Monday, January 05, 2009

Reid: Let's Make A Deal

In his Sunday appearance on "Meet The Press", Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid opened the door a little to the possibility of Roland Burris being seated to fill the vacancy of Barack Obama. Reid hinted of negotiations. Today, the Sun-Times' Lynn Sweet sheds light on what Reid had in mind:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) opened the door Sunday for Roland Burris to be sworn in as a senator from Illinois. "There's always room to negotiate," Reid told David Gregory on NBC's "Meet the Press."

From the soundings I took Sunday, I have a well-informed hunch that if Burris wants to get a deal done quickly, he needs to say he won't run for the seat in 2010.

There you have it. That's the crux. We don't want Illinois' first statewide elected African-American official as our Senate candidate in 2010. If you just keep the seat warm while we find the person we really want to hold the seat, you can serve in the Senate for two years and add that to your crypt. "The Senate leaders want someone in the seat who has an excellent chance to win it in the next election," Sweet writes. Just when did people in Washington get the right to place such conditions on one's admission into the world's most exclusive club? Does anyone find the Senate Democratic leadership's actions with regard to this Senate seat as appalling as the actions of Blagojevich that so many have decried?

UPDATE: Gov. Blagojevich's acting chief of staff hand-delivered Roland Burris' Senate appointment to the Secretary of the Senate this morning only to have it rejected because it lacked the signature of Secretary of State Jesse White.


IndyPaul said...
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IndyPaul said...

Sweet also stated, "Reid was not wrong to call Blagojevich. Unfortunately, the racial rhetoric is boiling because Burris, Davis, Jones and Jackson are African-American. But each one would come to a statewide race with more liabilities than Duckworth or Madigan. Race is the least of the electoral problems of that quartet."

"Just when did people in Washington get the right to place such conditions on one's admission into the world's most exclusive club?" If your speaking of wanting someone who can win election, I imagine this has occurred since the founding of political parties, to excellent effect for Democrats in '06 & '08. If you speaking of requesting Burris commit not to run in 2010, Sweet's "well informed hunch", there have been 'placeholders' - Biden's seat in Deleware comes to mind - who fill the position until an election can be held and the people have a choice of candidates without one having the advantages of incubancy due only to the executive's appointment. This is the more small d democratic method. At 73, Burris fits the description of such a placeholder. Obviously, the credentials of the appointor have an impact in this instance.

Gary R. Welsh said...

I don't dispute that deals occur all the time. That's why I find it hard for people to pretend to be shocked by Blagojevich's actions. Of course he expected something in return. Look at all the state lawmakers who quit their seats right after winning re-election so their replacement can be hand-picked by a few party bosses. I suspect we would have a lot fewer vacancies if we required a special election in the case of all vacancies.