The latest debacle concerning Senator Roland Burris and the convoluted (and ever-changing story of) the path that led him to the U.S. Senate, courtesy of former indicted governor Rod Blagojevich, is likely to mean only one thing: the Dem primary race will be a little less exciting, as Burris will be even less viable as a candidate that he already was. Even if Burris hoped a heated primary would split the anti-Burris vote and he might still squeak in (only to perhaps lose to someone like 10th District Congressman Mark Kirk in the general), that's looking pretty unlikely as of this morning. Some may even wonder if he will resign, although as we've gotten to know Burris a little better over the course of the past few months, that seems pretty unlikely.
As has been widely reported, Burris raised under $1,000 in his first quarter fundraising efforts and was under serious scrutiny by the press and Internet pundits as to whether he would even try to run for election in 2010. About the only person that was sure Burris would have a chance in the Dem primary was Roland Burris.
Now, with the revelation (as revealed by the just-released wiretap transcripts) that Burris discussed sending a check to then-governor Blagojevich with Blago's brother, Robert, before Burris' appointment, Burris' honor, integrity and credibility are registering about absolute zero on the trust thermometer. Let's leave aside the fact that Burris was discussing money changing hands in the same conversation as asking (begging?) for the U.S. Senate appointment. State Rep. Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs), who questioned Burris on the subject, is appalled that Burris never mentioned this little tidbit. And Burris' apparent defense appears to be shaping up that he 'never sent the check.' Oh, really? OK, all is forgiven.
So, what does this mean? Probably not much, although it will further sully the reputation of the integrity of the State of Illinois. It reminds people that U.S. Senator Dick Durbin and his Dem cohorts in the Senate helped create this mess. It reminds people that the "Blagojevich 26" (including State Senators Terry Link and Michael Bond) also helped make this mess by enabling Blago. It will make Burris even less likely to salvage any hope of winning a Dem primary against Chris Kennedy, Lisa Madigan, Alexi Giannoulis, or Jan Schakowsky, all of whom have been mentioned in the press or expressed interest.
And it probably won't move Mark Kirk to make a decision about potentially running for U.S. Senate any more quickly, as he quietly watches the Dem Mutually-Assured Destruction party go into after-hours. Heck, why spoil the fun?
UPDATE: Downstate Judge Shows U.S. Senate Interest? Here's a snippet concerning a recently-retired downstate judge, Donald Lowery, who is mulling a U.S. Senate run as a Republican. So far, the only serious contenders to show interest on the GOP side are Congressmen Kirk and Peter Roskam (CD-6).
UPDATE x2: Statehouse Republicans Call for Burris to Resign. The statehouse democrats are not enthusiastic, however. Any bets as to where this goes?