That was a truly bizarre press conference by the Governor of Illinois. Rod Blagojevich introduced Roland Burris as his choice for the Senate as if nothing was wrong, and when Burris took questions the press erupted. Blagojevich blamed Democrats for not taking his power away and calling for a special election, forcing him to act. Burris seemed confused and something of a bystander to the chaos around him. Then Bobby Rush, the respected former Black Panther and US Congressman, just showed up and sauntered toward the microphone, casting the situation as a civil rights issue, saying that we need African-Americans in the US Senate and that nobody should stop Roland Burris because Illinoisians, particularly black Illinoisians, would be "very upset" at that turn of events. Meanwhile, DURING the press conference it was revealed that the Secretary of State of Illinois won't certify the appointment, meaning that Burris wouldn't ever make it to Washington. That will surely go to the courts.
Unbelievably bizarre. And the Democrats in Illinois are really guilty of causing this chaos. They resisted a special election because they thought they might lose it, which by the way is not clear at all. So they ran the risk of Blago making an appointment, and considering he was being threatened with impeachment (which they could have handled in a few days), they practically dared him to do it. They knew Blago was unstable and let allowed him to keep his power. The Republicans in Illinois are absolutely right, sadly enough. And whenever this seat comes up for a vote, I suspect Republicans will have a very good chance to win it, a far better one than if the Democrats just called for a special election in the first place.
Sad. And Democratic poll-driven caution bites them in the ass again.
...by the way, if the combination of this and the Caroline Kennedy mess in New York doesn't propel forward a Constitutional amendment stipulating that all Senate vacancies be decided by special election and not the appointments of state Governors, then you might as well just end the Constitutional amendment process altogether.
...what? The Illinois Secretary of State is Jesse White? From the Jesse White Tumblers? Seriously?