In one of the most surreal press conferences of a year festooned with them, Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) more or less dared any Democrat to oppose Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojovich's appointment of Roland Burris to replace Barack Obama in the Senate.
A passionate Rush, appearing besides the former Illinois AG and the indicted governor, said he challenged any pol to try to block Burris who would become the only "black senator.
Rush -- who defeated Obama in a 1990s congressional race -- went on to implore reporters gathered in Chicago not to "hang or lynch" Burris, despite the bizarre circumstances of his appointment.
"This is a good decision," Rush told reporters. "Roland Burris is worthy. He has not, in 20 years of public service, had one iota of taint on his record as a public servant. He is an esteemed member of this state and this communnity."
"I would ask you not to hang or lynch the appointee as you try to casitgate the appointor," Rush added. "Separate, if you will, the appointee from the appointor. Roland Burris is worthy."
Rush also criticized Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White for saying he would not certify Burris' appointment to the Senate.
"As far as certification as concerned, I think the secretary of state acted prematurely in issuing a statement," Rush said. "I am not sure whether or not he has any authority to actually certify or not. That's up the lawyers. I'm not a lawyer. But I do know [White] should be concerned how the people of the state of Illinois will react to him not certifying this particular individual, Roland Burris, to replace the president-elect."
In reference to Senate Democrats' position that they will not seat Burris, Rush said he intends to "persuade them or to challenge or do whatever, beg them, whatever it may take, to get them to reverse their decision."
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