Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Burris, Obama's Bookend

A newly released transcript shows the President's Senate replacement craven but just short of corrupt in his slavering for the appointment by the former Gov. Rod Blagojevich--more "pray" than "pay to play."

"In the call," the New York Times reports, "he seemed almost in a crass negotiation with Mr. Blagojevich’s brother--also his chief fund-raiser--over how he could help the governor, win the appointment and not run into trouble over negative connotations that he might be trying to buy an appointment by fund-raising for him."

Burris, an embarrassment to the President and his party who may well escape the grasp of prosecutors and serve out the term, is a bookend to Obama in exemplifying the range of American politics from superb to sleaze.

In his phone call to the governor's brother soon after the seat opened up, Burris shows an exquisite sensitivity to the line between being crooked and appearing crooked by trading fund-raising for the position:

“If I do that, I guarantee you that that will get out, and people said, ‘Oh, Burris is doing a fund-raiser,’ and, and then Rod and I both going to catch hell...God knows, No. 1, I want to help Rod. No. 2, I also want to, you know, hope I get a consideration to get that appointment.”

Now, everybody knows and the bottom line, whatever the outcome of the probe by the Senate Ethics Committee, is that Roland Burris, whatever he chisels on his headstone, is no Barack Obama.

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