[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/POLITICS/12/31/illinois.senate/art.blag.burris.wgn.jpg caption="Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, right, named Roland Burris to fill President-elect Barack Obama's Senate seat."]
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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