We’ve just gotten word that Gov. Blagojevich has decided to appoint Roland Burris to Obama’s senate seat.
I’ve heard the name before. But I don’t know much more than that. So we’re trying to get a better read on his background and just who he is. But on the face of it, he’s a respected black politician from Illinois, (a former state AG (1991-1995)), who’s a generation older than Obama. He’s 71.
The idea has been that the senate simply wouldn’t seat anyone appointed by Blagojevich, as is their right. The senate has total authority over who it chooses to seat in the body. But assuming Burris is respected and there’s no apparent crooked bargain behind the appointment, I think the senate may be hard pressed not to seat him, notwithstanding all that’s happened.
One question David poses, is why, if Burris is clean, he would accept an appointment from such a tainted governor. Not sure I have a good answer to that one.
As TPM Reader RP puts it, this guy won’t go down quietly.
Late Update: TPM Reader PD chimes in on Burris …
My home state’s culture of political corruption is well documented. Roland Burris managed to build a career in politics in this state without falling into that muck. He is, to the best of everyone’s knowledge, squeaky clean, and he’s highly respected. He’s 71 years old, so I wonder if he intends to serve as a caretaker. But he’s an honorable guy, well liked by people across the state in both parties. It’s a stroke of brilliance by Blagojevich in my opinion.