When Governor Rod Blagojevich defied Democratic Party leaders, and President-elect Barack Obama, and named his appointee to replace Obama in the Senate – former Illinois comptroller and attorney-general Roland Burris – Illinois Secretary of State, Jesse White, said he would refuse to certify the appointment and the leader of the Democrats in the Senate, Harry Reid, stated that the party would veto anyone appointed by Blagojevich. As noted here Obama added
“..the Senate Democrats made it clear weeks ago that they cannot accept an appointment made by a governor who is accused of selling this very Senate seat. I agree with their decision, and it is extremely disappointing that Governor Blagojevich has chosen to ignore it.”
The Washington Post and The Boston Globe are both reporting that the Senate’s Democratic leaders, after insisting that no one appointed by Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich would be allowed to replace Barack Obama, are getting ready to let Roland Burris take his seat after all. Although Burris was not seated yesterday, ostensibly because his appointment papers did not bear the signature of Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid met with him today and signaled that he will eventually be allowed to serve. The two prerequisites seem to be 1) a ruling by the Illinois Supreme Court on whether White’s signature is necessary and, if so, whether he may legally withhold it and 2) Burris’ testimony to the state legislature (which is working on the governor’s impeachment) about the circumstances of his appointment. Burris is scheduled to testify tomorrow. “Once that’s done, we will be in a different position,” said Reid, who called Burris “very engaging” and “very nice.”
And Vice President-elect, Joe Biden, admits handling of nominating Leon Panetta as head of the CIA was a “mistake”. As the Professor notes, “How many glitches do you need before its no longer unusually smooth and carefully choreographed?“. Still, there are lunches to attend.. And advice to be sought..
According to the latest from the Associated Press
Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (blah-GOY’-uh-vich) appointed Burris to the Senate seat vacated by Obama. Blagojevich has been accused of trying to sell the seat, and Reid, Obama and others at first said Burris would not be seated. On Wednesday, they praised Burris and suggested he soon may be a senator.