Commentary: Burris provides a diversion from Blagojevich

This editorial appeared in The Belleville News-Democrat.

Roland Burris insisted on Monday that he is the junior senator from Illinois, even though the secretary of the U.S. Senate refused to accept his paperwork.

Poor Burris, he's so impressed with his own self-importance he can't see that he's just a distraction from fellow Democrat Gov. Rod Blagojevich's trouble with the law.

After Barack Obama's election as president, many names were floated as his possible Senate replacement, but Burris' wasn't among them. Burris wasn't even Blagojevich's first choice after the governor's arrest for trying to sell Obama's Senate seat to the highest bidder. Blagojevich first offered the job to U.S. Rep. Danny Davis, who declined. He had better sense than to let Blagojevich use him as a political pawn.

Burris, meanwhile, on Monday acted surprised that his appointment has created such a stir, and blamed the media for making Illinois the laughingstock of the nation.

This time, Burris doesn't give himself enough credit. His decision to accept this tainted appointment from Blagojevich is the latest reason why our state is a running joke.

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