What the Senate Seat Will Cost

There is a lot of handwringing in the Chicago black community over the appointment of Roland Burris. Our beloved governor has saw fit to make the appointment despite the criminal complaint that he tried to sell the seat to the highest bidder. He (the governor) is now facing the likelihood of impeachment and in one final finger gesture on his way out, has given the state another controversy.

There are many in the black community who feel that it is necessary to have an African American replace President-Elect Obama and have suggested that not seating Burris would equate to a modern day lynching. Listening to the local talk show, African Americans are intent on keeping the seat with someone from “our community”.

All politics being local, I understand this idea but it is short-sighted of the African American community to take up this cause and what today may seem like a gain may not be the case come 2010. First, Roland Burris is 71 years-old and will probably not run for re-election. This will make it difficult for any African American to begin the process of running for the seat as the field will be wide open, leaving only the most established politicians with the means to mount a campaign running for the office. On the Democrat side, Jan Schakowsky, Lisa Madigan and Jesse Jackson Jr. are possible candidates. Tammy Duckworth is a long-shot but could mount an effective campaign. All of these individuals would have a hard time winning considering the cloud that Blago is leaving behind.

The alternative should be cause for concern as well. If Roland Burris decides to run for re-election, he will have a very difficult time beating any Republican. He is turning his appointment into a race issue but it is impossible to win state-wide elections in Illinois if you do not get large swaths of the white and Latino communities. Roland Burris lost when he ran for governor, Senator and even lost when he ran for Mayor of Chicago. If race-politics were in his favor then he certainly should have won the race for Mayor. Since winning the Attorney General post, he has not shown he can win state-wide and that should not only be a concern to those who believe that an African American should hold the seat, but a concern to the Democrat Party.

If an African America were to replace Barak Obama, a special election would have been a good opportunity to take advantage of a motivated electorate. But many in the African American community were afraid that the Blago fiasco would empower Republicans to go to the polls so here we are. I for one am more concerned with keeping the Senate seat in the hands of the Democrats than I am with keeping it in “our community”.

There isn’t much anyone can do to keep Burris from taking the job, but I feel that in two years we will see the true cost of this appointment and sadly it will have nothing to do with the job that Burris does as Senator.


5 Responses to What the Senate Seat Will Cost

  1. Patrick M Says:
    That would explain why Senate Democrats are doing their level best to keep Burris out. They're afraid that, after two years of Obama, the GOP will be motivated enough to have a repeat of 1994.

    Of course, the GOP would have to be distinctly different from Democrats by then. Right now, they aren't.

    But the big problem is that, due to Blago the Asshat's level of corruption, he shouldn't be appointing anybody. You all need some other way to get a new senator, no matter who you pick.

    Maybe I should carpetbag myself in there.... :)
  2. James Manning Says:
    Heck, I might run for the heck of it. I have too many post on this blog to ever run for an office. But I think I could support you Pat if you promised me a nice contract... wait... aint that the same thing Blago is in trouble for? I guess its just in our blood here in Illinois.
  3. Roderick Says:
    The economy is still going to suck in November of 2010 but I hope the Democrats can hang onto majorities in the House and Senate.

    I guess this seat is just one of them that the Republicans are going to pick up in 2010 because it looks as if there will be a divisive primary.

    James, Obama's Senate seat seems like the flip-flop seat in Illinois.

    Didn't some Republican named Fitzgerald have it before Obama and Democrat Carol Moseley Bruan have that seat before him?
  4. James Manning Says:

    that's what i am thinking and it is why i am upset that the AA community is fighting so hard for this appointment when the long term things doesn't look good.
  5. Pat Houseworth Says:
    This comment has been removed by the author.