No dramatic standoff at the chamber door, alas. The deed was done quietly in the Senate secretary’s office, the absence of the secretary of state’s signature on the appointment being the casus belli. Franken won’t be seated today either, but since his victory’s (almost) a fait accompli, he can afford to stay away and spare Reid the angst. Burris’s chances are dicier so he has to push — but he might have pushed too hard:
The staffers said the tenor of the Burris-Reid meeting on Wednesday will depend on Burris’s actions on Tuesday. Some Democrats have become exasperated by Burris’s aggressive approach and repeated references to race…
“If you embarrass someone in public and cause a scene one day, your meeting with that person typically doesn’t go well the next day,” one senior aide said. “How can he expect to be a respected legislator who will get help with his agenda if he’s using threats and lawsuits to force his way into the chamber?”…
Meanwhile, a senior Democratic aide said efforts by [Rep. Bobby] Rush to win support for Burris behind the scenes seem to have met with limited success, as the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) does not appear to be rallying behind Burris. One aide said Rush’s use of racial rhetoric at Burris’s press conference last month hurt the effort more than it helped.
“There is a sense that Rush is largely alone,” the aide said. “He kind of sealed his fate with his incendiary talk.”
“Never in my whole political career have I brought up race,” said Burris to The Hill, which is true if you exclude (a) the time he called two opponents in Illinois “non-qualified white boys” and (b) his penchant for likening his mayoral campaign against Daley to MLK’s assassination and elections in South Africa. Seeing how they both suffer from convenient memory loss, his meeting of the minds tomorrow with Reid should be one for the ages. Exit question: What do the two of them have to negotiate over? I assume The Hill’s right, that Dingy Harry will agree to seat him if he promises not to run in 2010. Is Reid really so stupid that he’d take someone as shamelessly ambitious as Roland Burris at his word?
Update: I’m not sure what Junior’s angle is here, but he’s not making any friends at the top by mumbling about the issue becoming “racialized.”