Obama to Senate: Just say ‘no’

President-elect Barack Obama says he supports the decision by Senate Democrats to deny his vacated Senate seat to an appointee of embattled Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich. On Tuesday, Blagojevich appointed former Illinois Attorney General Roland Burris. He would be the nation’s only black senator.

Democratic leaders in the Senate are rejecting the appointment, arguing that because of accusations that Blagojevich tried to sell the seat to the highest bidder, any appointment by him would be tainted.

In a statement, Obama called Burris a fine man but said he agreed that the Senate cannot accept an appointment from Blagojevich. Obama repeated his call for Blagojevich to resign and allow the seat to be filled by other means.


  1. gazelle1929

    The problem is that this appointment is not from Rod Blagojevich. It is an appointment from the Illinois Governor, who at the moment happens to be Blagojevich, and it’s an appointment that has the full color and authority of Illinois statute.

    This looks to me like a power play on Obama’s part, trying to force Blago out of office. But we have bigger problems in the US than the credentials of one US Senator. Time to move on.

  2. 33rdSt

    Disagree, vehemently. Senate appointments should not raise questions of ethical or moral doubt. This one does. Not because of the appointee but because of the appointer. Obama is right.

  3. almandine

    Ever looked at the number of Senators with criminal and/or unethical events in their backgrounds? Looked lately at the self-serving actions they take? Et cetera, ad nauseum…

    Talk about the height of ridiculousness and chutzpah for them to even think of suggesting that someone else is not worthy of wallowing in their midst!

  4. Warren

    The appointment MUST be made by the Governor. Blagojevich is the Governor. The only way it would be made by someone else is if Blago is no longer governor and the appointment is made by a new governor. Whether Blago resigns or is impeached, either way the appointment will be made by the Lieutenant Governor on his succession to Governor.

    (a) In the event of a vacancy, the order of succession
    to the office of Governor or to the position of Acting
    Governor shall be the Lieutenant Governor, the elected
    Attorney General, the elected Secretary of State, and then as
    provided by law.
    (b) If the Governor is unable to serve because of death,
    conviction on impeachment, failure to qualify, resignation or
    other disability, the office of Governor shall be filled by
    the officer next in line of succession for the remainder of
    the term or until the disability is removed.

    The current Lieutenant Governor is Pat Quinn. Is he likely to be any cleaner than Blago? I don’t know that much about the man, but from what I’ve read of his bio he’s every bit as much a Democratic Party hack as anyone. Or will Illinois just keep impeaching politicians until they get someone in the line of succession that is unimpeachable?

  5. erinys

    I think I’m in agreement that the Governor is the one who appoints and that the Senate just needs to get over the controversy. Heck, there hasn’t even been as much observable arm twisting (looking at YOU Carolyn Kennedy) as some appointments that have been/are seen as “okay”.