The Blagojevich-Burris Follies Continue

If Rod Blagojevich's motivation for naming Roland Burris as Barack Obama's replacement in the U.S. Senate was to take the glare of media attention off of himself, he's succeeded beyond his wildest dreams. Here's a brief recap of yesterday's events in this soap opera.

  • We had the Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White refuse to accept the letter from Blagojevich, naming Burris to the U.S. Senate. White said he will not certify the appointment, he won't change his mind, and that:

    You can take it to the bank. I will not move.

    And while White insisted that he would hold firm, his spokesman later admitted that White knew he couldn't stop the appointment, but he wanted to "make a statement." And with Harry Reid's office saying that the lack of a signature might be grounds to refuse to seat Burris, it seems that White's statement may have some teeth.

  • Burris reacted by saying he was sorry for the position White was in, expressed admiration for him, and said that "we'll work through this." Then he headed to court to ask the Illinois Supreme Court to force White to certify his appointment.
  • Meanwhile, Senate Democrats:

    ... have a "Plan B" to keep Burris from being sworn in, regardless how the Illinois Supreme Court rules ... if presented with Burris’ appointment, they are likely to give the Rules Committee 90 days to determine the propriety of it ... That should be enough so the senators won’t have to act to prevent Burris from joining the chamber. Blagojevich’s defiance inflamed Illinois legislators, speeding up the impeachment process.

  • But Burris has plans of his own:

    Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's choice to take Barack Obama's Senate seat plans to be in Washington next week when new senators are sworn in, but he won't make a scene if he's turned away by Senate leaders who object to his appointment.

  • And that should be fun, because:

    Should Burris appear in Washington without that certification, armed police officers stand ready to bar him from the Senate floor, said a Democratic official briefed on  Senate leaders' plans.

  • And if that wouldn't be a big enough made-for-TV moment, there's also the possibility that Blagojevich, with floor privileges as a sitting Governor, will escort Burris to the swearing-in ceremony. According to a spokesman for Blagojevich, he hasn't decided if he will accompany Burris to Washington.

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