CNN’s Rick Sanchez summed up the proceedings in Chicago this afternoon, saying simply: “What a fascinating event we have just watched.” Despite being under federal indictment, Gov. Rod Blagojevich appointed former Illinois Attorney General Roland Burris to the Senate seat vacated by Pres-elect Obama. Burris took a few questions before bringing up to the microphone Illinois congressman Bobby Rush. Rush then introduced a new element to the appointment fight sure to come: the element of race. Here is some of what he said:
I would ask you not to hang or lynch the appointee as you try to castigate the appointer. Separate, if you will, the appointee from the appointer. Roland Burris is worthy…As far as my colleagues in the Congress. I intend, or we intend, to persuade them or challenge them or to do whatever, beg them, whatever it may take, to get them to reverse their decision. Roland Burris stands heads and shoulders above most elected officials in this nation. There’s no rhyme no reason that he should not be seated in the U.S. Senate. This is a matter of national importance. There are no African Americans in the Senate and I don’t think that anyone, any U.S. Senator, who’s sitting in the Senate right now, wants to go on record to deny one African American from being seated in the U.S. Senate. I don’t think they want to go on record doing that. So I intend to take that argument to the Congressional Black Caucus, I intend to take that argument to the Senators.
Rush got four minutes of national airtime for his remarks as the news conference was carried on CNN, FNC, MSNBC, HLN, CNBC and FBN.
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