Roland Burris and the Senate Democrats are holding a joint press conference soon, which signals to me that they’ve reached some kind of deal; seeing Burris sitting side-by-side with Harry Reid smiling and laughing is a far cry from his brief press conference in the rain yesterday.
Most likely, the deal will be that Burris will be allowed to take the seat as long as he pledges not to run for re-election in 2010.
Senate Democrats bungled the situation badly, but they’re not completely stupid–they know the courts will compel Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White to certify Burris’ appointment, leaving them without a legal way to deny Burris his seat. By cutting a deal now, they get this story out of the headlines and avoid being forced by the courts to seat him. It’s a way to save face, which I guess I can get behind. Plus, Burris might not be perfect, but he’s a fine enough pick for the seat.
I’ll update when I have more information.
UPDATE: The AP is reporting that there is a deal, but has no information as to what the terms are.
UPDATE II: Reid starts out by praising Burris, but goes on to say that Secretary of State White still has to sign off on the appointment before Burris can take his seat.
Durbin also starts out by praising Burris and goes on to say that the confrontation over Burris has nothing to do with race; he notes that Jesse White, who is holding up Burris appointment, is also African-American.
UPDATE III: Durbin is defending the rule that requires appointees to have a certification before they are allowed to take their seats in the Senate; he seems to be implying that Burris could very well be seated if he gets a valid certification. Durbin goes on to say that the Rules committee will take up the issue and make recommendations once that occurs.
In response to a press question, Reid says that White’s signature is “vital.”
UPDATE IV: Reid is clarifying that he has no problem with Burris as an individual, but noting that Burris will be testifying in regards to Blagojevich tomorrow, which will be a “very important” hearing. He also seems to be implying that the full Senate will vote on whether or not to seat Burris.