Burris Knocked But Couldn’t Get In

Published January 6, 2009

It seems as if Roland Burris took a flight to DC for nothing.  In what had to be one of the most embarrassing moments of a lackluster political career, Burris got the complete cold shoulder from the U.S Senate before the 111th Congress even officially began.

"Mr. Burris is not in possession of the necessary credentials from the state of Illinois," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, who has made it clear that Burris’ nomination would not be honored long before he ever left Chicago.  The 71 year-old had already been told in a private meeting with Secretary of the Senate Erickson that his credentials were not valid because they lacked a required signature from Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White, who had also refused to approve him, and the Illinois’ state seal, AP reported.

“I am the junior senator according to every law book in the nation,” Burris told the New York Times before he set off for Washington yesterday.  Burris, who was nominated to fill President-elect Obama’s vacant Senate seat by Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who was recently arrested on charges of conspiring to commit fraud and soliciting bribery, knew the odds against him going into the Capitol, but apparently needed to ride it out until the wheels fell off.

"I will not be accepted, I will not be seated," Burris told a mass of reporters during a news conference outside of the Capitol as threw the figurative towel in.  Had he been approved by the Senate, he would have been its only current Black member in service.

Written by Kenji Jasper

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