President-elect Barack Obama’s Inauguration is coming up January 20 and there’s been no shortage of news about his appointments, problems, family move, dog, daughters’ school, etc. More than enough to keep the media busy. But wait, there’s more:
Roland Burris thinks he is indeed the new junior senator from Illinois, despite that fact that he was appointed by indicted Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich. The Illinois secretary of state refuses to sign off on his appointment, and the U.S. Senate has said it won’t seat him. Stayed tuned. He’s already flown to Washington and fully intends to appear on the Senate floor this week.
Al Franken has been declared the winner of his Minnesota senate race, finally, by a margin of just 225 votes. (I could sneeze and blow that many votes onto the floor.) His opponent, not surprisingly, is filing suit. Mind you, there have been all kinds of recounts and recounts of recounts since November 4, and the narrow Franken victory was the result announced today. I don’t know what the loser’s lawsuit can accomplish at this point, other than force yet another recount. How many recounts does it take before an election is over?
And then there’s New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, tapped by Obama to be his new commerce secretary. Richardson opted yesterday to withdraw his name from consideration because he is still embroiled in an alleged pay-to-play investigation. Reports indicate Richardson is in the clear but withdrew because the investigation won’t be over as soon as was previously thought.
Burris seems like an overly ambitious hack who chooses not to understand his situation, but then, I’m not sure at what point he officially becomes Sen. Burris. Franken is a political newcomer who has been through a real test of fire to get this far; I’d like to seem him beat the good ol’ boys and make it all the way. The Richardson thing is disappointing; he’s done the right thing by withdrawing, and I just hope he comes through it with his reputation intact.
Oh yes, Caroline Kennedy, who has been seeming less and less qualified for Hillary Clinton’s New York senate seat, is looking more and more like Gov. David Paterson’s choice for that seat. Go figure.
Meantime, “No Drama” Obama has managed to stay above all this drama. So far, so good, Mr. President-elect.