Roland Burris, who let Blago appoint him to Obama’s Senate seat, seemed to come highly recommended. The arguments against seating him have mostly revolved around the fact that the Senate said “no fucking way are we going to seat anyone Blagojevich appoints.”
Perhaps it’s because they knew that anyone who would accept an appointment from Blago has got to be batshit fucking insane. Little tidbits about the supposedly saintly Burris keep trickling out. First, there was his monument to himself. As if that wasn’t enough to tell us the man had an ego the size of the Milky Way, here we have a cascade of commendations all falling from Burris’s own lips:
“The 71-year-old Burris — who often refers to himself in the third person — has never been shy about broadcasting his ambitions and loudly celebrating his achievements,” writes Andrew Herrmann of the Chicago Sun-Times. When Burris ran for governor in 2002, his third unsuccessful try at the job, he told the paper’s Kate Grossman: “Roland Burris, who started way down here, in the segregation of a southern Illinois community, was able to set goals, plan and strategize and make it.”
Appparently Roland Burris’ confidence had long been in place. In a 1994 interview with the Sun-Times, Herrmann informs us, “Burris said his past success — he had been elected comptroller and attorney general — was ‘divine providence’ that began at age 15 when he decided to become a lawyer and officeholder.”
During Burris’ 2002 run for governor, David Axelrod — yes, that David Axelrod — told Grossman of the Sun-Times, “I think one of his challenges is to project a vision.” To which Burris responded: “I disagree 1,000 percent. I am visionary. How do you think I got to where I am?” Grossman concluded her article with a swell anecdote about Burris once performing as Muhammad Ali in a skit before journalists, lobbyists and politicians. “Wearing shorts and boxing gloves, he wasn’t shy about repeating one of Ali’s famous lines: ‘I am the greatest.’”
Of course, that was many fights ago. As Mick Dumke of the Chicago Reader points out, Burris’ recent forays into the political ring have hardly floated like a butterfly and stung like a bee. Acknowledging that Burris was once “considered a smart, pragmatic, progressive politician,” Dumke states that “over the last, oh, decade and a half, he’s shown a mastery of losing elections.”
So much for being the greatest. And I’m sorry, but anyone who speaks of himself in the third person is just too fucking creepy.
But an outsized ego and an eagerness to wriggle into higher office even if he has to accept that office from a disgusting little douchebag like Blago aren’t even the worst problems with Burris. His penchant to pursue the innocent is a little more worrisome:
Public fury over the governor’s alleged misconduct has masked the once lively debate over Burris’ decision to continue to prosecute – despite the objections of one of his top prosecutors – the wrong man for a high-profile murder case.
While state attorney general in 1992, Burris aggressively sought the death penalty for Rolando Cruz, who twice was convicted of raping and murdering a 10-year-old girl in the Chicago suburb of Naperville. The crime took place in 1983.
But by 1992, another man had confessed to the crime, and Burris’ own deputy attorney general was pleading with Burris to drop the case, then on appeal before the Illinois Supreme Court.
Burris refused. He was running for governor.
So let me get this straight. This egomaniac is so obsessed with obtaining higher political office that he would pursue the conviction of an innocent man, indeed would sacrifice that man’s life, merely so that he won’t appear “soft on crime.”
Unfit for office, anyone? I say never in a hundred million years should we let this fuckwit sit his ass in a Senate seat.
Stick to your guns, Harry.