January 12th, 2009
10:54 AM ET
12 years ago

Senior senator blunt on Burris 'mess'

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/12/art.burris12.gi.jpg caption="Burris visited Capitol Hill last week."](CNN) - A senior Democratic senator told CNN Monday the Senate was moving toward seating Roland Burris because "when you're dealt a losing hand, you skip to the end."

The senator, who asked not to be quoted by name because of the sensitivties of the situation, called the current situation a "mess" that Democratic leaders are anxious to end, and said that a leading idea is to seat Burris "without prejudice" - which, under Senate rules, would allow them the ability to revisit the issue, since Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich is in such uncertain legal territory.

Another senior Democratic source insists the details on how to seat Burris haven't been decided.

But given the assessment of the senior senator, and remarks made by Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin Sunday, it doesn't appear Burris will go through the lengthy process Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Durbin described last week - marking an apparent reversal by Democratic leaders.

Filed under: Roland Burris
soundoff (124 Responses)
  1. Matt

    Fact: it was and is completely legitimate for the Dems to have serious misgivings about seating a man appointed by such an obviously corrupt person. Fact: if they didn't, you GOPers would've claimed they were all corrupt for not questioning Blago's appointment of Burris. Fact: they did question it, and even tried to stop it because of the damage it does to the integrity of the entire Senate, not just their party, so you try to paint it like they're unable to run the party. Fact: it's not a catch-22, it's just the GOP trying to have it both ways, like they always do...one hand in the cookie jar while they other's on the bible.

    January 12, 2009 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  2. ga.

    if you would have followed the LAW we wouldn't be in this MESS!

    January 12, 2009 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  3. Luis

    JohnBoy, that is what I call an uninspired comment soaked by one liners. The whole case is about sitting a nominated candidate (who has an impeccable record) but it happens to be nominated by a alledged (has not gone to trial) governor. It is a difficult situation for all of us (democrats and republicans alike). This is a government that belongs to all of us...apparently you consider yourself more a Republican than American. Wheather you like it or not....Obama is your President...so be a good citizen, work hard, speak intelligently, and join the rest of us who are working hard to improve the current situation in this country.

    January 12, 2009 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  4. shelby

    Score I for Blago and Zero for Obama. What does Blago have on BO and Emanuel from their days of running his campaign to be the Honest governor. Stay tuned folks, there's more to this story.

    January 12, 2009 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  5. Mickie

    Well who knows who Blago would have appointed if he had not been threatened. Probably the highes bidder. Let's concentrate on issues that affect our economy and war at the moment.

    January 12, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  6. BM

    I don't think Burris should fill that senate seat because I think he is as tainted as the governor. In addition, he feels that he is entitiled to it. He no more has an interest in the people of Illinois than the govenor. It is all about self. If the people felt that Burris was electable, he would have been a senator. He and that Bobby Rush think that using the race card will be enough to seat him. As an African American, I hope this will not work. Forget about credentials! What about morals? This man is too cocky and something in the milk is not clean. He is as corrupt as the govenor! The govenor's wife worked for in Burris' office. Goolgle and you will see the connection!

    January 12, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  7. TX_c

    Democrats seat Mr. Burris and close-out this issue. The people of IL will get to vote again in 2010. It's not worth the fight and negativity .

    We (the people) need help with the economy - much bigger issue to solve.

    January 12, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  8. Random

    Uh, are you really serious about the Dems not being able to control their party? As if a, the GOP has done such a great job and b, have you not noticed all their scandals?

    Oh, no. You probably haven't.

    January 12, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  9. mary dale

    Reid was wrong to come out against Burris in the first place. THere is no legal reason not to seat him. We need to move on and have a full senate. Flipflop means you have a brain and a sense of reason and are able to see both sides of a situation and pick the best. It would have been nice to see Bush practice a little of it instead of making a decision and never backing down no matter how bad it was – Iraq war for example; since just about every thing he did while in office was wrong.

    January 12, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  10. Chicago Girl

    Two days after Blago was arrested, Roland Burris called for his immediate resignation and said that Blago was incapacitated. Why would Burris accept an appointment from someone he described in such a way? I dread having Burris as our senator. He is a has been who has been rejected by Illinois voters on numerous occasions. We don't want him!

    January 12, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  11. Jen

    I think Burris has his nose too far up his you know what... I think impecable records are of question anytime in politics. He isnt as clean just better at hiding it. Something will seep out of the woodwork evenutally. I just hope that Ilinois will not revote him back in when his short term is finished!!

    January 12, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  12. jfz

    I've been wondering: If Blagojevich was selling the senate seat, what occured to have it given to Burris? Coming from Illinois, is Burris squeaky clean? Is any Illinois politician? After hearing Mr. Burris proclaim that he did nothing wrong and proclaim how many times he's been elected as proof, I wonder: Doest thou protest too much? And what DID he say to Blagojevich to get his nomination?

    January 12, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  13. pat napolitano

    Since Mr. Burris was appointed, he must be considered. However, an extensive search into his qualifications, background, and connection to Mr. Blogodivich should be investigated as would happen to anyone nominated. He cannot complain as he knew what the situation was when it was offered to him. Another, refused and so should he but this was his last chance to be a Senator so I understand his situation. I do not approve it but understand it. If nothing is found, I guess we have to confirm him but we need to take time and he needs to understand this.

    January 12, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  14. Laverne

    To honest, I am losing all respect for Harry Reid and the way he handles things. He does not have the authority to keep this sharade going, yet he continues to make a spectacle of the whole thing. Why go thru all this just to seat him anyway because Burris has the law on this side. You are becoming ineffective Harry!

    January 12, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  15. Mike, Syracuse NY

    @Matt, How can you possibly try to blame Republicans for this fiasco? This has been a Democratic show in it's entirety, from Blago to Burris to the Black Caucus to Reid. This IS a LOSE-LOSE for the Dems, and it's one of their own making so stop whining.

    January 12, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  16. Greg Pottstown, Pa.

    Obama Told Reid two weeks ago " make this go away". Why Reid did not listen is beyond me. Obama's choice of words could have been better but this dose make the party look foolish and I think what Obama meant was, we have more important things to do. Obama had better put a leash on Pelosi and Reid or they will make him look like a fool.

    January 12, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  17. CP

    No explanation has been provided by Harry Reid & Co. as to how, if Burris is a "tainted" appointee, how such a tainted Senator could in any way represent a threat to the integrity of the Senate. He still will have only one vote among 99 other Senators, and his vote should be expected all times to be biased and prejudiced towards the interests of state of Illinois. The Senate cannot change the required qualifications for its members from what the Constitution says. Reid & the Democrats are looking like a bigger bunch of bullies and fools every minute this nonsense goes on. "Judge of the elections, returns, and qualifications" doesn't mean the Senate can reject valid legal documents or refuse membership to those Senators duly elected/appointed. In any case, the decision to judge credentials is for the full Senate to decide, not the Senate administration or Senate leadship on its own. I challenge any State to change the appointing authority for temporary Senators to be an official other than the governor and see the Senate squawk even bigger high hell when the legal certificate appointment in such a case isn't signed by the governor because the governor would have nothing to do with that decision. As for the new Illinois governor making a new appointment to replace Burris, I don't think she would have that authority because there is no longer a Senate vacancy under Illinois law anymore needing to be filled, so the Senate must accept Burris's appointment regardless of what happens to Blagojevich, even after Blagojevich is convicted of impeachment. Burris just wants to start the highly presigious and honorable job which he just got hired for, give him a break for not walking away just because of some misplaced boos from the crowd.

    January 12, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  18. tired of corporate politics

    to Random: "As if a, the GOP has done such a great job and b, have you not noticed all their scandals?"

    You have observed something very important. The DNC and and RNC are both very similar. Thank you. After seeing the scandals, hate, lies, division, and corporate control, maybe we should all consider a change next time we vote: Green, Liberatrian, ???.

    January 12, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  19. Don't lower the bar!

    Do not seat this man.

    January 12, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  20. billy-bayou

    It in not a stretch of the imagination to see the reincarnation of Adolph Hitler when I look at people like harry reid and turbin durbin, and no it was not a typo when I did not capitalize their names, just like when I do the same for the "great himself" obama.

    January 12, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  21. Alan

    Yes the Republicans have done horribly. BUT, at least we have had the integrity to admit that and to vote them out of office. All we hear from Dems is – "Hey look at how bad the Repubs are" If someone is a crook, they should go – regardless of the party.

    January 12, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  22. chris@stl

    What happened to the morality in this country ...
    Can this guy Burris be recalled by IL voters if he gets to be seated ...

    January 12, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |

    about time you elected people wake up

    January 12, 2009 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  24. anthony

    I think the Democrats should move on and seat Burris. The GOP has already move on, as the Illinois GOP has already indicated that they want to investigate the tie between Blagojevich and Burris. Their eyes are already on the 2010 election. The Democrats should do the same.

    January 12, 2009 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  25. Matt

    Pretty simple fix: get the Illinois state legislature to schedule the special election for March. Voila...no more Burris.

    January 12, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
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