Burris sworn in as Obama successor

January 15, 2009 3:04:42 PM PST
The same Senate that vowed to keep him out just two weeks ago gave Roland Burris a standing ovation as he was sworn in as the Junior Senator from Illinois on Thursday. Burris was accompanied by his family to Washington, D.C. on Thursday.

"We are so excited. We have our grandchildren, our entire family is here. And it's a real exciting day for us," said Berlean Burris, senator's wife.

Burris' journey to the Senate began when he was appointed by scandal-scarred Governor Rod Blagojevich to fill President-elect Barack Obama's vacant seat. It nearly crashed on the political rocks in a turbulent sea of outrage because Blagojevich is accused by the Feds of trying to sell the seat to the highest bidder during profanity-laced conversations that were secretly taped by the FBI.

The same senators who vowed to keep Burris out because the appointment was tainted and then delayed it for more than a week with a series of parliamentary contortions gave him a standing ovation before he was sworn in by Vice President Dick Cheney.

Chairman of the Illinois Republican Party Andy McKenna said: "Illinois Democrats should be ashamed of their behavior throughout the last month by failing to strip Rod Blagojevich of his Senate appointment power. They allowed Illinois to become a national embarrassment. Today's swearing in of another Blagojevich Democrat is a stark reminder that we need change for the people of Illinois."

But Illinois' Senior Senator Dick Durbin, who did a complete 180 on the appointment, said after Burris filed the proper paperwork he was entitled to be seated-- regardless of the taint.

"You can search the record. Everything said about Roland Burris was positive. The circumstances that led to his appointment were the issue. The source of the controversy," said Senator Dick Durbin, (D) Illinois

"It's called faith. And we knew that we were in the right, the law was on our side and all we have to do was look to prevail," said Senator Roland Burris, (D) Illinois.