Burris Celebrated By City Council: He 'Untainted The Process'

02/13/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

On the cusp of being sworn in as the junior senator from Illinois, Roland Burris spent nearly an hour soaking in accolades at City Hall Tuesday.

The City Council approved a resolution lauding Burris for having "the intelligence, character and reason that are the attributes of a great leader."

"I am speechless, honestly. I am just moved by the actions of this great City Council body and the comments from all the aldermen and the mayor. It's just wonderful," Burris said.

The resolution had originally been intended to pressure Senators Dick Durbin and Harry Reid into seating Burris. It was adapted after the Senate leaders announced their intention to admit Burris earlier this week.

Ald. Ed Smith (28th) said Burris "should have been seated without question," while Ald. Anthony Beale (9th) went so far as to claim Gov. Blagojevich's appointment of Burris "untainted" the selection process:

"We all know we got issues with the person [who] appointed him and that the process had been tainted. But when he chose Roland Burris, he untainted the process. He gave integrity back to the process,"

Ald. Dick Mell (33rd), Blagojevich's estranged father-in-law, hailed the appointment as an "unparalleled opportunity" for Burris:

"You are known throughout the world. You could go [to] Kabul, Afghanistan and they will know Roland Burris. This is an opportunity unparalleled for you."

Watch clips of Burris's appearance:

WBEZ's Ben Calhoun assembled a highlight reel of some of the council's most effusive praise. Listen here.

Earlier Tuesday, in an appearance on NBC's "Today" show, Burris continued his refusal to call on Blagojevich to resign, saying that his opinion adds nothing because "everyone else is doing it." Watch:

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