January 6th, 2009
12:28 PM ET
14 years ago

Cleaver: This cannot be a 'black seat'

(CNN) - Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, the new vice chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, said Tuesday President-elect Barack Obama's vacant Senate seat should not viewed as 'the black seat.'

“Mr. Burris will be seated or won’t be seated on the basis of what happens in a court. I don’t think it’s in the people of Illinois’ interests for us to color that seat," Cleaver told reporters on Capitol Hill. "That seat can’t be the black seat. If that happens we begin to lose the progress we made.”

Those comments appear at odds with views of Rep. Bobby Rush, who has implored Senate Democrats to seat Burris because there are currently no African-American members of the Senate, and called the currently all-white chamber the "the last bastion of plantation politics."

soundoff (113 Responses)
  1. cat

    I agree you can not color a senate seat. May the best man win. and pray it is not a republican...

    January 6, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  2. Joyce

    CherryStrawberry: Do not apologize for ranting. You said what needed to be said and what people need to hear. Thank you.

    January 6, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  3. Michael in San Diego

    I've read through many of the comments on these blogs and one of the biggest issues I see with these comments is prejudice. Too many of these comments appear to be aimed towards "ALL DEMOCRATS" or "ALL BLACK" people. I don't think that "ALL REPUBLICANS" are idiots but reading through some of these posts I sure have to keep reminding myself that you're individuals too and are bound to have a few knuckleheads among you as well.

    News flash - the Black individuals I've spoken to don't believe the Blog/Burris issue has anything to do with racism. I think there are always going to be racist INDIVIDUALS in any group but anyone who makes a comment that states an entire race or political affilitiation thinks as a monolithic block are showing their own ignorance.

    January 6, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  4. Crispus

    On Blogo: Still the Gov. and can do what a gov. can do...
    On Burris: Politically hungry and always wanted the job but was out of politics for too long. He knows it is easier to keep as incumbent

    January 6, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  5. Bob

    Amen reverend !

    January 6, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  6. Franky

    Burris is an idiot, Congress is an idiot and our Gov is an idiot and so on. If it were up to us, we wouldv'e whacked them a long time ago...literally. We don't like distractions...I'm sure the GOP can tell you and I ain't playing for once...

    January 6, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  7. Malcolm

    As a 19 year old African-American male in the very district Rep. Cleaver serves I am offended by his comments. He should be ashamed of his failure to identify the Senate's failure to sear Mr. Burris as just what it is...as Rep. Bobby Rush described it, it is "the last bastion of plantation politics."

    January 6, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  8. Mike in NYC

    @liberal white female:

    I realize how important it is for you and yours to feel all moral and righteous inside, but making an explicitly racist post is not the way to do it.

    TCM and cherrystrawberry (black herself) were commenting on all-too-common feelings of entitlement among blacks. Your clinically insane worldview denies the very existence of such, hence your on-tap outrage.

    You also made four spelling/grammatical errors yourself, babe. Not too good.

    January 6, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  9. Sharon Kitchen

    A senate seat is just that. That position does not know color.
    It should know the law.
    Know the constitution.

    January 6, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  10. Amber

    He's right. This racial allegation b.s., is just that....B.S.!! Go figure...throw race into anything when they don't get their way. No wonder black people get a bad rap. Part of it they bring on themselves.

    You know its the truth, so dont' even argue with me. This is ridiculous! No one cares if he's black, pink, green, or yellow.....its all about the cloud that hangs over him b/c of the Illinois Gov. PERIOD. Nothing more, nothing less.

    Get a life folks.

    January 6, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  11. Henry Miller, Cary, NC


    That wasn't a rant, that was common sense.

    January 6, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  12. ran

    Mr. Cleaver:Right

    Mr. Rush/Burris: Wrong

    January 6, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  13. sue d

    Burris has not held any office for 14 years, because the voters of this state (IL) would not vote him in. It was not for a lack of trying. He was REJECTED by this state's voters, numerous times. What has he been doing for 14 years? He has become a lobbyist. He has donated much money to the govenor's campaign fund. His clients have also donated to the govenor's campaign fund. His clients have recieved lucrative state contracts handed out by the govenor of Illinois. That he has aligned himself with the govenor and accepted this appointment shows that he has only his own ambitions at heart, not the voters. This seat does not belong to the govenor, the democrats, or Mr. Burris. It belongs to the citizens of the state of Illinois. There is not racism in this rejection of his "claim" to the senate seat. There is no support for Mr. Burris, beyond a small enclave of people, that see personal benefit in this appointment and helping Mr. Burris press his claim. His insistance that he is the senator from Illinois is delusional. He does not represent me, and he hopefully never will. Let the voters in Illinois decide who should sit in that seat-NOW. We're about to vote on a replacement for Rahm's seat. Let's piggy back the senate seat onto that ballot. The money for this special election, is minimal compared to the damage this govenor and faux senator are doing to this good state.

    January 6, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
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