Dance, Roland, Dance
This is the portrait of a politician whose days are numbered.
Senator Roland W. Burris of Illinois on Sunday defended his evolving descriptions of conversations he had with allies of former Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich in the months before Mr. Blagojevich appointed him to fill the Senate seat vacated by Barack Obama.
“I did not donate one single dollar, nor did I raise any money or promise any favors of any kind for the governor,” Mr. Burris, a Democrat who was sworn in as a senator a month ago, said at a contentious news conference.
Mr. Burris tried to explain why he did not mention three phone conversations with Mr. Blagojevich’s brother — in which he now says he was asked for fund-raising help — during testimony last month before a committee of state lawmakers weighing whether to impeach Mr. Blagojevich.
“Anyone who suggests otherwise,” Mr. Burris added, “or would insinuate that my testimony in person or in writing is anything other than fully compliant with the committee and consistent with the truth is simply playing at partisan politics.”
This is pretty simple. Burris failed to disclose contacts with Blago's brother and some other allies, and did so under oath. You can call it perjury or not, but there was a failure to tell the whole truth. And just by virtue of accepting the appointment, Burris was willing to sully himself in order to get the job.
It's going to be short-lived. He'll get no support from the party establishment, who will coalesce around a primary challenger for expediency's sake. Nobody wants to defend a proxy for Blagojevich in 2010. He'll be a lame duck in a matter of months.