Wednesday, Jan. 07, 2009

Roland Burris/Al Franken

"My credentials were not in order. I will not be accepted, I will not be seated." That was former Illinois Attorney General Roland Burris on the afternoon of Jan. 6, sadly responding to the U.S. Senate's denial of his attempt to take Barack Obama's seat. It was a complete reversal in mood from and tone from his previous day's pronouncement: "I am the junior senator from the state of Illinois," he said, as if there was no debate over that fact.

But a debate there was, after Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich — under investigation for attempting to sell or trade Barack Obama's seat — brazenly appointed Burris to the post. The Illinois secretary of state refused to certify Burris, leading to the dramatic sight of a would-be Senator being turned away at the Capitol.

Over in Minnesota, former comedian Al Franken was declared the winner of a two month long recount effort over incumbent Norm Coleman by a mere 225 votes. Coleman quickly announced that he planned to bring the case to court. Until that's resolved, Franken won't be seated either.