January 12th, 2009
10:54 AM ET
13 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. California Gold

    The current situation with Burris will resolve. Burris is going to have a huge problem in 2010 when he runs for office because (1) he is now appointed by a Governor who has now been impeached, (2) he is like all the other people who donated thousands of dollars to the re-elect Blagojevich–and all those other people claim there was no Pay to Play involved (yawn), (3) Burris has failed in every run for office in Illinois-the guy can't even win as major. The only way Burris can get into the Senate is by a corrupt, impeached Governor. His "career" will be short lived.

    January 12, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  2. Brian - Trinidad

    When you have senior Democratic Senators who are afraid to speak openly, that's a bad sign.Reason #652 why the Obama presidency will be worse than Bush's.

    January 12, 2009 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  3. Laura

    Even our dogs are done with GW!
    My tenor as first bimbo is almost over and I can't wait. I'm going to back to the library, that way I know I won't see that bozo anymore.

    January 12, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  4. Matt

    @ Larry and Brian

    Hyperbole much?

    January 12, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  5. WELCOME TO THE OBAMA SHOW!!!!!!!!!!!!



    January 12, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  6. Concerned Democrat.

    SEAT BURRIS and get it over with.

    Harry Reid has put his foot in his mouth once again and now he is going to have to eat crow.

    Maybe next time he will keep his mouth shut.

    January 12, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  7. Independent Hoosier Voter

    The democrats didn't want a special election for fear they'd lose. The democrats argue Burris is tainted because he is appointed by a Governor who has been arrested but neither indicted nor convicted of a crime. The Illinois Supreme Court states the appointment is valid under Illinois law.
    So, if you are afraid the voters might not select the candidate of your choice and the Governor has not selected one of your "preferred" candidates, continue to ignore the law, the presumption of innocence, and the Illinois Supreme Court and look for technicalities to avoid seating a well-respected candidate with more governmental experience and knowledge of the law than many sitting senators, including, obviously, the senior senator from Illinois.

    January 12, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  8. Future

    Burris for president.

    January 12, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |

    If Burris is qualified why not seat him. This appointed is circumspect only because of Blagojevich. From what I've read Burris has been for years a respected politician.

    January 12, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  10. don

    It is great to see that Reid and Obama are truly equal opportunity– they treat any politiicians who won't do exactly what the want with the same slander, libel and venom. Bush and Cheney must be laughing at the shame the Democratic leadership is bringing to the democratic party and the country.
    Reid told Blago to choose one of two white women and not three black men, and when he didn't Blago was taken off at the knees– but no one accuses Reid of playing the race card or of corrupting the procees of selecting an Illinois Senator. Only in the American press can someone like Reid act in the most racist manner and get support in accusing others of playing the race card. Of course Obama wanted Blago to use his picks and flip flopped with the political wind ever after.
    They look a lot more like facist than democrats.

    January 12, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  11. No Hillary = No Obama

    I think the American people have been dealt a losing hand with the senators and congressman who already populate that exclusive club. My 401 statements came. I lost thousands of dollars thanks to the do-nothing congress. And they are complaining about Burris? Jerks.

    January 12, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  12. richard

    Democrats having the Senate with the lowest approvel rating history. They can't even fix their own party, and they think they can fix the country.

    January 12, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  13. Allen Hussein

    Harry Reid is an absolute joke. First he caves every time Bush makes a face at him, then he gets punked by the worst governor in the nation.

    January 12, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  14. Tim

    My guess is that the senior democratic leader said something, and then asked for it to be off the record, and was then granted that request by the liberal press at CNN.

    So when did he ask for anonominity?

    January 12, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  15. Homer

    There is one thing for sure. As dumb as these Democrats are they can't do any worse than the Republicans.

    January 12, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  16. Malcolm in St Louis

    Reid and Durbin are idiots. Everey time they open their mouths they confirm it for all the world to see.

    Constitutionally the States decide who they send to represent them, as long as they meet the requirements of the US constitution vis a vis age, not being a felon, etc.

    The Senate has no say. They can have their little rules and try to nitpick but this is a States rights issue. Even if Blagoyevich goes to jail it was a legal appointment at the time he made it. The Illinois Supreme court says it is a good appointment. End of story. The signature of the Secretary of State is nice but not necessary. The law does not allow a lack of a signature to invalidate the Governor's authority. The Secy of State does not have veto over the appointment.

    Seat Burris and do something useful. Reid looks pathetic and I am a Democrat. get someone decisive in there .

    January 12, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  17. Mike

    a state court said it was valid by state laws. That doesn't mean it is valid by senate rules. The senate says that the attorny general needs to sign something not a state law. So the ruling is meaningless.

    January 12, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  18. Dave

    hey gl, Pittsburgh- get a clue. Like one of these parties is going to end....that's a laugh. The sheep follow and support the whole one party, two name system. You've fallen for it.

    January 12, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  19. bsmith171

    not quoted by name.
    then don't print his lies.

    January 12, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  20. Senator Harry The Idiot Reid

    The Democrats have called an emergency session to answer the most important question they haave dealt with in 25 years - On the Burris Appointment: The Secretary of State of IL has now certified the Burris appointment, but there are now 2 pieces of paper – one with the appointment signed by the Governor, and one with the certification signed by the Secretary of state. Oh my God – do we need 1 piece of paper or 2 pieces of paper. THIS IS LUNACY AND THE HARRY REID IS WASTING THE TIME OF THE ENTIRE SENATE WHILE HE SEARCHES FOR A GRACEFUL BACKSTEP EXIT FROM A DOO DOOSITUATION HE SHOULD HAVE NEVE STEPPED INTO, In light of the Dem follies, Americans are coming to realize that Reid and his majority in the Senate cannot possibly meet the challenges that this country faces, and it is becoming increasingly more apparent that the GOP will regain control by the mid term elections. Obama/s two biggest challenges and his two biggest headaches will be Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, two of the most incompetent and arrogant people ever to walk the halls of Congress. UTTERLY SHAMEFUL AND CHILDISH BEHAVIOR. No wonder the rest of the world no longer takes us serioulsy - we look like children fighting over the candy.

    January 12, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  21. BigBear

    This is the Democrats gift that keeps on giving. Each day, their true colors are printed out for all to see.
    It would seem that their main problem is that they don't understand that what they want may sometimes be illegal. In this case, they don't want Burriss seated, not because of Burriss, but because of someone else.
    That someone else is Bloggo. He is, legally, a Governor. Nothing else at this time counts. He has performed a duty that is required by law, by naming a replacement for our new President. The replacement is Burriss.
    The gift providers are Durbin and Reid. They ignore law and say that Burriss can't be seated without the Illinois Sec. of State signing on to it. The Illinois Supreme Court says that you only need that signature to ensure that the election was properly held. Now we see that the gift providers don't know the difference between an election and an appointment.
    The gift providers will drag this out and see what happens to the impeachment process. In their apparent opinion, if impeached, Bloggo's appointment of Burriss can't be legal. Of course, everything else that Bloggo has done,since mighty mouth Fed Special Atty opened his mouth, will be legal.
    Oh, what fools end up in politics.

    January 12, 2009 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  22. pavi

    BM ,
    you hit the nail on the head. Burris is an opportunist,who allowed
    -old style divisive black panther politics- Bobby Rush -militant- to liken Burris not being seated to a lynching. Bobby Rush backed the white candidate,when Obama ran for the seat originally, what a hypocrite!!!

    January 12, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  23. Gene in PA

    A good leader knows how to choose his battles wisely! It is time for Sen. Read to end this distraction and seat Burris, because he is wasting political capital in a fight that is ultimately meaningless. Blago will be impeached. and most likely face criminal proceedings, and Burris will be pushed aside in the next democratic primary. Meantime he's a safe Dem vote, So move on!

    January 12, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  24. Irritated in Fl

    I think he meant to say that when you're dealt a hand with a race card in it then you have to fold. Otherwise you get accused to all kinds of things . I told you that Burris would get in on the race card. More Chicago politics. Looks like Chicago politics are going to be the standard for our new national politics. If this is fact, then I'd safely say there will eventually be civil unrest, maybe even another civil war. You can clearly see from all of the blogs and internet postings that Obama has stirred the pot and set this country back decades in racial relations. It's a sad sad day in America when ones skin color and wallet can buy the highest office in the land.

    January 12, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
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