In another uh-oh moment for troubled Sen. Roland Burris, Obama Press Secretary Robert Gibbs gave the White House’s first official statement on the Burris situation. Gibbs said the people of Illinois deserve to know the truth. It is looking like Burris’s days might be numbered in the Senate.
According to Swampland, Gibbs was asked about Obama’s reaction to Burris’s ever changing story, “I have to say I have neglected to speak with him, but I will give you this: Obviously the people of Illinois have been through a lot in the past few weeks. And obviously Sen. Burris was seated based in some way on the representations that he made to the U.S. Senate and to the committee in Illinois investigating Gov. Blagojevich and as well in interviews that the people of Illinois heard. I think in many ways he was seated based on those representations, and I think that the people of Illinois deserve to know–based on some of the things that have happened over the past few days–deserve to know the full extent of any involvement, and I think that is likely to come out as part of some of the investigations that are now ongoing.”
The investigations that Gibbs is referring to a not only the Department of Justice investigation into the former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, but also a Senate Ethics Committee investigation into Burris, who has changed his story three times now. He has gone from having no contact with Blago’s people to talking to Blago’s brother, to now admitting having attempted to raise money for the disgraced former governor.
It was Obama who got Burris seated by telling Harry Reid to drop his objections, so if the White House turns against him, it is pretty much over. I think this is all going to come down what is on the wiretaps. If Burris is recorded talking about raising money for Blago, then he will certainly be out. He is already facing an uphill battle to win a full term in two years, and the Democratic Party would like nothing more than to see Burris gone. Stranger things have happened, but unless the tapes exonerate him, I don’t see how Roland Burris survives this.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association