In light of Senator Roland Burris' complete integrity implosion over his constantly changing story, which could possibly get him booted from the U.S. Senate (after serving only for about a month), or perhaps shame him into resigning (a longshot for Senator Tombstone, I know), the Democrats, both on the national and local levels, are fretting that unless Burris is hastily shown the door that was so recently opened for him by the same Dems, a Republican like 10th District Congressman Mark Kirk has a real chance to win the seat in 2010.
Kirk's chances against a severely battle-damaged Burris seem to improve every day, and its not clear at all whether the super-sized ego of our new senator would allow him to voluntarily step aside. The best hope for the Dems to avoid having Burris as the nominee in 2010 is to pressure Burris into quitting, although an appointment "up" to some other position isn't out of the question. More drastic action taken by the U.S. Senate itself to remove Burris seems a distant possibility at this point, and will no doubt take a while to sort out. Meanwhile, other Dem contenders like State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias and Congresswoman Jan Schakowski wait impatiently in the wings praying that Burris will exit one way or another. Both potential candidates are no doubt desperately hoping that they can win the Democratic nomination without a bloody primary battle that would risk alienating the African-American portion of the Democratic base for the general. A primary battle against Burris would also probably neuter the considerable influence that President Barack Obama might inject into the race, perhaps for both the primary and the general elections.
Who's to say what may happen in the next few days or weeks, but it's clear that many interested folks will be watching these unfolding events very, very closely.