Wednesday, February 18, 2009

With Blago Gone, Burris Now the Democratic Albatross for 2010

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.


Anonymous said...

Even with the Tribune's Editorial calling for Roland to resign, I don't see it as happening any time soon, or ever. This guy maintains that he just didn't do anything wrong. Sound familiar? He has committed perjury, he is a disgrace to the State and now to the US Senate and yet my bet is that he will not be forced out. The silence from Durbin and Reid is deafening, isn't it. The Obama seat is so tarnished that no amount of cleaning is going to restore the shine. A special election was always the right action, but in IL that just isn't going to happen. The Senate ethics committee, under the chairmanship of Barbara Boxer, will diddle around and do nothing. You can bet on that one. 2010 can't come soon enough.

Anonymous said...

Burris needs to resign if he cares about Illinois more than himself. I am also curious where the Congressional Black Caucus is this morning. Their silence is absolutely a load of DROPPINGS. To me, it boils down to a simple question. How can we improve our image nationwide and stop being the punch line to hurtful jokes if we continue to simply sweep our filth under the carpet with the rest of our sinful past and not attempt to finish the job of cleaning up Illinois politics? Burris needs to be investigated. Sweeping this one under the rug will leave too many lumps for Illinois. Too early for Zambuca?

Team America said...

Way too early. ;-)

Anonymous said...

If the google alert is right and Mark was in Israel on a junket for president's day recess with some state rep, he's definitely NOT running for Senate next year.

A guy running for senate against the white house in its home state a year from now spends every waking moment raising money, road testing messages, courting voters and getting his political operation in top gear for a mother of all battles. This was a perfect time to slam Burris, propose new ethics legislation, raise dough on the coasts and meet with pollsters, he didn't do it.

He's NOT running.

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:44 I think you are way ahead of yourself. Mr. Kirk will be home on Friday after having spent 4 days on the ground in Israel viewing the X-Band Missile system that he secured to help keep Israel on the map. He's with constituents and staff from the Jewish United Fund. The KFC operation is in full swing regardless of where he is on the planet. Remember, he spent the 3 week recess in December on active duty in Afghanistan in his Naval Reserve capacity. Don't assume a thing about the future. It's way too soon for any announcements. And as for his comments on our junior senator, the less said by Mr. Kirk, the better. 90% of the citizens in IL think that Burris should just resign. I think that just about says it all.

Anonymous said...

FYI, staffers generally aren't supposed to go on blogs and report on their bosses scheduling, particularly when they are still on trips to regions of the world classified as danger zones by the federal government.

If I was facing the teeth of a democratic juggernaut in 12 months fresh off the slaying of the most popular republican senator of the decade and the only 2 term democrat president in the last half century, I don't think I would be kissing the juf's ass in a region I've been to at least a dozen times.

Just asking but if Rahm or Axelrod calls the JUF top guns this time next year and says, you guys are screwed (no ambassadorships, appointments to the U.S. Holocaust board, schedule c appointments for your kids) if you don't back the President's guy in the senate race, you really think they'll stick with Mark. Not so much.

Anonymous said...

Wrong assumption, Anon 2:30. The details of the trip appeared in the Pioneer Press and I am not a staffer. Sorry to disappoint you. And you might want to know that the Federation is a 501 C 3 so they don't get involved in politics and they don't support anyone. Why not wait until our Congressman makes his decision on his future.

Anonymous said...

The dates of the trip weren't disclosed nor was his role as the source of sensitive missile system's funding.

The federation may be a 501 c 3 but the heavy hitter donors are free to do what they want. Competing for donors for a senate seat is not the same thing as dealing with Dan. The White House will threaten to shut off access for top donors if they play ball with Mark, and I don't see these folks going with him, a 40% shot at best to win the seat, at the risk of losing invites to things like the white house hanukah party, appointments to boards and other goodies.

As for Mark playing it safe and staying out of the fray. He tried the same thing in 2006 and nearly lost his seat to Dan.