(CNN) – The secretary of the U.S. Senate on Monday rejected the certificiate of appointment for Roland Burris, named by Illinois’ controversial governor to fill Barack Obama’s Senate seat, according to an aide to the secretary.
The aide said Secretary of the Senate Nancy Erickson rejected Burris’ appointment because it does not conform with the Senate rule requiring that the secretary of state — in this case, Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White — must sign the certificate of appointment along with the governor.
White has declined to sign the certificate, siding with some Senate Democrats who say Burris should not be seated because of the cloud over Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who is accused of trying to sell Obama’s Senate seat.
Although Dana Bash needs to get some better researchers: every Senate Democrat is on the record as saying that Burris should not be seated*. There are a bunch of regular Democrats who are objecting to the Senate’s stance on this, true: but they’re disproportionately African-American, and there are no African-American Senators.
Which I believe is part of the point.
The festivities start at 12 noon tomorrow, and Reid’s probably praying for an ice storm, because Burris is coming. Reid, of course, has done what he always does in difficult circumstances – go to Mitch McConnell for help – but I can’t begin to imagine what Harry has that Mitch would want, this go-round. Or at least want more than the sight of Harry Reid emulating George Wallace at the Senate door.
So, will Reid cave? Maybe, maybe not: it’s not like he’s got a good option at this point. If he doesn’t, the aforementioned George Wallace scenario plays out. If he does cave, then we’ve established once and for all that Harry Reid can be forced to retreat even when he has a working majority in the Senate and the President of the United States backing his play. If Blagojevich can do it, trust me: so can we. And we will. And then we’ll laugh.
Then there’s the third option: that Reid lets Burris in, but doesn’t actually let him do anything like vote or sit on committees or propose legislation. In that case, I think it’s a fair question to ask if Senate Democrats will at least let Burris use the white people’s bathroom and water fountains…
*It goes like this:
A. Any Senatorial pick by Rod Blagojevich would be unacceptable to the signers of the Reid letter.
B. Roland Burris is a Senatorial pick by Rod Blagojevich.
C. Therefore, Roland Burris is unacceptable to the signers of the Reid letter.