Senator Burris Acts the Part
By Peter Slevin
CHICAGO -- Lest anyone think Sen. Roland W. Burris (D-Ill.) might go quietly into the night, he announced in none too subtle terms Tuesday night that he is very much a United States Senator.
On letterhead topped with the seal of the Senate and the words, "Roland W. Burris, U.S. Senator from Illinois," he e-mailed reporters with praise for President Obama's speech, saying Obama "laid out a strong and sensible plan."
Burris also mentioned the work he has done during his six weeks on the job, saying that he believes in the stimulus package: "I'm proud to have cast one of my first votes as a United States senator for this legislation."
Asked for comment at the Capitol after Obama's speech, however, he demurred. "America's on the move, and I've come here to play my part," Burris said, declining further questions. "God bless you."
All of this on a day when Burris rejected a suggestion from Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) that he resign because of his shifting accounts of contacts with then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich's inner circle.
Burris's Chicago attorney, Timothy Wright III said Burris intends to serve the remainder of Obama's unfinished Senate term, which expires in January 2011.
"That's exactly what he's doing," Wright said. "He doesn't see a reason to resign and I don't, either."
Posted at 11:47 PM ET on Feb 24, 2009
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