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January 1st, 2009
03:36 PM ET

An empty suit for an empty seat

Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, right, named Roland Burris to fill President-elect Barack Obama's Senate seat.

Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, right, named Roland Burris to fill President-elect Barack Obama's Senate seat.

Steve Chapman
Chicago Tribune

Wall Street titan Bernard Madoff proved you can take an outstanding reputation and ruin it overnight. Now Roland Burris has demonstrated that even a mediocre reputation can be instantly destroyed.

Burris is the prototypical time-serving career politician who owes his success to being simultaneously ambitious and bland. He has never been one to challenge the status quo, but no one underestimates his self-esteem. The two Burris children, after all, are named Roland and Rolanda.

The result of his immodesty has been a persistent hunger for offices that most people thought beyond his abilities. He has lost races for mayor of Chicago, U.S. senator, and governor (three times).

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Filed under: Raw Politics • Rod Blagojevich • Steve Chapman
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. KSuzanne San Leandro, Ca.

    once again, sad that an honorable man has allowed himself to be placed in such a slippery political appointment. Obviously the governor of Illinois is now a lame duck politician with no approval from his constituents, and is a joke to the country. This is certainly not the politician anyone wants

    KSuzanne from San Leandro, Ca.

    January 1, 2009 at 8:36 pm |
  2. Larry

    He's hopin to get in on the $4700 payraise that congress voted to give themselves, poor babies.

    January 1, 2009 at 7:47 pm |
  3. Fay - CA

    The entire Blagojevich saga has been a mind boggling embarrassment–Burris does appear to be more interested in feeding his ego than serving the people of Illinois–it seems like Burris couldn't wait to go on all of the major news programs for interviews after Blago made the announcement–sad.

    January 1, 2009 at 7:03 pm |
  4. Teri at the beach

    Agreed – just shows he would do anything to get into the senate, even attach himself to someone with absolutely no credibility. He's wrong to say what the gov. has done doesn't have anything to do with his appointment. It has everything to do with it. It's the very thing he's accused of trying to sell for God's sake. Any affiliation with Gov. Blogo taints you, you idiot!

    January 1, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  5. Mike in NYC

    So not only did Burris proclaim the size of his own ego by inscribing his "accomplishments" on his mausoleum, he also kept his own handgun while urging others to turn in theirs. I diagnose diminished cognitive capacity, with severe integrity deficit.

    January 1, 2009 at 5:48 pm |
  6. Annie Kate

    Maybe the best thing to do is to let him show up and just get his paycheck each month. There are a lot of really important issues going on and dragging out the Blagojevich scandal takes up time better spent on the economy or the war or the environment.

    January 1, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  7. Georgiaguy8

    Except for Delaware's placeholder Senate replacement, it looks like four Senate seats will remain without anyone when Congress returns next week. Obama seems to have put the huge Democratic majority in the Senate in play while leaving empty seats in New York, Colorado, and his own in Illinois. Who knows what will happen in Minnesota, but it looks like Franken may pull that one off. It is a time of major upheaval in national politics with Republicans retreating to the South, but Democratic uncertainty seem to be growing in Illinois and New York.

    January 1, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  8. Cindy

    Hey, Burris might fit right in with the other Senators! Don't they all just do as little as possible and sit back and cash our checks that we pay them!? From the description of his past "jobs" he should be one of the good ole boys in no time!

    Cindy...Ga.

    January 1, 2009 at 3:43 pm |