Just across on MSNBC; video to follow. They met this morning, supposedly to hash out a deal in which Burris would stay on, serve out his term, and then retire next year when the special election rolls around. I can only assume that his egomania intervened and refused to let him pledge to go quietly, forcing Durbin to go nuclear. Over to you, Illinois legislature:
If Burris quits, Gov. Quinn will appoint a Democrat on a temporary basis–someone, Quinn told me, who would be a caretaker. Quinn then would push the Illinois legislature to change the law for a special election.
Quinn has called on Burris to quit.
I asked Quinn Monday when we talked what he would do if Burris did not resign. He said the state lawmakers could pass a special election law effectively shortening Burris’ tenure. That could be subject to a constitutional challenge.
Stand by for the clip of Durbin addressing reporters. He’s a top crony of The One, of course, so it’s not implausible that Burris was willing to take the deal but was informed at the meeting that the word had come down from Mount Olympus that this mess was hurting the party’s image and that it’s time for him to go. Exit question: What were the odds that Blago’s pick for Senate would end up creating as much of a circus as he did?
Update: Durbin claims he told him to quit, was told no, and received no pledge about 2010. Surely Burris doesn’t think he’s a viable candidate when the president, the governor, and the senior Senator are all publicly against him. Why not offer to retire next year and enjoy what little time you have left?