Senate Majority Leader and Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin announced in a statement today that the Senate will seat embattled Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s senate appointee Roland Burris this week.
“The Secretary of the Senate has determined that the new credentials presented today on behalf of Mr. Burris now satisfy Senate Rules and validate his appointment to the vacant Illinois Senate seat. In addition, as we requested, Mr. Burris has provided sworn testimony before the Illinois House Committee on Impeachment regarding the circumstances of his appointment,” the statement said.
Since Burris complied with the conditions that the Democratic leadership laid out for him, he will now be seated, “As we had outlined to Mr. Burris, a path needed to be followed that respects the rules of the Senate. We committed to Mr. Burris that once those requirements were satisfied, we would be able to proceed. We are pleased that everything is now in order, we congratulate Senator-designee Burris on his appointment and we look forward to working with him in the 111th Congress.”
The preceding two paragraphs are the political spin, what really happened is that Reid had no choice but to seat Burris. He didn’t want to seat him, but he didn’t have a legal justification to block Burris from taking his seat. This is a huge turnaround from eight days ago when Reid went on Meet the Press and claimed to have the legal authority to not seat Burris.
Rod Blagojevich made Harry Reid look like a fool, and once again Reid proved that he is not up to the task of leading Senate Democrats. We should count the Burris fiasco as the latest in a long line of Harry Reid blunders. Whether Reid likes it or not, Burris deserved to be seated, and no amount of face saving conditions can change the perception that Reid was outfoxed by Blagojevich.