Obama's Replacement Is...
by Jonathan Singer, Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 07:36:27 AM EST
... Former Illinois Attorney General Roland Burris -- maybe.
Gov. Rod Blagojevich is expected today to name former Illinois Atty. Gen. Roland Burris to replace President-elect Barack Obama in the U.S. Senate.
The action comes despite warnings by Democratic Senate leaders that they would not seat anyone appointed by the disgraced governor who faces criminal charges of trying to sell the post, sources familiar with the decision said.
Burris is 71, so it's not clear if he would run for reelection in 2010, though statements relayed in the story above suggest that Burris would be interested in running two years from now. Burris has a long history in Illinois politics, serving as the state Comptroller from 1979 to 1991, when he was elected state Attorney General. Burris left that office to make an unsuccessful bid for the Democratic gubernatorial bid in 1994, and then made another unsuccessful bid in 1995 to unseat Richard Daley as Mayor of Chicago.
Gleaning from these facts it would seem that Burris is at least somewhat independent of the Illinois machine (one who runs against a Daley presumably has to be), and that he has had a fairly good track record in statewide general elections. Beyond that, I don't know much about him -- particularly whether he is sufficiently independent and clean to be acceptable despite the fact that he is Rod Blagojevich's pick. So more as we hear it.
Update [2008-12-30 13:43:15 by Jonathan Singer]: MyDD Blog Talk Radio co-host Adam Conner makes an interesting find -- Burris' last run, an unsuccessful bid for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination again in 2002, was against none other than Blagojevich.