Gov. Rod Blagojevich has named former state attorney general Roland Burris to the Senate seat being vacated by Barack Obama. Burris may well be a machine hack (so says Jim Warren of the Chicago Tribune) but, as a pioneer African-American office holder, he’s the kind of hack the Democrats have a difficult time saying no to. Blagojevich apparently did what he could to drive home the point at his press conference, orchestrating a show of support for Burris from various African-American figures.
I don’t see the Senate Democrats seating Burris, assuming he receives what I understand to be the required certification from the Illinois Secretary of State. Being seen as playing ball with Blagojevich is a riskier proposition than blocking an African-American politician, where the African-American president-elect provides at least implicit cover [note-Obama has now provided explicit cover]. But Blago seems determined to make his fellow Democrats sweat a little bit, and he may have advanced that goal today.
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