Not really a shocker since Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has said for days that Roland Burris would not be seated today.
Former Illinois Attorney General Roland Burris announced his rejection for Barack Obama’s Senate seat Tuesday in a bizarre rainy-day scene on the Capitol grounds as lawmakers awaited the gaveling of the 111th Congress into session.
Standing amid a huge throng of reporters and television cameras in a cold and steady rain, Burris, 71, declared that he had been informed that “my credentials are not in order and will not be accepted.”
He said he was “not seeking to have any type of confrontation” over taking the seat that he was appointed to by embattled Gov. Rod Blagojevich. But Burris also said he was looking at options for taking the seat.
Harry Reid and his Democrat Senate colleagues will try to work out a deal with Burris and formalize it when they have a meeting tomorrow. In the meantime, the Illinois Supreme Court may rule at any time about Burris’ credentials of appointment that the Illinois Secretary of State have refused to sign.
If there was a deal in the making, certainly Harry Reid and President-elect Obama would have preferred to spare the political world the drama of turning away an African-American from the Senate. The sticking point in any negotaitions is probably whether Burris who is in his 70’s would run for re-election in 2010 in the special election. Harry Reid has made it clear he prefers Asian American woman Tammy Duckworth for the position since he beleives she is more electable than Burris against a GOP challenger.
However, with “pay to play” already dogging the incoming Obama Administration, Reid et. al. may be hesitant to offer too much lest they be picked up on tape.
Flap predicts that Burris will be ultimately seated and if need be he will file suit in the U.S. Supreme Court to force Reid’s hand.