Talk Talk Talk Talk Talk Myself to Death: Roland Burris Should Just Stop Talking

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Roland Burris Should Just Stop Talking

This just keeps getting better and better. Last night, we talked about Burris's new affidavit that recently came to light in which he "clarified" some of the statements he made last month to the Illinois legislature about the events leading up to his appointment to the U.S. Senate. Apparently he had talked about the Senate seat with representatives from Blagojevich. He continued to insist that he hadn't raised any money or participated in any other quid pro quo for the position, though. On Monday night, however, he peeled back another bit of the onion and revealed that, although he stood by his statement of not raising money for Blago, it wasn't for lack of trying. Even at that point, the then-governor was so toxic that no one was willing to respond to Burris's entreaties. I guess it was quite a relief when Blago, in looking for distractions from his own arrest for trying to sell Obama's Senate seat, decided to appoint Burris to the position despite Burris's inability to bring money into the governor's coffers. Of course, you've also got to wonder what Blagojevich might've been thinking. He was already being watched for trying to get something out of the appointment, and yet he brings someone in who tried and failed to provide the quid pro quo. Doesn't he know? That trick never works.

The Senate leadership, for their part, are taking a wait and see position. Reid said that he was glad Burris was willing to cooperate with a potential Senate ethics investigation. (Actually, the NY Times article reports that such an investigation had begun on Tuesday night but only refers to it as a possibility in the body of the article.) How many twists has Reid taken in this saga? First he wouldn't support seating Burris, then he was glad to do it, then it was provisionally dependent on Burris's testimony to the Illinois impeachment committee, then he welcomed Burris with open arms. In truth, Reid hasn't yet shifted to that last position. Better to keep his options open for a little while.


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