BY TAYLOR MARSH
video via ProgressIllinois
Forgive me, but I find this down right hilarious.
… 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, who has sole authority to name a replacement senator, scheduled a 2 p.m. news conference at his downtown Chicago office.
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. […]
Frankly, I wouldn’t have posted on Blago’s pick for the Senate, but he seems to have not only taken on Harry Reid, but also Barack Obama. Daring the Democrats to reject Burris, as promised.
It’s quite simply Gov. Blagojevich’s play to seem relevant, sober, as well as reasonable for picking an African American resident of Illinois who has kept himself from getting dirty while playing Chicago politics. He’s also daring the Dems to deny an African American the appointment.
However, Reid isn’t usually confrontational, that is unless you cross him after he’s made his feelings known. There’s no reason to believe the Senate will seat Burris. Consider the appointment fruit from the poison political tree.
Still, it seems Blago has called the Democrats’ bluff. He’s certainly got nothing to lose.
UPDATE: The Senate Dem. leadership responds with a statement:
“It is truly regrettable that despite requests from all 50 Democratic Senators and public officials throughout Illinois, Gov. Blagojevich would take the imprudent step of appointing someone to the United States Senate who would serve under a shadow and be plagued by questions of impropriety. We say this without prejudice toward Roland Burris’s ability, and we respect his years of public service. But this is not about Mr. Burris; it is about the integrity of a governor accused of attempting to sell this United States Senate seat. Under these circumstances, anyone appointed by Gov. Blagojevich cannot be an effective representative of the people of Illinois and, as we have said, will not be seated by the Democratic Caucus.
“Next week we will start one of the most important debates of the year Ã¢â‚¬“ outlining an economic recovery plan to create jobs and invest in America. And in the coming weeks, we will be working to protect homeowners and consumers, make America more energy independent, strengthen our national security, and improve health care and educational opportunities. There is much work to do and a lot at stake. It is thus critical that Illinois and every other state have two seated Senators without delay.
“We again urge Gov. Blagojevich to not make this appointment. It is unfair to Mr. Burris, it is unfair to the people of Illinois and it will ultimately not stand. The governor must put the interests of the people of Illinois and all Americans first by stepping aside now and letting his successor appoint someone who we will seat.”