Despite the fact that it doesn't really do any man, woman, or child in America any good, there was a full court press this morning on Capitol Hill as Roland Burris performed his role in the anti-climactic melodrama at the opening of the new Congress. Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White has, as he said he would, refused to certify Burris' credentials, and so that is that. And that was basically always going to be that!
And, as The Note notes, there were limitations on what this media scrum was going to get to cover:
Because of Senate rules that restrict the use of cameras in the hallways around the second-floor entrance to the chamber, any theater over the actual refusal to admit Burris may not be captured by TV cameras. But there will plenty of opportunity for television and photographic imagery, including Burris walking up the Capitol steps to appear at the Senate's first-floor appointment desk.
Ironically, the Note felt that all this was a component of the Congress' "hubris," along with such matters as Al Franken taking his seat (which, pending the decision of pending lawsuits, he's allowed to do) and the withdrawal of Bill Richardson from his appointment to Commerce, which seems to have little to do with Congress, but whatever!
So, with any hopes of catching the sort of silly drama that occurs every time the Queen of England opens Parliament and gets the door to the House of Commons slammed in her face dashed, the press countered by bringing their most imposing boom microphones to stand on a rainy corner of Capitol Hill to wait for America's Next Top Tainted Senator to amble up the street.
And amble he did! Right up to the microphones, where, if you weren't watching MSNBC like me, experiencing their epic audio fail, you heard Burris make a brief statement before turning the matter over to his lawyers. As you might expect, Burris, lacking the proper credentials, was denied the opportunity to take his place in the Senate, and so he left, citing his desire to avoid confrontation. And thus, the press was left, again, to ponder they decisions they had made in their lives that led them to have to stand there, covering this nonsense.
Anyway, if there's a single interesting thing to note in the press coverage of Blagojevich and Burris, it's how the conversation has shifted from "Blagojevich is crazy tainted and scandalous, Obama Obama Rahm Emanuel Obama," to "Blagojevich just has a duty to appoint a Senator, why are the Democrats assuming that Burris is tainted?" If there is a second interesting thing to note in the press coverage of Blagojevich and Burris, it's that Chicago Sun-Times report Lynn Sweet was wearing a huge, red, Iditarod-style anorak this morning. It's just not that cold today, Lynn. But, yeah, that's about it!