right."

    On a side note, I really wish Burris had not accepted the appointment under the current circumstances but he did. His appointment, by law, must stand.

    January 6, 2009 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  17. Jesus

    I told him it was OK.

    January 6, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  18. LIP

    Let Burris be seated. He couldn't be any worse than any of the other Senators currently occupying space in Washington. If it turns out that he paid for the seat or traded it for favors, then someone can investigate him, which is what will probably happen anyway.

    January 6, 2009 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  19. Terry B.

    This is becoming nothing but a black eye for the Democrats. All this grandstanding has to stop. Lets be clear, what Rod Blagojevich has been accused of and arrested for is wrong however, he has not been tried or found guilty thus "innocent until proven guilty". In the mean time the Illinois' Legislature has neither impeached him nor have they removed him from office so he continues to perform the duties of the office of Governor. Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White and Harry Reid need to shut the F*&# up and do what they have been elected to do. Roland Burris by all accounts is an upstanding citizen, completely disconnected to the Governor of Illinois and is by many accounts qualified to be a U.S. Senator. It is totally wrong to let ones personal feelings get in the way of doing what one is suppose to do. If they have heartburn over all of this then they need to step aside and let someone else get it done otherwise they look like a couple of cowards trying to be "politically correct".

    January 6, 2009 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  20. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    Burris is not legally appointed... what's so hard to understand about that????

    January 6, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  21. Baze

    Um Burris, you should get lost.

    January 6, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  22. Innocent Man

    This man has done nothing wrong.
    Blogo has erred. But Blogo has not been convicted.
    So why treat Burris like a criminal?

    January 6, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  23. Matt

    Does it really show the careful and ethical judgment we want from a Senator to accept an appointment from a Governor who is about to be impeached and likely convicted of corruption charges, rather than showing restraint by refraining from engaging in a dog and pony show to push the appointment?

    Hint: NO.

    January 6, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  24. Proud Democrat.

    Mr. Burris is the LEGAL SENATOR of Illinois and should be seated.

    January 6, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  25. MaryanneAZ

    Can anyone say "hypocrites"? I cannot believe how hypocritical the Dems (of whom I am one) are being with respect to this appointment of a fellow Dem. They know they stepped in deep doo-doo when they came out with their bluster when Blago was arrested, and now they have left themselves no face saving way out of the quaqmire. Stooges. What really amazed me was to hear Reid on MTP on Sunday openly admit that HE sticks his nose in the process in every State to make suggestions on who would be an "acceptable" choice for a replacement Senator. Does anyone else remember annointing Reid or anyone else in the Senate the advocate for all of the State's on who may become a replacement Senator? I certainly do not. We now know with certainty that pay for play is more than a Chicago problem or New Mexico problem, apparently the Senate itself is knee-deep in some very shady back room dealings. What does Reid promise those Governors in return for his "blessing" on their appointments? I'd certainly like to hear those Fitzgerald wiretaps of Blago now that we know Reid talked to Blago as well about that State's appointment. Did Reid really steer Blago away from appointing any AA to the position? It would be easy enough to learn the truth if those tapes get released. For all of his problems, Blago certainly was a genius to muck things up for the Dems, the Senate, the State of Illinois and everyone else in the new administration by making this appointment. He now gets to sit back and enjoy the fireworks. Genius, pure genius.

    January 6, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
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