Diary

Barack Obama is/is not interfering with Reid's seating/not seating Burris.

This is from yesterday, via TPM, and it’s President-Elect Obama declaring that the Burris pick is a “Senate matter:”

“That is a Senate matter. But I know Roland Burris, obviously he’s from my home state. I think he’s a fine public servant. If he gets seated then I’m gonna work with Roland Burris just like I work with all the other senators to make sure that the people of Illinois and the people of the country are served.”

So far, this is just merely Obama flip-flopping from his statement of a week or so ago. Note, please, that he said that he was leaving this up to the Senate.

Note that very precisely.

The Chicago Tribune:

Senate’s Democratic majority clears path for Roland Burris
Pressure by President-elect Barack Obama leads to about-face

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate’s Democratic majority opened the way Wednesday for Roland Burris to become Illinois’ next senator, pressured by President-elect Barack Obama to remove a politically consuming distraction less than two weeks before he assumes the White House during an economic crisis.

A top Senate Democratic source said Obama’s concerns about the Burris situation were among several factors that resulted in an about-face by Senate leaders, who had vowed to reject Burris or anyone else named by disgraced Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

The Associated Press:

Senate Democrats yield to Obama, retreat on Burris

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Democrats beat a hasty retreat Wednesday from their rejection of Roland Burris as President-elect Barack Obama’s successor, yielding to pressure from Obama himself and from senators irked that the standoff was draining attention and putting them in a bad light. Burris said with a smile he expected to join them “very shortly.”

Ben Smith:

So much for it being a “Senate matter?”

(I added that one because he’s the H/T for the Chicago Tribune article)

And we’ll finish up by looking at the Chicago Tribune, again:

Profiles in cowardice

[snip]

Their latest gambit: peeking over the Appalachian Mountains to hope someone in Illinois will rescue them from their Burris dilemma. Reid said Wednesday that the Senate won’t seat Burris until his certificate of appointment is signed by Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White. In other words, White is the obstructionist who’s supposedly preventing the Senate from seating Burris—the very thing Reid and Durbin said they wouldn’t do. Remember, this is the same Harry Reid who called White on New Year’s Eve to thank White for his strong ethical stand against the governor’s effort to appoint Burris!

Burris—and, evidently, Reid—want the Illinois Supreme Court to tell White he has to sign a certification. White correctly senses that the senators have cast him as the fall guy—the flunky whose signature supposedly forces a reluctant Senate to seat Burris.

Not so fast: White’s lawyer, Atty. Gen. Lisa Madigan, on Wednesday told the Supreme Court that White is under no such obligation to sign anything. If the Supreme Court concurs, then Reid, Durbin and their fellow senators will have to do what they want to avoid: decide whether to seat Burris. No more hiding behind the pants legs and skirts of judges, legislators and a lonely but principled secretary of state back in Illinois.

I put this last one up because it’s yet another piece of evidence that the game that the Democratic Party is playing with this seat is being noticed, and is not being well received. Not that I mind in the slightest, but I like having myself on the record on those rarer-than-I’d-like occasions when I successfully predict the political future. And I’m seeing a meltdown here; particularly if Pat Fitzgerald’s suddenly out of a job on January 20th…

Moe Lane