January 13th, 2009
04:06 PM ET

Sen. Burris: Why did Reid and Durbin cave in?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

It's official: Roland Burris will be sworn in and officially seated in the United States Senate later this week. He fills the seat vacated by President-elect Obama.

Why did Reid change his mind?

This comes after a circus of events that started with Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich allegedly trying to sell the seat. Then he refused, and does to this day, to resign from his post. Last week, Blagojevich was impeached by the Illinois legislature. But in a brazen show of arrogance, and perhaps as a way of calling Harry Reid's bluff, Blagojevich went right ahead and appointed Roland Burris. As promised, the Senate refused to seat him.

When Burris was named, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and others quickly said they would reject anyone appointed by Governor Blagojevich.

Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, number two in the Senate, initially said the fate of the vacant seat should wait until Blagojevich is removed from office.

And there was no shortage of lawmakers issuing statements or rushing in front of cameras to speak their minds. But look what can happen in a week. Burris met behind closed doors with Reid. Democratic Senators suddenly changed their tune and now they will welcome Burris with open arms as their new colleague.

Here’s my question to you: Why did Senators Harry Reid and Dick Durbin cave in and agree to seat Roland Burris as President-elect Obama's Senate replacement?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Nick from New York, New York writes:
Senators Reid and Durbin 'mis-underestimated' Blagojevich's political acumen and Burris's ego. Their bluff was called. The 'playas' got played.

Greg from Cabot, Arkansas writes:
A Democrat seated in the Senate is better than a Democrat candidate in a special election.

Kyle from DuPont, Washington writes:
Because they did not have a legal leg to stand on. Regardless of whether or not they think Gov. Blagojevich is the anti-Christ, he has the constitutional authority to appoint Sen. Obama's replacement. I only wish Gov. Blagojevich had chosen Oprah.

Brian from Fort Mill, South Carolina writes:
I think it's because President Obama asked them to not let this be a distraction. Could you imagine Congress having a contest over this guy, when they should be debating and voting on a stimulus bill that needs to be implemented yesterday? Frankly, I don't even care if he bought the senate seat or not. I just hope that he kept the receipt, because Blagojevich is going DOWN!

Anthony from Wildwood Crest, NJ writes:
Jack, this happened for several reasons. A tainted black Dem is better than a white Republican any day. He is a vote. He is now in the fold. With the strides that Obama has made, locking the black man out of the party just wouldn't look good now would it? He is a pawn, but at least he is getting a seat at the table.

Don writes:

Filed under: Democrats • Harry Reid • Roland Burris
soundoff (284 Responses)
  1. george james

    senators reid and durbin had to give in because the rules are the rules and that party unity is important right now if the democrats expect to carry forth their adgenda.

    January 13, 2009 at 1:11 pm |
  2. David in San Diego

    You are asking the wrong question. The real issue is, "Why did they take an extreme exclusionist position in the first place?" If the certification of election is in order, they must seat Mr. Burris. If there is, then, evidence of malfeasance in the appointment, they can move to expel Sen. Burris. So far, no such evidence.

    January 13, 2009 at 1:13 pm |
  3. Dave, Brooklyn, NY

    They caved because they are Democrats and that means they are undisciplined losers. The only reason Bush was able to carry on his agenda and will continue to be allowed to do so is because the spineless Democrats caved for the last 2 years.

    January 13, 2009 at 1:13 pm |
  4. Terrell Walker Escondido Ca.

    Another Vote In the Senate

    January 13, 2009 at 1:14 pm |
  5. Jenna Wade

    Why did Senators Harry Reid and Dick Durbin cave in and agree to seat Roland Burris as President-elect Obama’s Senate replacement?

    Because Burris was appointed LEGALLY.

    Reid and Durbin were just postering for the cameras in defiance for the corupt governor and had nothing to do with Burris.. Not one of their finer moments, I might add.

    Roseville CA

    January 13, 2009 at 1:16 pm |
  6. John

    Jack: Senator Reid did not have a legal reason not to confirm Burris. The authority for appointment rest with the crooked Illinois Governor. Plus Obama talked to Reid and probably said it is not worth the fight in the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court would have seated him anyway.


    January 13, 2009 at 1:17 pm |
  7. Dave in Saint Louis,MO

    They have no Guts!

    January 13, 2009 at 1:19 pm |
  8. eddie in NC

    Because it was( legally ) the right thing to do.

    January 13, 2009 at 1:22 pm |
  9. Sue -Idaho

    Jack, probably because they read the fine print in the law and decided they had too and good old Burris knew it. Just politics as usual!

    January 13, 2009 at 1:25 pm |
  10. Bizz, Quarryville, Pennsylvania

    They had no choice, there was no legal way they could stop him from being sworn in to the senate. They should have taken time to think this out before making statements that he would not be sworn in to the senate. All they accomplished was making themselves look stupid and the Illinois governor look smart.

    January 13, 2009 at 1:30 pm |
  11. Donna Colorado Springs,Co

    I guess because they saw the writing on the wall and figured he could legally be seated now. This crap with the governor isn't going away anytime soon, and Obama has enough on his plate right now. Let him have his parties next week and move forward from there.

    January 13, 2009 at 1:34 pm |
  12. Al Bledsoe in Dallas

    Cave in to what? The constitution?

    January 13, 2009 at 1:35 pm |
  13. Doug - Dallas, TX

    Reid & Durbin caved because Burris had them over a barrel. The Illinois Supreme Court reaffirmed his appointment and since Blago hasn't been convicted yet he was within his rights, by law, to appoint Burris to the seat. The Democratic leadership (?) had to realize they would lose the fight, and look bad in the process.

    That doesn't make it any less palatable. Plus look at the what's coming up for votes in the senate. They need all the Democrats there they can get so I think part of the reason was selfish.

    January 13, 2009 at 1:36 pm |
  14. Don, Newton NC

    Because they had there 10 min in the spotlight and now Obama got the classroom back in order.

    January 13, 2009 at 1:36 pm |
  15. Kevin in Dallas, TX

    Because they are weak and spineless. Either that or they're corrupt.

    January 13, 2009 at 1:37 pm |
  16. David Gerstenfeld, Las Vegas

    Because, as usual with Democrats, they speak before thinking. 'We the People' want congress to spend ALL their working hours, as few as they are, putting the country first not their petty political crap they're so good at doing.
    David, Las Vegas

    January 13, 2009 at 1:41 pm |
  17. shaun hicks

    They both know he is legally entitled to the seat. We all know Blagoevich is a moran, but you are innocent until proven guilty. They know it and blagoevich definately knows it.

    Atlanta Ga

    January 13, 2009 at 1:44 pm |
  18. dakota don from akra


    January 13, 2009 at 1:44 pm |
  19. Peter from Denver

    -because Roland Burris is a qualified individual...they were on shakey legal ground refusing his membership once all of the correct signatures had been obtained, and because they realize what we all already knew; nobody is 100% evil or good – not even Blago.

    January 13, 2009 at 1:45 pm |
  20. Lois, Ont., Canada

    Blagojevich is still the Govener whether they like it or not. He is innocent 'till proven guilty. He called their 'bluff' & now they are eating 'crow' He knew what he was doing & is certainly not stupid!!!!

    January 13, 2009 at 1:46 pm |
  21. Bob D, Morristown, NJ

    They caved in for a reason that may be summed up in one word - politics. Blagojevich may be a total sleaze, but that doesn't make him stupid or impolitic. Indeed he out politicized Reed with his selection. He essentially created the "perfect storm" of politics.

    January 13, 2009 at 1:49 pm |
  22. Conor in Chicago

    Because in the end Burris was expendable-it just took them time to see it that way.

    Illinois is too broke to hold a special election. Waiting for the Governor to officially be impeached could take months. That last thing the Dems need is an empty seat in the Senate and the only thing Burris cares about is adding another notch to his mausoleum. Since Blago is the only person then who can realistically assign someone to the Senate and anyone he assigns will appear tainted Burris is the only logical choice.

    January 13, 2009 at 1:51 pm |
  23. Randy from Salt Lake City

    They were bribed, no doubt. It's how our government works, you see.

    January 13, 2009 at 1:55 pm |
  24. Richard - Knoxville TN

    Simple - Reid & Durbin didn't have a legal leg to stand on - Oh they might have delayed the process but at what price - AND the democratic and republican leadership realized the political deviceivness of any delays - Let's Get 'er Done - You Betcha

    RB Knoxville TN

    January 13, 2009 at 1:56 pm |
  25. Joe in DE

    Like most others, theyt jumped in with righteous indignation – wanting to reflect popular opinion – without thinking it thru. Then the reversed, under pressure and a like loss and reversed. Reid does not understand leadeship responsibilities.

    January 13, 2009 at 1:57 pm |
  26. Liz in Towson, MD

    Probably because they didn't want to be seen as racists or hypocrites; it was a good political move on their part. At the absolute worst, Burris will add one asinine vote to the Senate, which will probably mostly wind up being ignored. Then, when he's foolish enough to run for re-election, he won't get to retain his seat. Burris' selfishness will catch up with him.

    January 13, 2009 at 1:59 pm |
  27. frankie

    Because you have to pick your fights. And maybe, because they realize that everyone having to be right all the time, has pretty much stalled out our government lately.

    January 13, 2009 at 1:59 pm |
  28. Outsmarted

    Because they were totally outsmarted that's why. Chicago did not act to impeach their governor BEFORE he could make this appointment. Don't know anything about Burris but this appointment really is a joke, egg on their face and on and on. But guess what this nation is stuck with him.

    We never will learn and we never will clean up this nation until greed is punished. This is NOT the way to do that.

    January 13, 2009 at 1:59 pm |
  29. Greg in Cabot Arkansas

    A Democrat seated in the Senate is better than a Democrat candidate in a special election.

    January 13, 2009 at 2:02 pm |
  30. Brian, East Hartford, CT

    Shame on you, Jack! Reid and Durbin didn't "cave in". Illinois state law is clear: the appointment of Burris required the signature of the Illinois Secretary of State. Reid and Durbin followed the law (I know, it's shocking when politicians follow the rules, but it happens once in a blue moon).

    The real story here is that Secretary of State Jesse White is the one who created this whole mess by refusing to approve Burris' appointment. I find it ridiculous that White had such a big problem with Blagojevich appointing Burris, but all those concerns were set aside when he was allowed to give his consent by signing a separate piece of paper because his signature was too good to grace the same sheet of paper as the Governor. Come on! Let's grow up, people! Burris is perfectly qualified and deserves to serve – and Blagojevich will eventually get what's coming to him. Let's move on.

    January 13, 2009 at 2:02 pm |
  31. Mark in OKC

    Three words, Jack. "He's African-American." (or is that two words?)

    January 13, 2009 at 2:02 pm |
  32. Gina in Racine, Wi

    Because they didn't have a legal foot to stand on.

    We don't have to like Blago. But his appointment of Burris is legal.

    I am happy that these two took their foot out of there mouths and their head out of there behinds and quit delaying the inevitable.

    Looking at the state of our Economy.....they have bigger fish to fry . They should be focusing on what matters.

    January 13, 2009 at 2:05 pm |
  33. Brian - Trinidad

    They caved in because when they eventually got around to thinking this through properly,which is what they are paid to do in the first place,they realized that they had neither legal nor moral grounds not to seat Burris.If this is how Reid is going to run the Senate,expect a disastrous next 4yrs.

    January 13, 2009 at 2:06 pm |
  34. odessa

    race shouldn't never been an issue but it is..the senate doesn't have a black senator out of the fifty states whether it's a democrat or republican...we know that blago was committing a crime but he was very smart to played reid and durbin..he didn't want to pick out the candidates from obama's list but he picked people that oppose obama when he was a state senator from illnois..it could have been bobby rush but he picked burris..why burris?..burris is qualified for the job but blago wanted to played dirty;yet he won this round and may get out of this with fitzgerald..reid knows that his conversations with blago are tapped and reid know it too..if anything comes up on the tapes about not nominating people from obama's list, reid is history..i am glad that burris got the job so things can get done in the senate because the old men (gop) aren't going to fudge with obama's plans..the last thing that reid and democrats doesn't want to be recognize as racists politicans..republicans have some of their prejuidices too..none of them aren't perfect but after what they did to burris from last tuesday had to give them a serious wake up call because they know that the voters will kick them out and they need all people to vote for them..good luck burris and it's time to move on..racism will still exist in everyday lives but i think that it needs to be addressed at some forms of level when it comes to politics..

    January 13, 2009 at 2:09 pm |
  35. Mike, Vancouver

    I believe their minds were changed when President Elect Obama told them in private conversations that they needed to do this to deflate the balloon of controversy on the issue and also play as a team. Doing this puts all the attention squarely on Blagoyavich.

    Obama indicated that he would not have any problem working with Burris. He also realizes that if it is not done now, the situation may not be resolved until after the inauguration where he needs to have as many senators seated as possible. It would be a shame for President elect to push a bill to the senate only to have it rejected because a couple of old foolish senators were creating a situation of Democratic poliltical infighting where Obama cannot get his business done.

    January 13, 2009 at 2:10 pm |
  36. Marieth, Chicago


    I don't see it as caving in. Yes, G.Rod was wrong for trying to auction off Obama's seat. But, technically, Burris' appointment is legal. It is time to move on. There are lots of other pressing issues to resolve in this country.

    January 13, 2009 at 2:10 pm |
  37. Kim, Dodge City, Kansas

    They caved in because their lawyers told them to. You can't just change the rules or laws at your whim to suit you, unless of course you are George Bush.

    January 13, 2009 at 2:11 pm |
  38. Jane (Minnesota)

    Because they got out-smarted by a shifty politican, Jack, pure & simple. It was legal for Blago to appont him plus the Illinois State legislature left them high & dry by dragging their feet and not trying to strip him of his right to appoint. Is a quicker resolution to a senate seat than my state (Minnesota) is going to see.

    January 13, 2009 at 2:12 pm |
  39. pete in ny

    An easy one- they didn't have a legal or political leg to stand on!

    The Illinois legislature chickened out and did not remove Blago's appointment power because they were afraid a republican would win a special election. In the absence of any such action , Blago could and did legally appoint Obama's successor. The Supreme Court in Powell v McCormack decided in 1969 that Congress could not exclude a qualified, properly elected member. Since the appointment was legal it was similar in status to an election and so once again Harry Reid was just showing how ignorant and bombastic he is when he said he would not admit him.

    On political grounds the racial overtones were also very unfavorable to dear old Harry.

    Pete in NY

    January 13, 2009 at 2:13 pm |
  40. Thom Richer

    Because neither has the will enough to make a decision on their own let alone stick to it. Especially Reid. His time to bow out is long over due and hopefully he will finally realize it by doing just that or the elctorate will vote him out next election. It is time, also, for the DNC to look out for itself and grow stronger by culling the herd of weak or harmful bodies. Burris has already shown he has more grit than they do.

    Negaunee, MI

    January 13, 2009 at 2:14 pm |
  41. kathleen , san juan

    Is Harry the best we can do?
    Burris was confirmed because Gov. Rod understands the constitution better than our underwhelming leader in the senate.
    And now, I would like to recite a few lines I have memorized....

    Things fall apart
    The center cannot hold
    The blood-red tide is dimmed and mere anarchy is loosed
    upon the world

    On second thought, these were the senators who allowed our country to invade Iraq. To throw out habaes corpus and torture suspects. The same senators who failed at oversight and instead gave hundreds of billions of dollars to the crooks who gambled it away the first time. I fail to see how Roland Burris, or any male or female selected at random from Illinois, could tarnish the fine record of the US Senate

    January 13, 2009 at 2:15 pm |
  42. Don (Ottawa)

    He didn't do anything illegal. And, the refusal to seat Burris was a case of the mouth getting ahead of the brain.

    January 13, 2009 at 2:15 pm |
  43. Meg Ulmes

    I think that they caved in because it was expedient. There are so many issues confronting the new president and the Congress that they decided this battle was probably not worth the fight. Maybe if the world ignores the governor of Illinois, he will just slink away into the nearest sewer with the rest of the rats. I don't think that the media should give him another platform to talk from after this. He can do the rest of his talking in court. Where it might mean something.

    Troy, Ohio

    January 13, 2009 at 2:15 pm |
  44. Kiran Mandava, Atlanta, GA

    Jack you should know one thing they are all politicians. Unless they are united they can't make the public fools. In democracy ultimately it is general public who become scape goats. There is no body protect them.

    January 13, 2009 at 2:16 pm |
  45. Richard

    This is a choice of which battles to fight- why waste the time and energy on a person who will not be re-elected in 2010? Also, it appears that corruption is not a one party situation, as long as the media paid attention they may have by accident stumbled on to the bigger picture of systemic corruption through out our entire republic. We have gone for at least 8 years, and i dare say much longer, that we the people have not been represented by any one in power who has our republics best interest at heart. I believe in a bi-partisan investigation into all the players by a un-biased third party(S). If we the citizen are asked to sacrifice, we should demand from our 'leader', the political sacrifice of ones ambitions for the ultimate goal- a free and truely democratic republic- FOR THE ENTIRE WORLD TO SEE AND FOLLOW. Now that would be worth dieing for!

    January 13, 2009 at 2:16 pm |
  46. Terry from North Carolina

    Reid and Durbin would have lost the battle, legally they did not have a leg to stand on. This whole thing was mis handled from the beginning. Burris will be a seat warmer till the next election. If he does well maybe the people of Illinois will elect him senator.

    January 13, 2009 at 2:18 pm |
  47. David of Alexandria VA

    They were out-foxed by the soon-to-be exiled governnort of Illinois. Burris seems like a likeable public servant and might have made the cut on his own under different circumstances. By putting him forward, Blago put them in a no-win situation - accept Burris and accede to Blago or reject Burris and fall victim to massive criticism. (I think the term used was that it would have been a "lynching." - truly progressive)

    Basically, Blago ran up to the capital building, lifted his leg, and brazenly marked his territory while the good senators stood and watched.

    January 13, 2009 at 2:19 pm |
  48. kerry diehl

    Once a democrat.....

    Birds of the feather flock together!

    January 13, 2009 at 2:20 pm |
  49. Rose in Az

    Reid and Durbin caved in because they could not think of any more issues to bring up that would prevent Burris from being seated. The very idea that Reid said the Gov's signature and Secretary of States signature had to be on the same paper is absurd. He was looking for every possible way to keep from seating Burris. Reid did not want to be sued, he had no choice.

    January 13, 2009 at 2:22 pm |
  50. Rachel from Atlanta

    Legally, they had no choice but to seat him. Whether we like it or not Blago is still the gov of Illinois and he has the legal right to appoint Burris.

    January 13, 2009 at 2:22 pm |
  51. Anna, Virgin Islands

    Because they are wrinners.

    January 13, 2009 at 2:26 pm |
  52. Ed Reed

    They've been in such a habit of caving to President Bush these last eight years, it's become habit forming. I wish I could play poker with these guys.

    Ed Reed

    January 13, 2009 at 2:27 pm |
  53. D - Atlanta, GA

    More importantly, why did they waste the Senate and taxpayers time grandstanding. Apparently politics as usual is alive and well. Bummer.......

    January 13, 2009 at 2:27 pm |
  54. Ann from S.C.

    They seated Burris because the law was on Burris' side.

    January 13, 2009 at 2:27 pm |
  55. Dina from Ashland, VA

    Having no legal standing has a way of changing your position when you are the makers of law. At least it should.

    January 13, 2009 at 2:28 pm |
  56. Annie, Atlanta

    He was properly appointed thanks to the Illinois legislature's lack of ability to move quickly on anything of importance other than their salary increases. Sounds like lawmakers in general, doesn't it.

    January 13, 2009 at 2:28 pm |
  57. Melissa

    Because you have to pick your battles. I wish they hadn't let it go. This new administration needs to take a stand now or they'll get walked on the whole time they're in control.

    January 13, 2009 at 2:30 pm |
  58. Susan

    The answer is simple... the law was not on Reid & Durbin's side. What is sad is that they both have Juris Doctorates. Reid was trying to flex his muscles for whatever reason, and Durbin was trying to help save the disgusting and shameful reputation of Illinois politics. Whomever advised them that their bullying tactics were going to work, ie. not seating Burris or seating Burris only if he promised not to run in 2010, need to be terminated. Unfortunately Blago outsmarted the seasoned senators. I guess Blago paid better attention than Reid & Durbin did in constituitional law. I hope that this is Blago's last celebrated victory in politics. Now we can only hope that Reid, Durbin and the rest of the Senate welcome Burris with open arms. I hope the Senate leaders give him a real chance to make his mark by placing him on committees where he can make a difference.
    Susan, Charlotte, North Carolina

    January 13, 2009 at 2:31 pm |
  59. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: Leaping before you look is a common practice of Congress-but even more enjoyable is watching Reid and Burbin eat crow.

    January 13, 2009 at 2:31 pm |
  60. Allen in Hartwell GA

    As I understand it, there was no legal reason for the Senate to bar Burris. Sometimes we have to be reminded that drawing a line in the sand invites people to cross it.

    January 13, 2009 at 2:33 pm |
  61. Precious Coker

    Is Blago still the governor of Illinois?
    If yes, then they had NO CHOICE.

    January 13, 2009 at 2:33 pm |
  62. Terry in Hanover County

    After Illinois' Secretary of State finally confirmed Burris, Reid and Durbin had no excuse. Move on.

    January 13, 2009 at 2:34 pm |
  63. Mike, Albuquerque, NM

    Because it was pointed out to them that they had no business stick their nose into the business of Illinois. The people have a limited tolorance for the arrogance of Senators of any party. We demand that they put the LAW above their egos, and get on with the business of governing.

    January 13, 2009 at 2:35 pm |
  64. Paul Round Rock, Texas

    Although appointed by a jerk Burris is a good man and qualified.

    January 13, 2009 at 2:36 pm |
  65. Lamar J Strickland

    they realize no laws were broken in Blago's appointment of Burris. when he appointed the gov. he still had office and had every right to fill Obama's senate seat.

    January 13, 2009 at 2:38 pm |
  66. Tina Texas

    They were told that they were breaking the rules and besides the Dems need every seat they can take.

    January 13, 2009 at 2:38 pm |
  67. Rex in Portland, Ore.

    Reid is a leader. He doesn't "cave in". He merely leads from behind once in a while. Well, most of the time. . And poorly. . .

    January 13, 2009 at 2:40 pm |
  68. Gigi

    Because they would like to be re-elected.

    January 13, 2009 at 2:43 pm |
  69. Mike, Syracuse NY

    Because the Black Caucus voted to do so, and the race card is always trump.

    January 13, 2009 at 2:45 pm |
  70. mitchell, arkansas

    they decided to take the nodrama obama road, instead.

    January 13, 2009 at 2:46 pm |
  71. Kyle- DuPont, WA

    Because they did not have a legal leg to stand on. Regardless of whether or not they think Gov. Blagojevich is the anti-Christ, he has the constituional authority to appoint Sen. Obama's replacement. I only wish Gov. B had chosen Oprah. THAT would have made some great press!

    January 13, 2009 at 2:47 pm |
  72. Lee in TN

    Because the gentleman was put there by the state law.
    It seems that they just want to rock the boat and they were too self centered to admit they were jumping the gun.

    January 13, 2009 at 2:47 pm |
  73. Patsy

    Two words: Barack Obama

    January 13, 2009 at 2:48 pm |
  74. Anthony Smith

    Jack, this happened for several reasons. A tainted black Dem is better than a white Republican anyday. He is a vote. He is now in the fold. With the strides that Obama has made, locking the black man out of the party just wouldn't look good now would it? He is a pawn, but atleast he is getting a seat at the table.

    Wildwood Crest, NJ

    January 13, 2009 at 2:48 pm |
  75. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Senators Harry Reid and Dick Durbin were acting like two pit bulls until the dog catcher, i.e. Civil Rights, came and put a muzzle on them.

    January 13, 2009 at 2:49 pm |
  76. MB in VA

    They caved because they don't want to prolong any more conflicts or impediments for Barack Obama to face once he's in office.

    January 13, 2009 at 2:50 pm |
  77. June-NY

    They caved in because they had no grounds not to seat Burris. They were outwitted, outplayed and outsmarted by the Gov. Blagoevich may be crooked but he isn't stupid. Reid opened his mouth put his foot in it and couldn't get it out.

    January 13, 2009 at 2:50 pm |
  78. Matt in Stafford, VA

    The whole thing looked bad for the Democrats. Obama's election was supposed to unify Republicans and Democrats, but this Burris debacle has divided them further. I do not agree with the appointment, not because of Burris but because of Blago. While not technically illegal, the fact that the governor defied every bit of advice given to him irks me. Illinois should hold an open election for senator. That way, the people can chose who is best for the post.

    January 13, 2009 at 2:52 pm |
  79. JD in NH

    Burris had the law on his side. End of story.

    January 13, 2009 at 2:53 pm |
  80. Roland

    Because the fact that Blagojevich is a creep and has a very tarnished reputation does not preclude him from doing one right thing, even if he did it out of a motivation of self-interest. In this case, appointing Burris as Obama's successor would have been the right thing to do, even if there had been no scandal, and I think Reid and Durbin finally realized that.

    St. George, UT

    January 13, 2009 at 2:53 pm |
  81. AndyZag Lynn, MA

    Maybe because it looks liks the Democratic Party was anti-Afro American representation in the US Senate. The crass, stupidity that was used in this issue amazes me. Why strike out at Burris when you are upset with Blagojevic?

    January 13, 2009 at 2:53 pm |
  82. mattbenzor

    jack ,Reid was looking stupid trying make up reasons not to seat him durbin saw how stupid harry was looking and said well I think we should seat him before he looked as stupid as harry was looking I new jack they would .so did the law and it was on burris side . It looks like baracks going to have some trouble and its going be his party that fights him and not republicans and shame on them for doing so

    January 13, 2009 at 2:53 pm |
  83. bob, oshawa, ontario

    Jack, they simply realized when they were pulled aside and told they had no legal reason to bar him from taking the Senate seat that they backed down. It appears they didn't think and just acted impulsively. It's the type of error that one would expect from less experienced politicians.

    January 13, 2009 at 2:54 pm |
  84. Eric Bracke, Fort Collins, CO

    Reid and Durbin are famous for shooting off their mouths before the brains in gear.
    They had no choice – the law is the law. I'd bet a month's salary they don't apologize for this foolishness.

    January 13, 2009 at 2:56 pm |
  85. Paul S. Columbia, SC

    By sticking a democrat in the seat shuts the media up, and avoids a special election that a republican would likely win given the corrupt and criminal behavior of Illinois democratic politicians and for the shame they bring to an entire state.

    January 13, 2009 at 2:57 pm |
  86. Ryan, Galesburg, IL

    Perhaps to finally put the issue to rest, in hope that the press will actually cover important issues like where the bailout money is being funnelled to, or even the slaughter in the Middle East.

    The only way to get the press to move on from the easy stories is by taking them away.

    January 13, 2009 at 2:59 pm |
  87. David,San Bernardino,CA.

    Roland Burris had the law on his side. The Democrats had no choice but to seat him.

    January 13, 2009 at 2:59 pm |
  88. Independent for Obama

    Race. Blagojevich knew just how to play the racecard.
    Janie, Holyoke MA

    January 13, 2009 at 2:59 pm |
  89. joseph jacir, chapel hill NC

    Simple ignorance....they are the lawmakers and they do not understand the law...They finally came to their senses and accepted the inevitable. What a waist of time,

    January 13, 2009 at 3:00 pm |
  90. Agnes from Scottsdale, AZ

    Jack: I don't think it is caving in as much as it is prioritizing which battle is most important. Had they pursued this issue further, it would be a typical Rove tactic of taking their eyes off the very important issues to be dealt with: the economy, Iraq, Israel, healthcare, etc. This whole issue of seating the senator is a pimple on an elefant's tail. We've moved beyond that. This is actually a very good sign.

    January 13, 2009 at 3:01 pm |
  91. purnell langs peoria,illinois

    because they didn't have no choice. First of all they shouldn't never made a big thing about seating Burris. They new that the appointment was legal. Illinois Governor was not impeach, was not indicted, and he still was the Governor and is the governor. You can not stop something that is legal I don't care what high power position they may be in.

    January 13, 2009 at 3:02 pm |
  92. John

    They played out all senerio's and they chose the lesser of two evils.

    January 13, 2009 at 3:03 pm |

    Under the law, there is no other mechanism for filling the position. "Under a cloud" is not really a legal disqualification. A cloudy Burris is better than an empty seat.

    January 13, 2009 at 3:03 pm |
  94. Earnest T., VA

    . . . Because they figure they can seat Burris and STILL impeach
    Blagojevich, Jack.

    January 13, 2009 at 3:05 pm |
  95. karen-phoenix

    Who Cares!!!!! Just get on with the "peoples business" and get this MESS cleaned up!!!

    January 13, 2009 at 3:07 pm |
  96. JW in Atlanta

    I think they took the path of least resistance, racially speaking, and I believe that Illinois will suffer as a result of having a tainted, highly impotent junior Senator seated in its behalf. The sad part is that the junior Senator from Illinois can now cast votes on issues which will sometimes have consequences for the nation, including issues of life and death for some. Thus, B'vich has imposed his will on every American and some may die as a result. What a rotten way to run a government. It may be time for a new Boston styled Tea Party.

    January 13, 2009 at 3:07 pm |
  97. Jan Illinois

    Because Obama said to seat him and it shall be done!!!!

    January 13, 2009 at 3:08 pm |
  98. Kathy in Chicago

    Because legally they didn't have a leg to stand on. If you refuse to seat the govenor's pick then you run the risk of legal battles over all of the govenor's actions after the indictment. You can't say he can sign bills into law but cannot appoint a senator. Until he is impeached, legally he is still the goverenor. Plus they wanted this whole fiasco to end. All in all nobody really has anything against Burris except the fact that he can't win an election.

    January 13, 2009 at 3:10 pm |
  99. Stacy from Leesburg, VA

    Jack, I am a Democrat and it sickens me that we are the party of limp-wristed compliance. My party has no backbone to it and just caves in when push comes to shove. They did it the past two years so why stop now?

    January 13, 2009 at 3:12 pm |
  100. Doris in New Mexico

    No choice legally,I think.A bigger question is:where has all their outrage been over the last eight years of Bush and Cheney's destruction of our country?I think this administration has been much worse than Watergate,but we have no real statesmen and stateswomen anymore to deal with the crooks.

    January 13, 2009 at 3:13 pm |
  101. just me!

    Because they are spineless, power hungry and overly impressed with their own self importance eager to rock the boat to try to overturn a legal appointment only to be caught with their pants down!

    January 13, 2009 at 3:15 pm |
  102. Beverley, Fredricksburg Va

    They didn't have a legal leg to stand on. Like most crooks, Blago knew the law better than his prosecutors.

    January 13, 2009 at 3:17 pm |
  103. Paulette,Dallas,PA

    Democrats need the vote and Burris was qualified.

    January 13, 2009 at 3:17 pm |
  104. Larry in Houston TX

    That's easy, Jack, it's simple.......They needed the VOTE(S), the more votes you have within your party, the easier it is to pass bills, and get things done..

    January 13, 2009 at 3:18 pm |
  105. paul from Colombia

    Jack, just wanted to say HI, I enjoy your segment on the show. They caved in because Mr Obama told them to act like adults/he has other more pressing issues to face. Like 2 wars and the economy.

    January 13, 2009 at 3:19 pm |
  106. vern-t anaheim,ca

    they had no recourse but to seat mr.burris,the bickering over his appointment was hurting the democratic party and there was no legal reason to prevent him from being seated

    January 13, 2009 at 3:20 pm |
  107. JR in Norfolk VA

    Pride goeth before a fall. Blago should take heed...

    January 13, 2009 at 3:20 pm |
  108. Jack


    Sadly, and the whole world will see this reality, that we will never know what deal was made to have Reid and Durbin "change" their minds. Burris will no doubt service his constituents in a manner to which he has become accustomed and by the rules of the deal. Good luck Illinoisans ! There is yet trouble in River City (USA).

    Lancaster, OH

    January 13, 2009 at 3:21 pm |
  109. Krishna Koliwad


    I think Harry Reid has been in many boxing matches without the helmet on and I don't know what the heck Durbin is doing in the Senate any how! I shudder thinking that our fate in part is in the hands of these guys! God bless America.

    LCF, CA

    January 13, 2009 at 3:22 pm |
  110. Robin in Colorado

    Governor Potty Mouth out smarted them.

    January 13, 2009 at 3:22 pm |
  111. John

    Burris and Durbin decided to play Democratic Politics. It's unreasonable to not seat the appointee with the serious problems that has overwhelmed this country the last 8 years.
    Pampa, TX

    January 13, 2009 at 3:22 pm |
  112. Pat,Clearwater Florida

    They caved in because the Governor had not been inpeached
    and had a legal right to appoint Mr Burris
    Lets hope the Governor of Minn. will sign off on Mr Franken
    before Easter . He's just mad he was passed over for VP
    by McCain. He should have his record looked into also!!!

    January 13, 2009 at 3:22 pm |
  113. Karl from SF, CA

    I think they finally realized that Burris wasn't tainted, Illinois needed two Senators and the fact that in a month or two, they would still be Senators and Bragojevich would be an unemployed nobody waiting for indictment.

    January 13, 2009 at 3:23 pm |
  114. Betty, San Diego, Ca.

    Senators Harry Reid and Dick Durbin did their jobs to ensure that additional crimes were not being committed by Governor Blagojevich. Roland Burris testified and was found not to have committed any crime. The Illinois Secretary of State signed the necessary paperwork for the U. S. Senate to approve the appointment. Now the Governor of Illinois finds himself back in the center of the circus he created. If Roland Burris had committed a crime in accepting the appointment, and the senate allowed the appointment without questions, then the senate would have been in the center of the circus.

    January 13, 2009 at 3:27 pm |
  115. MARCUS123 Flanders

    Reid runs the senate yet he does not know what the rules are;blame it on bush;

    January 13, 2009 at 3:27 pm |
  116. Al in IA

    Their refusal to seat Burris was purely political; the Dems were concerned that blowback from the Blagos appointment might jeopardize the seat in 2012.
    But, Burris's admirable demeaner, Blago's apparent legal authority to appoint him, a good dose of public support to seat him along with backing from Feinstein may have convinced Reid and Durbin that Burris has what it takes to be a fine Senator AND get re-elected. It's a political shift and it's all POLITICS!

    January 13, 2009 at 3:28 pm |
  117. Alan, Buxton Maine

    Perhaps it occurred to them that he was qualified and legally appointed.

    January 13, 2009 at 3:28 pm |
  118. Ray Kinserlow

    I suspect it was the fact that the Illinois Supreme Court ruled in favor of Burris that changed a lot of minds. Reid and Durbin are just reading the handwriting on the wall.

    Ray Kinserlow
    Lubbock, Texas

    January 13, 2009 at 3:29 pm |
  119. Brian from Fort Mill, SC

    I think it's because President Obama (yeah, I said "President" – let's face it – he started early) asked them to not let this be a distraction.

    Could you imagine Congress having a pissing contest over this guy, when they should be debating and voting on a stimulus bill that needs to be implemented yesterday?

    Frankly, I don't even care if he bought the senate seat or not. I just hope that he kept the receipt, because Blagojevech is going DOWN!!!

    January 13, 2009 at 3:31 pm |
  120. Mike in NYC

    Legally, they couldn't make it stick, but practically speaking, Democrats can't say no to a black when push comes to shove. Watch for Repubs to adopt similar behavior in the near future. Got to be "inclusive" and all that.

    Interesting that BO was initially opposed to seating Burris. No matter, since the seat is effectively reserved for a black. If a special election had been called, the GOP would have run an AA as well.

    Ethnic apportionment of Congressional seats. A lousy idea whose time has come.

    January 13, 2009 at 3:31 pm |
  121. George

    I don't think that you can characterize Reid's, or Durbin's as caving as much as just seeing a quieter outcome if Burris is just seated so that the Senate can get on with the business of taking care of our countries needs, as there are many. You have to remember although it is hard that these are Democrats, not "do-it-my-way-or-the highway" Republicans.

    January 13, 2009 at 3:32 pm |
  122. Jay in Texas

    Because the Illinois Supreme Court ruled that the appointment of Burris met the requirements of the law and the Constitution. Reid and the other senators realized that, by illegally blocking him from being seated, they would draw more unwanted attention on themselves and their motives.
    Brownwood, Texas

    January 13, 2009 at 3:33 pm |
  123. chuck

    jack,it was the power of President Barack Obama that caused reid and Durbin to cave in. Reid and Durbin were fighting against the facts of life.

    January 13, 2009 at 3:33 pm |
  124. John from collinsville, Illinois

    Well Jack it seems corruption breeds corruption and to block Mr. Burris seat is the pot calling the kettle black. Remember the big white city in 1893 chicago world expo? The wizard of oz? Dorithy went to the wizard to send her home but only if she did something for him first. She finialy got what she wanted too!

    January 13, 2009 at 3:34 pm |
  125. V.K. Raman, Sparks

    We are a country of laws and Harry Reid and Dick Durbin succumbed to this requirement. It is good for both the senators to accept and maintain humility when they were legally wrong to take a wrong position.

    January 13, 2009 at 3:35 pm |
  126. Joe in MO

    The real question is, "Why didn't they cave in sooner?" Everyone knew they would cave in. Why not just seat the man, and in two years let the people of Illinois vote him out of office?

    January 13, 2009 at 3:37 pm |
  127. Don in Grand Rapids, Mi

    Pay to play!

    January 13, 2009 at 3:38 pm |
  128. Gerry In Toronto

    Because Obama reminded both of them, there's bigger issues to be dealth with.

    January 13, 2009 at 3:38 pm |
  129. Ralph Nelson

    They talked it out and came to a solution. Ralph, Yakima, Wa.

    January 13, 2009 at 3:39 pm |
  130. Jerry from Jacksonville

    They were wrong and to keep from looking dumber than they already have probably decided that the best thing to do was seat Burris.

    January 13, 2009 at 3:39 pm |
  131. Harold from Anchorage,AK

    At the time the appointmen twas made it was legal; we are a nation of laws, not men.

    January 13, 2009 at 3:39 pm |
  132. earle,florida

    Perhaps,Harry compromised himself on tape? There is one caveat that isn't part of the equation;that being Emanuel won the 5th Congresstional Seat given up when "Blago"became Governor, of the "Great State of Illinois"?

    January 13, 2009 at 3:40 pm |
  133. Brenda Kaye from Miss.

    The one consistency Majority Leader Reid and his Tonto, Richard Durbin have are their ability to chose the wrong fight. A good leader would know which fights he can win and Reid and Durbin have a record of choosing the wrong ones. With Burris, one sees just how weak the Democratic leadership really is.

    Brenda Kaye

    January 13, 2009 at 3:40 pm |
  134. David Bebeau

    Because they were politely told to.

    January 13, 2009 at 3:41 pm |
  135. Kathryn, Santa Barbara, CA

    Because audacious, crass, incomprehensible and frustrating as Governor Blagojevich is – legally he was correct in appointing Burris – and Senators Reid and Durbin knew that. Done. Moving on.

    January 13, 2009 at 3:41 pm |
  136. Willow, Iowa

    Blagojevich may be impeached now, but when he appointed Burris, he was still "innocent til proven guilty", he still is innocent until proven guilty. Blago may be a bad guy, an old Illinois politician but he is still the standing governor of the state until proven otherwise. If Burris had been a horrible choice, I could see standing in his way. but Burris is not the person at fault here. If anybody but Blago had picked Burris, nobody would probably have minded much at all.

    We have to go through legal channels to change things.

    January 13, 2009 at 3:43 pm |
  137. tom glover woodbridge n.j.

    durbin and reid caved in because they faced a wellspring of critical
    comments from both the black community and the liberal wing
    of the democratic party. The sad part of this drama is the ammunition
    the supportive black politicians have given to the hard line conservatives.We talk about making decisions on the political
    landscape that will have a positive affect on americans belief in
    their government , and then we let a corrupt governor out smart
    the smartest in our government . SHAME! All they had to do was
    sit down with the black power structure and ask them to wait
    until the impeachment process was complete. Then Burris could have been submitted by the Lt. Governor. Stupidity in polotics reins

    January 13, 2009 at 3:43 pm |
  138. honest john in vermont

    Whats wrong? Looks like politics as usual in Washington and Chicago. Ethics mean nothing.

    January 13, 2009 at 3:46 pm |
  139. L.M.,Arizona

    It's called innocent until proven guilty and not guilty through the news media. Jack if you where accused of plagarism would we stop you're show from being on the air. Blagojevich is still governor and he was forced to make a good,honest choice. Now we should move on and let him have his trial if guilty impeach him if not let him govern.


    January 13, 2009 at 3:46 pm |
  140. Nancy, Tennessee

    Reid decided he had let his mouth overload his back side. The law as flawed as it might seem was on the side of the now impeached Governor and Senator Burris. The Senate leader didn't have a choice or a legal standing to block Burris' appointment. Now all that's left to do is have Burris raise his hand, swear he'll work for the good of the country, and take his seat. Case closed!

    January 13, 2009 at 3:46 pm |
  141. mike cleveland

    because they all know it is politics as usual no mater what blago was accused of doing it pales in comparison to properly timed accusations if this was the old west we would call this a linch mob no judge no jury no faceing your accusers strait to neerest tree.

    January 13, 2009 at 3:48 pm |
  142. Lois Canada

    Maybe they flipped a coin, while the coin still had some value!

    January 13, 2009 at 3:49 pm |
  143. Jeff in Minnesota

    How did they cave? If anyone caved, it was the Secretary of State of Illinois who signed the election certificate. At that point, it became almost impossible for the Senate to not seat Burris. Based on Burris' background, I find it hard to believe that he's any more crooked than any other politician in this country. However, that said, I've never understood the problem with the Burris appointment. The Governor of Illinois is the Governor UNTIL he's removed from office through one of the legal ways defined by the Illinois constitution. At the moment, he's only indicted and, last I checked, he's innocent UNTIL proven guilty. And while the US Attorney for Illinois claims he's got the goods on the Governor, he's still supposedly building his case which is code for he doesn't have enough goods on the Governor. So, like it or not, until the Governor is removed from office, the business of the State of Illinois goes on.

    January 13, 2009 at 3:50 pm |
  144. Pablo en Tejas

    Jack, as you have so often observed, The GOP leadership of the past 8 years, when finding the law was against them, happily followed a "higher law" grounded in their own sense of moral superiority and paranoid delusions of natinal security.
    It appears that the Democrats are determined to follow the letter of Constitutional and statutory law even if the outcome is not to their liking.
    This is good news for the country .
    As for Senator Burris, if Illinois is embarassed by his getting the office. they have it in their power to replace him in 2010.

    Arlington, Texas

    January 13, 2009 at 3:51 pm |
  145. Eileen Peabody MA

    Because they realized there is no legal reason for holding up his appointment.

    The only problem is Gov. Blog got away with thumbing his nose at the Senate as well as the rest of us. With this being said you might justify Reid and Durbin's initial emotion of resistance.

    I personally think Burris was too desperate for this seat, which makes me uneasy; but he is now the junior Senator of Illinois and his speeches about how wonderful he is are over. (Hopefully)

    January 13, 2009 at 3:52 pm |
  146. Tom in Dallas

    Harry Reid taking a stand, how quaint. That would be something new. As for Dick Durbin, he has to live in the state and at some point would have to work with Burris and will need his support with the African – American vote in the next election.

    January 13, 2009 at 3:53 pm |
  147. Ann from Newton, New Jersey

    Because of the legality of it. Should they not look into the record of Mr. Burris? Didn't he give money to the governors campaign and help his wife get a good job. Makes you wonder if Burris paid for the seat. It should have been done the right way with a special election and let the people of Illinois choose who they want to take Obama's seat.

    January 13, 2009 at 3:53 pm |
  148. Pugas-AZ

    That's the trouble with Harry. He should take the 3:10 to Parump. Burris has been political fodder for years and still is. What a country.

    January 13, 2009 at 3:53 pm |
  149. OBDAG in Appleton, WI

    I have thought quite a bit about this reversal and decided that both Durbin and Reid are very concerned about the majorities "numbers" game. They both determined they need Burris to badly to get the majority rather than reject a free bird in the hand ready and willing to play the game.So, as usual it came down to basic politics just like normal.

    January 13, 2009 at 3:56 pm |
  150. Todd E. Mashlan, a/BSG

    Why? Because Blago pulled the race card out of his sleeve. And rather than call the game, they folded.

    This was a matter of avoiding the appearance of racism; it was a case of succumbing to the crass racialization of the issue

    I just wonder what they're going to do after Burris is seated and it should come out that Blago cut a deal with some third party to appoint him.

    This was never about the appoint_ee_. It was about the appoint_ment_!

    January 13, 2009 at 3:57 pm |
  151. Ruth, Oglesby, Il

    They changed their minds because Rolland Burris did nothing wrong. Also, the governor of Illinois is innocent until proven guilty as stated in the Constitution of the US.

    January 13, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  152. Steve Martin Vernon Hills, IL

    ...they just got more important stuff to worry about and can get a free class on "How to Build Your Own Tombstone."

    January 13, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  153. Les Oklahoma

    The greatest reason is it made sense to do so he was legally appointed by a governor who was accused of breaking the law but not yet convicted which make his appointment legal. Plus he was black which did not hurt his chances of getting the seat. I for one think the right thing was done.

    January 13, 2009 at 3:59 pm |
  154. Raoul New Orleans, La.

    Perhaps the question should be, how did Senators Reid and Durbin get reelected to leadership positions?

    January 13, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  155. Danny Avelar, Sacramento,Ca

    I believe he has been legally appointed, therefore there is no reason not to be sworn in. As for Blogo, he has been charged and yet to be convicted. I think this is called due process, a basic fundamental of civil rights.

    January 13, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  156. Phil P. in NJ

    Jack, there's a new sheriff in town and his name is Obama. The problems we face as a nation are too servere to get caught up in the same old politics. Like it or not, no laws were broken in the Gov. Blagojevich scandal. Blago is done plain and simple. The people from the great state of Illinois derserve maximum representation. Obama needs to get his economic plan up and running starting from day one. Burris's vote will help bring that process along. Harry Reid needs to put his energy into bringing this nation back from a economic recession. Word of advice for Sen. Reid, stop majoring in the minors and work with Obama on the big picture.

    January 13, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  157. don in naples, florida

    did they have another option???

    January 13, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  158. Bob

    Because they were wrong and looked foolish.

    January 13, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  159. Jay-San Antonio

    Jack; I wish I knew. The whole thing stinks!!!

    January 13, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  160. Jenny from Nanuet, New York

    They underestimated Blagojevich's chutzpah and they didn't have a legal leg to stand on. The circus came to town and had to be shut down.

    January 13, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  161. Annie Kraft Naples FL

    Because they were outsmarted by legality vs illegality

    January 13, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  162. Jenny from Nanuet, New York

    They underestimated Blagojevich's chutzpah and they didn't have a legal leg to stand on. The circus came to town and it had to be shut down.

    January 13, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  163. Bob from New Brighton, PA

    Someone finally showed them how wrong they were and how foolish they looked.

    January 13, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  164. Lynne in South Carolina

    Because they were wrong and because Reid has no spine about much of anything.

    January 13, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  165. Dan Gary

    It seems like Governor Rod Blagojevich duped everyone and made a good choice. Maybe he figures Barrack Obama will have mercy on him and give him a pardon.

    January 13, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  166. Todd E. Mashlan, a/BSG

    This whole thing was racialized. There was never a question about Burris' qualifications or his integrity. In fact, it was never about Burris at all!

    Blago pulled the race card out of his sleeve and Reid/Durbin failed to call him on it. Instead, Blagojevich called their bluff and they folded.

    The appoint_ee_ is not tainted; the appoint_ment_ is tainted.

    We cannot be sure that Blago didn't cut a deal with some third party to appoint Burris (who is, plausibly, entirely ignorant of such a deal). I wonder what Reid/Durbin will do or say if THAT should come out during Blago's impeachment trial!


    January 13, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  167. Peter from Yalaha, Florida

    Harry Reid has a bad poker face, 'nough said.

    January 13, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  168. Joe

    Harry Reid and the Democratic "leadership" continue to show their spinelessness to any opposition, internal or external. It's difficult and flincing to imagine that these people will continue to steer the already sinking ship that is our Congress.

    January 13, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  169. James

    They caved in to get it out of the news. Each news cycle that shows inner turmoil among Democrats is further ammunition for Republican congressional candidates.

    January 13, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  170. Brendan J. Barry

    Senator Burriss had to prove he was worthy... is'nt that sad?

    January 13, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  171. Brian

    I think this is just another partisan move by the Democrats. Burris probably promised he would vote Democratic on every piece of legislation that comes through the Senate. If we really want to get something done in this country, then we should have bipartisan agreements, not a win or lose deal from each party.

    Penfield, NY

    January 13, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  172. Sheri in Louisville, KY

    Very simple Mr. Cafferty, "It was the RIGHT thing to do. Sometimes the right thing to do does not set well with many people, but it sets well with your conscience.

    January 13, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  173. Anna from Pasadena, CA

    They caved in because their attention needs to be focused elsewhere and also for reasons that we'll never know, as always in politics !

    January 13, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  174. Jesse Callahan

    Hmmm. I haven't the foggiest. You tell me.

    Brookeland, Texas

    January 13, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  175. Norman Hoffman


    The law supported Burris, but frankly, who give a rat's touchas.!

    Marietta, Ga

    January 13, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  176. John Wenger

    I don't think Harry Reid and Dick Durban had a choice when it came to seating Burris. Legally he had to be seated and politically the state legislature sat around and missed their chance to hold a special election. Our state is in a financial crisis and I think Durbin and Reid realized this sideshow attraction wasn't worth carrying through months of litigation. No one acted fast enough on the issue and now Burris is sneaking into the Senate

    January 13, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  177. Damon in NC

    Because President-elect Obama told them to make nice and get off the stage.

    January 13, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  178. walter boller

    They are counting on Republicans to object later this week. This pathetic little man has more ego than sense, and the Chicago black community shows how out of step they are with the world when they gave him the idea all this was "ordained by God" They are more racist than any member of the klan.
    Wally, Illinois

    January 13, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  179. Will from New York

    Reid and Durbin didn't cave in....they put on a good show of indignation and then stepped back, realizing that we live in the United States, and despite Blagojevich having been tried and convicted by the media and the rest of us, we are all driven by the same creed, that you are innocent until proven guilty. In recent years, perhaps an extraordinary rendition or a trip to Guantanimo would have been the solution to the Blagojevich mess, but hopefully those days are over.

    January 13, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  180. Sarah Chrest-Grant

    Why?! Because they care more about personal power, position, and TV "face time". None of them, NONE, care more than a whit about our country's woes if it interferes with their personal gain. Why in the world would any intelligent, experienced person subject themselves for job approval with these boobs?!

    January 13, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  181. James W. Blevins

    Burris does really seem to be qualified. But more importantly, Reid needs his vote. He is one less Republican that needs to cross over to end a potential filibuster.

    Jim, Craig, CO

    January 13, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  182. Ann from VA

    I'd like to think the cave in was the result of someone in the incoming administration saying cut this s*** out! The adult's are taking back the country.

    January 13, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  183. Dave in West Palm Beach, Fl.

    Looks to me like the money he illegally paid to the soon to be ex-governor was returned or transferred to the Democratic Senate Committee fund. Harry reid would definitely change his mond for that. Ya think?

    January 13, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  184. Laurie, New York, NY

    Because they had to wrap this circus up before Obama took office and it poisoned the first days of his administration. Also before the people of Illinois demanded a special election that the Democrats might have lost. Burris is a joke and Reid was clearly trumped by Blago but they needed another Democratic vote–any Democratic vote–to inch closer to 60.

    January 13, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  185. Olivia

    Could it have something to do with a bill filed yesterday in the IL Leg? The bill was to put the seat up for election in April when Rahm Emanuel’s seat is filled. I must say, I'm disappointed in the reversal.

    January 13, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  186. Micheal J

    Harry Reid and the Democrats acted like amature politicians; They showed their hand, drew lines in the sand. Well, Jack, sands move in the wind. I'm a Blue Dog Democrat and I can tell you this much. Were I Rod (the idiot of Illinois,) I would have done the same thing. Were I Roland Burris, I would have done the same thing. Thank heaven I'm not as stupid as Harry Reid.

    January 13, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  187. Robert

    Do people not read the Constitution? In Supreme Court has said that the Congress cannot change the "Qualifications" for serving. Thus, Reid and Durbin caved because that had to...this whole thing was just a political dog and pony show to help them out in 2010.

    January 13, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  188. RC

    Legal and party unity were main reasons. Unfortunately, we now have one more self-centered politician in the Senate. He'll fit right in with this crowd.

    January 13, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  189. John D

    Harry Reid comes across as a vindictive old man (I do not have anything against old men. I even like them). But Harry Reid is a very partisan person and it shows. Durbin speaks from both sides of his mouth. They made a decent man walk with his "hat in his hands" in the rain. What a shame!! Burris should switch to the Republican party after he is sworn in, or at least become an Independent. That will teach Reid and Durbin a lesson.

    January 13, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  190. Faye

    They caved in because it was all over Chicago they originally requested one of two white females be appointed. Allegedly after Blogoman was charged (he was not indicted). they requested one of three suggested Black males. Which Blogoman rejected. Am I the only one who remembers all of this REALLY started after he promised to remove state money from BofA. Besides in all honesty this is Chicago/Illinois politics. The only state where the number of votes often surprises the total population

    January 13, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  191. EILEEN.. Austintown, OHIO

    WHY????? Jack if I knew that answer, I wouldn't be answering your questions, nor watching you daily.

    A better question would be.....do we have a law to govern the appointment of Burris? If so, could we please just follow the law; then it wouldn't matter who caved in to whom. I'm so sick of it all. In my 70's, I've seen ever too much from government handlings. ENOUGH. Will a "new broom" really sweep clean? Lord above, I hope so.

    January 13, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  192. Debbie, Florida

    Oh, Jack, I have a really sick feeling about this. Mr. Burris is the worst kind of opportunist. He "paid to play" more than one person for this senate seat - or possibly used some Chicago blackmail. Either way, he is a self-centered disgrace not worthy to be a United States senator.

    January 13, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  193. B. Tabs from PA

    Since Obama will be our nations president in a week, there will officially be a complete lack of an African American in the senate. Burris is qualified, democratic, and capable to lead. It could be that Reid and Durbin conceded in order to get this long-held controversy out of the way. The senate has much bigger fish to fry.

    January 13, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  194. Ken in TN

    Let's see, Reid stands up against Obama proclaiming "I don't work FOR Obama, I work WIT?H him" as if he (and he alone) is a EQUAL to Obama. Then he grandstands against Burris, only to cave in once it "wouldn't look good" to persue it further. It would seem that Reid is trying to get his face in the limelight quite a bit, to show his power... could his seat be up for re-election in 2010?

    Unfortunately (or fortunately) I'm not in his state to vote him out, if he ran for presidency I'd probably end up voting Republican for the first time in my life.

    January 13, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  195. Len, Greensburg, PA

    Jack, they screwed up. What else is new.

    January 13, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  196. Rick Cairns Swarthmore, Pa

    Two reasons:
    They caved because the constitution gave them no choice. The appointment was legal. The constitution is very specific about when the Senate can refuse to seat someone.
    The other reason is when it comes to the "big brass ones" department Harry Reid has long proved he suffers from a huge deficit.

    January 13, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  197. delilah foster

    Hi Jack,
    I think there is some blackmail going on...They all seam a little to cozy for my way of thinking.!

    January 13, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  198. Mike McKibben, lady lake, Fl

    Sen. Burris: Why did Reid and Durbin cave in?
    They caved in because we are a nations of laws, and the law was on the side of (Sen) Burris. It's just that simple. One can make it any other group of issues, but it would be just for entertainment. It would be nice if this country were to return to a country of laws.............not the ones you change in mid stream.

    January 13, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  199. E

    Because there was a discussion for an open vote,which means that there would be a possibilty of a Republican picking up the seat.It would be better to seat Burris,then to lose the seat to a Republican.

    January 13, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  200. Aaron Camp in Westville, Illinois

    Jack, The Senate had no choice but to seat Burris. The Illinois Secretary of State, Jesse White, was legally obligated to certify Blagojevich's appointment, in this case, Roland Burris. Blagojevich could have appointed a Senator virtually unchecked, and that's exactly what he did.

    January 13, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  201. Jim in Scottsdale, AZ

    Reid and Durbin "caved" because they (or more likely a young staffer) finally read the Constitution, Illinois statutes, and their own Senate rules. Notwithstanding the political posturing, there is no legal basis for refusing to accept "Blago's" cynical designation of Roland Burris.

    January 13, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  202. Tom from Boston, Mass.

    It's simple. They were embarassed by the media circus and decided to reverse course. I'd like to tell you that the law was the real issue, but then I'd be just another spin-master!

    January 13, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  203. chimera in New Hampshire

    I am black but the race card was played by Blago, Burris and his cohorts to get this seat. He will always be tainted. I am disgusted by how he forced his way into this seat using his skin color.

    January 13, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  204. Wayne - Orlando

    To stop the bleeding. Harry managed to take a 10 minute incident and stretch it into 10 days, just before one of the most historic inaugurations in US history. Roland Burris had nothing to do with Rod's problems and frankly he conducted himself quite well. Good luck Senator.

    January 13, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  205. Sly, Alpena, Mi.

    They caved in because the Law was not on their side. They must have forgotten that the Governor of illinois is still the Governor. Harry Reid should retire.

    January 13, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  206. ron

    They have no principles; he has no shame.

    January 13, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  207. Lance

    Harry Reid is a non compus mentis, As for Durbin, Burris is one of his own. It's amazing how inept the democratic 'leadership' is in Congress. I feel badly for President-elect Barack Obamas. I truly want him to succeed, but with these bozos (including Nancy Pelosi) his hopes are diminishing rapidly!

    January 13, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  208. Ian, Canada

    Roland Burris is an African-American. Had he been a caucasian he would have had to answer for his ethically-challenged and blatant opportunistism. Don't get me wrong. I don't see it as "reverse-racism" or anything like that. I see it as the political power-play that it is. The guy who turned it down (another African-American, BTW) should get the seat.

    January 13, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  209. Blouise White

    Come on Jack ... he paid for it. The currency was political promises instead of dollars. Too bad the Justice Dept. didn't have listening devices in that office.

    January 13, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  210. bobbywalker

    I read many comments before I saw one that said it was because of race. Maybe most commentors are correct that it was a legality – The senators just acted knee-jerkily before thinking of the implications!

    January 13, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  211. Jim/NC

    I would hope their decision was based upon getting back to the people's business when realizing Burris is a minor distraction in the scheme of things on their plate. My best guess is both are very weak, with political and individualistic minds at the forefront of all their decisions.

    January 13, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  212. Sherrol in Canada

    They caved because they were embarrassed (shamed) into seating Burris. Blago made a 'wicked' chess move, racism raised it's ugly head and they were very afraid.

    Reid made those blowhard statements about a tainted Gov Blago and not seating any appointee of his, and now has egg on his face.

    January 13, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  213. David Munro

    The answer to today's question is ( Obama, Obama, Obama ).

    ( why did Reid and Durbin cave in? )

    Dave Munro
    Windsor Ontario

    January 13, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  214. Rafael

    Jack, legally they had to seat Burris. Would Senators Reid and Durbin be less guilty of wrong doing or law breaking than Governor Blagojevich had they not seated Burris? Blagojevich was yet within his legal rights to appoint a Senator. Two wrongs don't make a right, however, in Manhattan, 3 rights make a left.

    January 13, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  215. Paul Alleyne


    Reid and Durbin caved in because they are typical politicians. Always going back on their word, claiming that they were misunderstood. If regular folk like me and many others can see that Burris should have been seated all along, I can't understand how these politicians can't see it. I would not be surprised if Gov. Blagojevich comes out smelling like a rose through all this theatre.

    January 13, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  216. Bob in San Jose, California

    Guilt by association is never a good reason to judge anybody. I've lived in Illinois and voted for Roland Burris. He is a good & smart fellow. DC Dems were doing business as usual and got egg on their face. Great! Maytbe now they will MAN UP and get with the new program. There's a new sheriff coming to town, so cut the ego-based nonsense and get on with the clear demand of the people for CHANGE!

    January 13, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  217. swamp gator

    jack I think they had to seat Burris because he way legally appointed by a legal sitting governor who is required to appoint someone to represent the people of illinois, even though the gov. is a slimeball democrat, being a democrat my self i think blago should be hanged but i think burris is an ok guy, we will see. the GOP are sour grapes and will continue to spend millions to spread false information about democrats, thats the only way they win. thank goodness the country has started to figure it all out.

    January 13, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  218. Daniel Claude Marshall

    They caved in because as Attorney General Burris stated, it was all political theatre. There was no legal recourse. It was a case of either seat him or risk political backlash, not to mention a legal case that couldn't be won. As my aunt would say, Senator Reid didn't even have to look up off of the floor of the Senate to figure out what was going to happen if he didn't.

    January 13, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  219. John

    Senator Reid proved time and time again during the past two years that he is a gutless (and perhaps nut-less) leader. Why should anyone be surprised that nothing has changed now that Obama will be President???

    It is a shame that President Obama will be handicapped with such a weenie as the leader of the Senate for the next two years.


    January 13, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  220. Patrick in Hampstead, Maryland

    Jack – He is a Black Democrat repacing a Black Democrat. Its a no brainer. Besides, Burris was quick to use the race card and had his black lawyer buddy Kurt Shmoke, the former mayor of Baltimore and close Clinton ally in his corner. Obama better watch his back.

    January 13, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  221. lee pod

    It only makes them look bad , by making up rules and regulations that are not there. Burress not the one corrupt , Illonoise gov not impeached , no way not to seat him . Illonoise people will be disenfranchised , money for special electiuon doubt it , waste of tax payers dollars...


    January 13, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  222. Nancy from Richmond, Indiana

    Because there are more important issues that we voters need addressed like the economy stupid! An I kind of like Mr. Burris! He seems to be a geniune caring human being and has a good background!

    January 13, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  223. NANCY

    Because they realized Burris is a great man and will be great for the job even though he is Republican. The Gov picked him because he knows he is a fair and honest man and that paying for the Senate seat never came up with Burris – The Gov is trying to get one good thing done before he goes!! Nancy

    January 13, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  224. Ben in Guam

    Mainly this is not Harry Reid's call. This is Obama's call. Obama first said Blagojevich should resign and would not accept anyone Blagojevich selected. Recently he said it was a senate matter and dodged any questions. Why doesn't Obama follow through on his initial opinion? Because he flip flopped. We are going in to see some major flip flops for the next four years under Obama.

    January 13, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  225. Eileen

    Jack, maybe one of them read the Constitution, in which it states that a duly elected Governor may name a successor to the Senate. Blagovich was not charged or convicted of anything. Yes, his integrity was questionable; but the bottom line was he was still the duly elected Governor. But knowing Reid, I suspect the real reason was the public reaction to his adamant stance against seating anyone the Governor chose. Burris proved to be an able and qualified and, yes, likable individual - and an African American, the only one who would be in the Senate once Obama became President. That's where the pressure was, and, as usual, Reid spoke before he really considered the consequences. Funny thing is, Blagovich outsmarted all of them. I guess that's not so hard to do.

    January 13, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  226. Darryl

    Harry is doing what he does best. Caving in. This is pitiful leadership in our Senate.

    January 13, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  227. charles c. childress

    Things do not look good for the Illinois governor but he has not been formally charged or convicted of wrong doing. It is just plain wrong for the governor to be tried and convicted by the media, and irresponsible for the district attorney to present all of his evidence directly to the media. Until he is convicted, he should perform his duties and the appointment of Burris is a legal appointment. The senate leaders act like a bunch of grade school children and I am sick of it.

    January 13, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  228. papabob

    You don't suppose they are giving the Ill. Gov. some competition? Hope not, but "I'll betcha" they have some strings and conditions.

    January 13, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  229. Donna

    A great question Jack. But, lets be real....we will never really know. I'm very out rage over this.They say one thing one day ....then in a week they have done a total 180. I've lost faith with everyone in DC. They all have their own personal agenda.

    Myrtle Beach SC

    January 13, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  230. Robert

    The appointment was legal, BUT how far do you think a white repulican appointee would have gotten?

    January 13, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  231. Doanld,Canton, NC

    They both caved in because they let their mouths and political posturing get in the way of the legalities of this appointment.

    They and all others vowing he would not be seated, well in advance of looking at the speicifics, did nothing but make a fool of themselves and their righteous positions.

    Both need to retire to their home states and shut-up!!

    January 13, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  232. wendy

    The answer to your question can be summed up in two words: the media. Before Reid and company rolled over all the news media could do was blather on and on about this showdown. My question to you is what will be the next contrived item that the news media will blow out of proportion?
    Political junkie

    January 13, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  233. Tim Spraggs from Ottawa

    The proposed billions of dollars intended to boost the economy seems like a knee jerk plan to prevent the economy from sliding any further when in fact, this proposition is mirroring the what the US consumer did over the last 10 years or so - consumers were encouraged to use debt and look where that got them - now the government intends to do THE SAME THING !! What if this doesn't work??????? Yikes

    January 13, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  234. J.M. Warenda

    A staple life lesson that *most* of us learn in high school is not to make threats if you can't back them up. This is a lesson the Senate Dems should have remembered before they started beating their chests about Blago - everyone was quick to get up in his face and bark "not in our house" but they never for a moment stopped to think if they could actually do anything to stop him. Not until after Blago called them on it did they stop and realize that the authority to deny Burris was itself uncertain and they'd be tied up in the courts for probably 6+ months trying to resolve this seat. The problem here isn't that they caved, the actual ability for them to DO anything is legally uncertain, the problem here is they never should have made an empty threat.

    January 13, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  235. John F (Willowbrook IL)

    JacK: I am so sick of seeing Roland Burris on television saying he wants to serve the people of Illinois. I am a resident of illinois and Burris is only looking to serve Roland Burris. I think the reason the senators caved was because Bobby Rush, the former member of the Chicago 7 played the race card. Rush has little to no creditability and is of no consequence has polarized this appointment. Burris is 71 years old, one year younger than Mccain. Burris just wants to serve out O'bama"s term and then collect another retirement from the federal government. Blago is thumbing his nose at the ppeople of Illinois, and there were more capable people to fill the senate seat. Burris was the only one without any conscience and no thought for the pople of Illinois.

    January 13, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  236. Nick Simpson, Uptown, NYC

    Sens. Reid and Durbin 'mis-underestimated' Blago's political acumen and Burris's ego. Their bluff was called. The 'playas' got played.

    January 13, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  237. susan from Idaho

    Maybe they realized there was no one better warming up in the bull pen.

    January 13, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  238. Mark

    Standing up for the "right" thing takes courage. I think we've see Reid and Durbin cave in on funding the war and other tough topics.

    We the voters in IL will fix this in 2 years. Jack I sum it up this way, my mother always said you are judged by the company you keep or birds of a feather... Burris has no character or he wouldn't have accepted the appointment.

    January 13, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  239. Skip

    Don't get me started on Reid, but I am surprised at Durbin. They caved because Burris screamed "Racism!" –which we all know is crap. Frankly, Burris is a huge walking ego who has no self-respect. Just look at his memorial he's already built for himself. If he had any self-respect, he would have distanced himself from Blagojevich and would have taken his chances at getting the nod from an honest appointer.

    January 13, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  240. William RJ

    The reason they caved is obvious to clear thinking folks... they are weak snivelling liberals who always do what they think is best for them, not the country.

    January 13, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  241. johnchristopher, weyburn, SK

    It's all about politics Jack. It's all very sad and just another brick in the wall...another nail in the coffin, but cheer up the revolution is less than a year away. Ad astra per aspera!

    January 13, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  242. Vincent Ng

    Simple. Both men are without backbones and principles, or they don't make decisions with facts and information but base it on emotions. Dangerous people to have as politicians.

    January 13, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  243. Joyce Harley

    Reid & Co. had a change of heart on Burris only after nearly having a heart attack from the barrage of angry letters, calls & e-mails from African American registered voters like myself who were outraged at the racist hypocrisy they exhibited.

    Howdare they refuse to recognize a qualified, eminently capable Black former elected official who was the first Black person to run and win statewide in Illinois, who has never been charged with or convicted of any wrondoing, while they recognized, sat with, and gave a standing ovation to a convicted white felon( Stevens) and never opened their hypocritical mouths about the public lewdness, solicitation conviction of Craig?

    January 13, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  244. mike kerin

    It is simple , the appointment was legal , Blago is still Gov. and is still innocent until proven guilty ! This is still America. Blago. may be despicable but he was doing his job in appointing R. Burris

    January 13, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  245. David McGuire

    I live in chicago. Roland Burris will be seated as the next senator of Illinois for one reason and one reason only. He is an African-American. There are those in this community that feel that this particular Senate seat should be a permanent African-American Senate seat. If the governor had appointed a Caucasian, there is no doubt in my mind he or she would have not been seated as the next senator. It's the race, stupid.

    January 13, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  246. Aaron Walton

    If he can buy a senate seat, he can buy Harry & Dick's love. What, including my grandchildren's future, isn't for sale these days?

    Aaron Walton
    Tulsa, Oklahoma

    January 13, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  247. Jim in Cincinnati

    They had to go with Burris because he is black. Blagojevich knew what he was doing. Had Burris been white he probably would not have gotten in. There is no congressional white caucus or NWACP. Its not a matter of whether he is qualified or not. No doubt he is.
    Harry Reid should never have blown smoke over it in the first place. Just made him look petty!

    January 13, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  248. Mark

    Harry Reid caved in because a bunch of Constitutional scholars like me read the applicable Illinois law (ILCS 15/305.5) and informed a group of Senators that Reid's action was unconstitutional – that Blagojavich had conformed to Illinois and federal law in the appointment. I then informed a list of very liberal Jewish Senators that their lock-step support of Reid was virtually identical to the "just following orders" mindset of Nazi Germany, and that they – the Jewish Senators – should of all people be ashamed. Quickly, Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) stood up to be counted, as did a few other Jewish Senators, and it was all over. The Burris testimony to the IL impeachment committee and his lawsuit to the IL Supreme Court were just face-saving window dressing for Reid and Durbin.

    P. S. When you ignorant fools report a story involving, or in this case centered upon the law, you might take the professional trouble to get informed before you open your idiot mouths and sway likewise idiot public opinion.

    Mark Dorlester
    Baltimore, MD

    January 13, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  249. Jo Ann Spencer, Odin Illinois

    I hope that they realized that Burris is the one we here is SOUTHERN ILLINOIS prefer to have this seat. I think our "soon to be gone" Gov. realized he had to appoint an Honest & Dependable replacement hoping it might make him look good. Smart move but we will do our best to remove him.

    January 13, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  250. Kathy Costanza

    They caved in because they've become old and gutless, scared to death that by not seating Burris it would be percieved as being racist.
    Isn't there someone out there who will actually stand up to what they say and feel and not cave in to politically motivated fears?

    January 13, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  251. Marty from Cheboygan

    after they thought about it,they realized that fighting this thing was going to do more damage than good.Also didn't help that Burris is a personable,good guy.

    January 13, 2009 at 4:25 pm |

    They did not cave in perse. They only remembered the biblical injunction of not visiting the sins of the father on the son. The governor himself said it, do not taint a good man with my sins.

    January 13, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  253. Betty Montgomery

    "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush."

    January 13, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  254. Eric Platt

    Their position was based on the belief that a Governor who is under investigation cannot carry out his duties.

    Their position collapsed when the Governor of New Mexico withdrew his nomination for Commerce Secretary, when an investigation of his office became public.

    They couldn't let Richardson govern without letting Blago govern.

    January 13, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  255. Jim Green, Seguin, TX www.Inclusivism.org

    Jack....the short answer is that the Democrats got smart and avoided the possible loss of a senate seat in an open election. The appointment was Blagojevich’s way of thumbing his nose at the U.S. Attorney, but frankly, I don't think Burris is "fruit of the poison tree" and, in fact, is an excellent choice to fill Obama’s seat

    January 13, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  256. Ed Woodbridge,Va.

    Why was anybody surprised that Senator Harry "My Way Or The Highway", Reid caved in and let Roland Burris be sworn in as the junior Senator from Illinois? Senator Reid not exactly famous for his bi-partisanship record in the Senate, wanted another Democrat in the fold to insure that Republican Senators will become further intrenched under his (Reid's) thumb! The President under the 22nd Amendment of the Constitution is only allowed two terms in office and he/she must leave then! Maybe something like this should apply to members of the House and Senate, so in the future we don't get stuck with the likes of a Senator Harry Reid and his domineering ways of doing business on Capitol Hill!


    January 13, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  257. Kristin

    Jack, Harry Reid woke up to the fact that IL has to be represented. We all have the right to that in this country. They could not wait until the governor was out of office. Yes their will be a cloud hanging over the seator. The surpreme court gave Bush the 2000 election when Gore won the popular vote. The cloud will go away if the seator just waits for next scandal appear.

    January 13, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  258. B. Tabs from PA

    Since Obama will be our nations president in a week, there will officially be a complete lack of an African American voice in the senate. Burris is qualified, democratic, and capable to lead. It could be that Reid and Durbin conceded in order to get the long-held controversy out of the way. The senate has much bigger fish to fry.

    January 13, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  259. Elliot from PA

    I second B. Tabs from PA

    January 13, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  260. Jaycie, Los Angeles

    Sadly, the Democrats don't seem to be able to get out of their own way! It was OBVIOUS from the moment that Burris was nominated that it would be suicide to try to block his nomination and finally Reid and Durbin have regained consciousness. If the Democrats weren't such a bunch of spineless ninnys who can't even figure out what is in their own best interest, Bush, Cheney, Rove, et al would have been impeached/indicted/prosecuted for war crimes and be on their way to prison. But no, they'd rather wait for some foreign country to take on Bush & Co. and charge same with war crimes/crimes against humanity. Don't think that will happen? Just wait!

    January 13, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  261. Bob in Boise

    They caved because a majority of people in Illinois want a special election and there is a chance a Republican could win. Democrats need that 60 seat majority to do the things they want so Reid will hold his nose and let Burris in because a vote is a vote is a vote

    January 13, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  262. James

    Its pretty obvious that senator Reid is on tape telling the Governor, who to send to the senate or should I" say who not to send." And the defiant Governor obliged him with exactly what he did not want! WAY TO GO BLO

    January 13, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  263. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Hi Jack,

    I would not call it cave in! I would call it coming quickly to their sense and listen to people that expect more from them because of all the issues facing the nation!

    January 13, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  264. Everette Davis

    The reason they changed their tune was because of the Constitution.

    Lacking a legal reason to deny Burress, Reid and Durbin attempted to use a political reason.

    When the Illinois Supreme Court ruled Burress's appointment was completely legal based on Illinois laws, they realized their position was in contradiction to the Constitution.

    Simply put, the Constitution allows each state leeway on how they determine their Senate representation. Congress can not add additional requirements.

    The hulla-ba-loo about the unsigned form was bogus. The Senate rule cited states the form is "recommended" and that a "State may use the form as they see fit." The Illinois Supreme Court referenced that Senate rule in their ruling .

    That is what Senator Fiensten(Chairman of the Senate Rules Committe) meant when she broke rank and acknowledged there was no legal basis not to seat Burress.

    Had they continued they were in line to subvert the Constitution.

    January 13, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  265. Julie Glatz

    I'm 55 and have lived in Springfield Il most of my life, so I've seen and heard a lot, but nothing can even begin to compare to this mess. Why did Reid and Durban "cave"? Probably because they looked at the legal arguments and decided it was futile. But Illinois Democrats need to start thinking NOW about who they can get to run against Burris in 2010. I have nothing much against him (in fact he was my neighbor when his children were little) EXCEPT that he compromised himself and his fellow Democrats by accepting Blago's nomination. And that's a major exception. I will not vote for him under any circumstances, and I suspect that a large majority of Illinois voters won't either.

    January 13, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  266. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Hi Jack,

    I would not call it cave in! I would call it coming quickly to their senses and start listening to people that really does expect more from them because of all the issues facing the nation!

    January 13, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  267. Faison A. McNeal

    Reid and Durbin caved in to Burris because they had jumped too far adhead of themselves, Burris Appeared to be a legal appointee by Blagoevich according to the State of Illinois Constitution, Blagoevich is innocent until proven guilty, they chose not to deny Obama's Senate seat to an African American that would be the only Senate seat to be held by an African American, who knows, Blagoevich may end up serving out his term before his taintedness goes away, they desired to have a Democrat fill Obama's Senate seat and they did not wish to deny Illinois representation in the US Senate.

    January 13, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  268. garrick

    hi jack
    they had no grounds to stand on,the governor played them for the loud months and no back bone politicians they are.

    January 13, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  269. Rachel

    Jack ,
    Both Reid and Durbin caved in because they were afraid of standing up for the truth and justice. They allowed themselves to be manipulated and held hostage by political correctness. Sadly, they typify what polititians are today – doubleminded and double tongued and plain old scared of standing for morals. They allowed a rouge, now impeached governor's recommendation because they were afraid of standing up to the black causus, the democratic party and the senate. I am pretty sure that there are other African American democratic polititian from Illinios that are eligible for the senate seat.This appointment could have waited until Blago is fully removed from the office of Governor. But once again polititians in the hightest office caved in because they want to be everyone "friend."

    January 13, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  270. Bryan

    Because Obama said that Burris was a good choice for his replacement. Despite what the Democrat-majority Congress is saying about the bailout, they will follow the new President like dogs, voting like him at every turn.
    Remember the first term of Bush's presidency? Think that, only Democrat instead of Republican. At least this time we have a President that hopefully is not a dimwit.

    January 13, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  271. tammy

    it was a lose – lose situation what choice did they have who did they have?Gov. Blagojevich appointed him even though he knew it was going to cause a media circus they caved because they has their hand tied this blagojevich knew in the end this is the way it would end.
    Sen. Ried and Sen. Durbin had their hands tied any move they would have made would have been wrong

    Rio Rancho

    January 13, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  272. AJ in Austin TX


    The democrats caved because they are spineless appeasers and have no convictions of their own. When they turned away Senator Burris, they thought they were acting on principle. But then they realized the media was reporting it as a possible racist act. After several focus groups and polling, they changed their mind and recognized Senator Burris's credentials. Doing the right thing is not important to Democrats, unless there is a camera around. After all, Jack, they just want to be loved. Is that so wrong?

    January 13, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  273. Sharon

    I really do not think Burress should be in the Senate seat. One because we really do not know if he bought his way in. The other is look who appointed him. How can the people of IL trust his judgement. But, most of all he is unprofessional, not just the way he carries himself but his speech also.

    January 13, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  274. Joan in Florida

    It's none of your business Jack!

    If Senators Harry Reid and Dick Durbin and Senator-elect Burgiss wanted us to know this, they would not have met behind closed doors. Give it a rest, there are more important issues.

    January 13, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  275. Tommy in KENTUCKY

    WHY did Obama cave in also???? When a person knows a dark secret on you they can persuade you to see their point of view and therefore your view will change and you cave in and give them what they seek. JUST like the old sayin JACK you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours, and leave the sleepin dog on the porch alone and don't disturbe it, because if you do it could cause problems if woke up from it's slumber.

    January 13, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  276. Lucy, Miami, FL

    They had to because the Blago is innocent until proven guilty. Since he is still Governer the appointment is valid. Period.

    January 13, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  277. shobana sridhar

    Evrything was legal in his claim to the senate seat vacated by Obama. His legal stand now has cleared the pathway for his acceptance to the Seante as a Junior Senator from Illinois. They couldn't keep him away from his rightful place.

    January 13, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  278. Bob Hutchinson

    Mr. Cafferity, to answer your question about Harry Reid and all politicians. What do you expect when you live by minute to minute logic? The result is minute to minute confusion.

    Olde Bob

    January 13, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  279. Robert in Galveston

    Maybe they decided that he wasn't a sleeze like the guy who appointed him!

    January 13, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  280. Frank L.

    Because they were afraid of being called racists and instead sacraficed the integrity of the Senate.

    January 13, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  281. Clay Duke

    Obviously Blago provided Burris with some pretty interesting pictures to show to the senators.

    January 13, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  282. dee

    Because this was dragging on for too long..the end result was going to be the same anyway...let's just move on...there are bigger fish to fry!!!

    January 13, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  283. j/NJ

    Why did Senators Harry Reid and Dick Durbin cave in and agree to seat Roland Burris as President-elect Obama’s Senate replacement?

    Burris' appointment was not only legal but Constitutional; "caving in" is simply a non sequiter...evidently Senate leaders finally understood there was nothing they could do other than intimidate and make up rules as they go along...have no idea why the media and/or the press doesn't get it...

    January 13, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  284. Kevin, Chester Springs PA

    They were both wrong. It was never up to the Senate who would be chosen as the new Senator from Illinois. Pure arrogance and stupidity by Reid and Durbin. It was up to either the Illinois governor or by a special election. But the Illinois legislature didn't buy into a special election. Everyone was playing politics. And Blago called their bluff. What a bunch turkeys. And as I recall, Clinton still made appointments during and after his impeachment before the Senate voted not to convict. What goes around, comes around.

    January 13, 2009 at 4:49 pm |