Blagojevich Names Burris to Fill Obama's Vacant Senate Seat
Tuesday, December 30, 2008; 3:18 PM
GOV. ROD BLAGOJEVICH (ILL.): The people of Illinois are entitled to have two United States senators represent them in Washington, D.C.
As governor, I am required to make this appointment. If I don't make this appointment, then the people of Illinois will be deprived of their appropriate voice and vote in the United States Senate.
Therefore, I am here to announce my intention to appoint an individual who has unquestioned integrity, extensive experience, and is a wise and distinguished senior statesman of Illinois. This man actually once was an opponent of mine for governor.
So I'm here today to announce that I am appointing Roland Burris as the next United States senator from the Illinois.
Roland Burris is no stranger to the people of our state. Between 1979 and 1992 he served the people of Illinois as the state's comptroller and the state's attorney general. He has had a long and distinguished career serving the people of Illinois. He will be a great United States senator.
And now I'd like to ask everyone to do one last thing. Please don't allow the allegations against me to taint this good and honest man.
Ladies and gentlemen, Roland Burris.
ILLINOIS ATTORNEY GENERAL ROLAND BURRIS: I will have a brief formal statement, and I will respond to a few questions.
Thank you, Governor.
As a nation, we face a convergence of unparalleled crises. Our nation is locked in an economic crisis not felt since the Great Depression three-quarters of a century ago.