January 15th, 2009
12:30 PM ET
13 years ago

Burris heads to his swearing-in

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/15/art.burris.gi.jpg caption="Burris is set to be sworn into the Senate Wednesday."]CHICAGO, Illinois (CNN) - Veteran Illinois politician Roland Burris headed to Washington for his official Senate swearing-in Thursday afternoon.

"It's called faith. And we knew that we were in the right. The law was on our side. And all we had to do was prevail," he said of his political struggle to claim his Senate seat. Embattled Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich appointed him to fill the junior senator position vacated by President-elect Barack Obama.

"We are on our way to Washington to be sworn in. And I'm looking forward to it," Burris said as he left Chicago's O'Hare airport Thursday morning with his wife. "As a matter of fact, I will go to work this evening. There will be votes taken tonight and tomorrow. The family will be coming back tonight (to Chicago). But I will have to go to work."

Senate Democratic leaders said Monday that the former Illinois attorney general presented the appropriate credentials for his Senate appointment.

Some Senate Democrats had argued that Burris should not be seated because he was appointed by Blagojevich, who has been impeached on corruption charges by the Illinois House of Representatives and is accused of attempting to "sell" the seat Obama vacated.
Blagojevich now faces a trial in the Illinois Senate.

Illinois Secretary of State Jessie White sided with those Democrats and did not sign the appointment certificate. In refusing to seat Burris last week, the Senate cited a 125-year Senate rule requiring the secretary of state's signature to certify an appointment. But the Illinois Supreme Court ruled Friday that the secretary of state's signature is not necessary.

Filed under: Roland Burris
soundoff (74 Responses)
  1. Laverne

    Congratulations Senator Burris. Though the way you got to the senate were not under the most desirable circumstances, nevertheless you got there. Make the most out of your time in the senate and yes keeping the FAITH along with the law on your side has prevailed!

    January 15, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  2. obama-mama

    Bless his little crazy heart. It's a shame he couldn't get the position without all the drama.

    January 15, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  3. Kevin in Ohio

    This is the best thing the dems have done yet...shows they know how to tip-toe around an issue and do a 180 when politically expedient. What a bunch of losers.

    January 15, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  4. Brianne

    Personally I don't believe Senator Roland Burris should have been appointed since it was from someone facing impeachement. I think the entire senate should have got to voice their opinion, or why not have Obama choose who would replace him. Although, since he was appointed hopefully he will do a good job and at least he has appropriate credentials. All I can say is luckily I don't have any affiliations to Illinois.

    January 15, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  5. RealityKing

    The appropriate credentials for his Senate appointment being that he is black, of course..

    January 15, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  6. vic

    I believe in Burris. I think he will be a very good senator.

    January 15, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  7. ao


    January 15, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  8. Barack wins and America Capitalism and Productive people lose.

    Chicago corruption pawn, welcome to Washington. It would be funny if we wasn't so sad.

    January 15, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  9. Barack wins and America Capitalism and Productive people lose.

    Chicago corruption pawn, welcome to Washington. It would be funny if it wasn't so sad

    January 15, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  10. Andrew

    Disgusting. This man's appointment is tainted by corruption and deceit. A true believer of faith would have the decency to refuse the governor, and to try and win the seat through honest election and proving his qualifications.

    I sincerely hope Illinois votes this man out of office in six years.

    January 15, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |

    Burris is an opportunist with no shame at all. His consulting firm did favors by hiring Blagojevich's wife for a job paying over $80k. My bet is he will not enjoy his two years in the senate and, should he run for the seat, he will be soundly defeated by a fellow democrat in the nomination process. If per chance he wins the democratic nomination, he will lose badly to his GOP opponent.

    January 15, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  12. Mike Mundy, Houston, TX

    So is the Senate going to have hearings to determine if Burris "payed-to-play"? Where is your backbone, Democrats? Simply because Sen. Dianne Feinstein, demanded that Burris be seated, and you then caved in?

    You act not different then those corrupt republicans. You had better watch yourselves, democrats, or you too will get clobbered in the next election!

    January 15, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  13. Steve

    So, because of Gov. Blagojevich, Illinois now has a senator with absolutely no influence or credibility to serve the citizens of Illinois. Not sure who got the last laugh...

    January 15, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  14. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Congratulations Senator Burris............sometimes, politicians do something right......

    January 15, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  15. fredly

    A man without integrity joins a group without integrity. Don't they belong together?

    January 15, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  16. Retired Army in San Antonio

    Like I said said two weeks back; this was a done deal from the start.

    There are no provisions under the Constitution to deny an appointed Senator his/her seat because the legal appointing authority was 'facing' charges.

    Hopefully, senate Democrats will not do what Senate Republicans did for eight years......attempt to change the laws in mid-stream to suit their political / ideological needs.

    January 15, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  17. Outspoken

    Well it worked for Roland, now let's see if it's going to work for Caroline. Isn't our new government of "change" really getting off to a good start?

    January 15, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  18. Dylan from MN

    After getting to know Burris through all of this, I've grown to like him. Like another Illinois politician, he kept it cool and has displayed a steady hand. At first, like many, I was skeptical, but I believe he will do a good job working in the Senate and working to get Illinois and this country back on its feet.

    January 15, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  19. Harry Reid

    Apparently I was mistaken, possibly not correct, even not right...

    January 15, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  20. Vet

    He's one of the worst public speakers I've ever seen in gov'ment. And of course he paid to play but the dems won't go after him cause they are spineless.

    January 15, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  21. California Gold

    Personally I remain troubled by this man's appointment. By his own admission he contributed $20,000 to Blagojevich's campaign, just like the others in the report who donated like amounts that are "pay to play". Additionally Burris has failed to win every election in Illinois. In 2009 he is appointed but in 2010 he will have an uphill battle thanks to his own unpopularity and his Blagojevich connection.

    January 15, 2009 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  22. Trust

    Burris is the senator now. Good for him.

    January 15, 2009 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  23. Jordan

    "And we knew that we were in the right. The law was on our side."

    Someone should inform the Junior Senator that those concepts do not always go hand in hand. This is one of those exceptions. There is absolutely nothing "right" about this appointment.

    January 15, 2009 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  24. Outspoken

    Well, it worked for Roland. Now let's see if the same tactic works for Caroline. Isn't our new governemnt of "change" getting off to a good start?

    January 15, 2009 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  25. Peter

    I dont know what to think of Burris. He is more qualified then the past few senators we had when they were first elected/chosen. I believe that his personality is good too, I just want to make sure that Blago didnt get something for this appointment. Im still hoping Blago just said "I need a random guy...Burris!!"

    January 15, 2009 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
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