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Blago Names Black Atty To Obama Seat

From Chicago’s local news outlet, WGN-9:

Then Governor-elect Rod Blagojevich introduces his board of advisors, including Roland Burris (to the governor’s left) in November 2002.

Blagojevich to name Burris to Senate

December 30, 2008

Gov. Rod Blagojevich is expected today to name former Illinois Atty. Gen. Roland Burris to replace President-elect Barack Obama in the U.S. Senate.

The action comes despite warnings by Democratic Senate leaders that they would not seat anyone appointed by the disgraced governor who faces criminal charges of trying to sell the post, sources familiar with the decision said.

Shortly after Obama’s Nov. 4 victory, Burris made known his interest in an appointment to the Senate but was never seriously considered, according to Blagojevich insiders. But in the days following Blagojevich’s arrest, and despite questions over the taint of a Senate appointment, Burris stepped up his efforts to win the governor’s support.

Though he is 71, Burris has said that Obama’s replacement should be able to win re-election and he has noted that despite a string of primary losses in races ranging from Chicago mayor to governor and U.S. senator, he’s never lost to a Republican

Blagojevich’s criminal defense attorney Ed Genson had said Blagojevich would not name a Senate successor to Obama. The governor had indicated he agreed with other Illinois politicians that the best option might be a special election to fill Obama’s seat. But state lawmakers have not taken up the necessary legislation.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada previously warned Blagojevich, following the governor’s Dec. 9 arrest, that Senate Democrats would not seat any appointment the two-term Democratic governor made. Reid’s warning was contained in a letter signed by all 50 sitting Democratic senators, including the No. 2 Democrat in Senate leadership, Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois…

Burris became the first African-American to win statewide office in 1978, when he won the first of his three terms as comptroller. But Burris repeatedly stalled in his quest for bigger political office. He failed in three consecutive runs for governor–1994, 1998 and 2002, when he ran against Blagojevich–in the Democratic primaries.

Luckily Mr. Blagojevich named a black man to fill Mr. Obama’s (long) vacant seat.

So there might not be any rioting from the “content of his character” crowd.

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, December 30th, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

18 Responses to “Blago Names Black Atty To Obama Seat”

  1. Liberals Demise says:

    No surprise here. Has to keeps that seat black. (nod, nod…..wink, wink)

  2. cjokry says:

    Yup. The clever dem knows his party well. They said they wouldn’t seat his appointment, but will they really turn down a 71-year-old black man who can’t seem to get ahead in politics through the traditional process of being elected?

  3. xdannyh says:

    Wow, this Blago thing is going to be a whole lotta fun.
    1st: if the ill constitution follows the U.S Const. impeachment would be for “high crimes and misdemeanors” so is it a misdemeanor to indicate that he would be interested in a campaign donation for consideration on filling the seat and how would this relate to all the other trough feeders,oops I mean “public servants” and their solicitations for donations, after all, he could say that he was operating a undercover sting to find out who the crooked politicos are, and in that there was nothing done, by way of money changing hands or seat appointed, is there a crime here, that would warrant the removal of a publicly elected official by the courts or legislature?
    2nd: With the threads of this stretching back to B.O. and his whitewashed investigation, the very nervous ILL bigwigs, for some trumped up reason, won’t allow Blago to call on the unamed potential candidates or interested parties, aka B.O. and his operatives, not only bringing up the question of due process but stinking up the whole mess bigtime.
    3rd. When Blago talks you can bet people listen, this guy is gonna take people with him.
    4th: He sticks it to the establishment with his pick for the senate seat, it will be fun to watch the 50 dem senators who said they would not seat any appointment, eat their hat! Too bad he didn’t appoint himself and declare that he was a republican, that would have been a riot, probably in more ways than one.
    Hey who said politics wasn’t a laugh fest!

  4. proreason says:

    How much did Blago get for this?

    I mean, other than that it’s his get-out-of-jail-free card.

  5. BillK says:

    Did none of you see the news conference at which this was announced?

    Burris blatantly made it about race, stating at the end of the conference that despite Reid’s vow that he would not be seated and the Illinois Secretary of State’s vow that he would not certify the pick, Burris stated he doesn’t believe either Illinois or the Senate will be willing to go on record stating that a black man can’t have the job. He explicitly said he’s going to go to the Congressional Black Caucus and have them pressure the Senate to seat him.

    In short, Burris has literally made it all about his race, not his qualifications or Blago’s right to select him.

    • proreason says:


      And in this post-racial age to boot.

      Could he be a resistor to the new age?

      I wonder if Burris or close relatives have any tax liens or traffic arrests? Surely we will know the intimate details of his life in a few hours.

  6. U NO HOO says:

    Blagoj… should have appointed Caroline Kennedy, then it would be fun!

  7. Steve says:

    The creeps folks at Wonkette have dug up a funny bit of info about Mr. Burress.

    Seems he has already built a mausoleum in honor of his amazing achievements:

    Wonkette : Roland Burris Has Already Constructed His Terrifying Death Chamber

  8. Steve says:

    Even the Chicago Tribune, in their “Exploring Race” forum, have bridled at (Black Panther) Bobby Rush’s insistence that Obama’s seat must be filled by a black:

    Does Obama’s successor have to be black?

    Democratic U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush of Chicago said today during Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s press conference that one of the reasons former Illinois Attorney General Roland Burris should be appointed to fill President-elect Barack Obama’s U. S. Senate seat is because Burris is black.

    I disagree. Race shouldn’t play a role.

    Rush went on to say that it was a matter of national importance that an African-American replace Obama in the Senate.

    “Let me just remind you that there presently is no African-American in the Senate…this is just not a state of Illinois matter,” he said. “I would ask you to not hang or lynch the appointee as you try to castigate the appointer. Roland Burris is worthy.”

    “Hang or lynch the appointee?” Such strong language, yes? And unfair. I understand that race matters in Illinois politics. It matters beyond Illinois politics—see previous post—but skin color should not be the big litmus test here.

    Indeed, as Rush said, if an African American isn’t chosen to replace Obama, there will be no blacks in the U.S. Senate. But Obama didn’t resign to go fly fishing. He’s about to become our 44th president. That’s a much better gig, yes?

    These are dire times. The National and state unemployment rates are on the rise. Home values continue to fall. We’re facing crisis after crisis. The state needs someone who’s going to work hard and advocate for its residents. Who cares if that person is purple?

    I’m not sure there’s such a thing as ‘post racial’ politics. But I do know that Obama’s election suggests that we have to start looking at race in a far less myopic way. (And, no, I’m not suggesting everything is perfect. Again, see previous post.) Skin color is not enough. (Besides, we have a black man on the U.S. Supreme Court; a black woman who’s Secretary of State.)


    • proreason says:

      “(Besides, we have a black man on the U.S. Supreme Court; a black woman who’s Secretary of State.)”

      How fitting that Obamy should be implicitly praised for BushHitler’s appointments.

      How soon before he’ll be given credit for winning the war in Iraq and removing the nukes from Libya.

  9. Colonel1961 says:

    Well, at least he wasn’t in the Klan…

  10. retire05 says:

    Damn, I hate crooked Democrats, but I think I am beginning to love Blagojevich. I mean, this guy has the cajones of King Kong.
    Harry Reid threw down the gaunlet, and said that he would not seat Balgojevich’s choice. The Senate Dems wrote a letter to Blago saying that they would exercise Article 1, Section 5 of the Constitution, indicating that they could refuse to seat Blago’s choice. Just one problem with that; Chief Justice Earl Warren, the SCOTUS judge the libs hold as their idol. Justice Warren ruled that the Congress could not refuse to seat a congressman unless they failed Constitutional muster, i.e. 30 years old, a resident of the state they would represent and a citizen for 9 years. The Congress tried to refuse to seat Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. It didn’t work. Warren also said that the same rules applied to the Senate.


    Blago just slammed Reid with a raw egg and it has already dried. Now Reid has a number of choices. He can continue to refuse to seat Burris and Burris and Blago will sue in the SCOTUS and it will split the Democrats down the middle due to Burris’ race. Or he can capulate, give in, seat Burris and once again, look like the weak fool he is. Either way, the whole nation will see ol’ Harry with egg on his face looking like the inept leader he really is.

    Top that off with Bobby Rush slamming his race card gauntlet on top of Reid’s gaunlet. Rush let Reid know, in no uncertain terms, buck this choice and you are a flaming racist white boy. Reid has to be absolutely eating Tylenol by the handsfull tonight.

    And all the while, Republicans are leaning back in their chairs munching on popcorn. They wanted a special election. The Illinois Dems said “no” knowing that with all the scandal surrounding the Illinois Dems right now, a good, strong Republican could probably take the seat. Enter Reid, throwing his weight around and Blago threw it back at him.

    Some one quick, send Harry Reid the memo; you live by identity politics, baby, you die by them.

  11. 1sttofight says:

    Blago just went All-In.

    Wonder what his Hole cards are?

  12. LewWaters says:

    Since it is a “must” that a Black be appointed to replace Obama, so that there will remain a Black in the Senate, when do we see an affirmative action move to make sure there are also Black Republicans in both the Senate and the House?

    After all, don’t we have to ensure “fairness” in race and representation?

  13. Confucius says:

    Is this a case of a white man using a black man for gain? Or is this a case of a black man letting him be used by a white man for gain?

    Either way, not very historic. It’s almost derivative. No wonder Obama considers this whole thing a “distraction.” Been there, done that.

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