Burris: I look forward to serving our 13 million people with all of the crises that we have in this state and in this nation. And Illinois is need to have a full complement of representation and that’s what I’m seeking to do.

Q: What do you expect to happen upon your arrival in DC?

Burris: Well, I’m hoping and praying that I will be seated.

Q: Have you had any contact with the Obama Administration?

Burris: No I’ve not. None whatsoever. My people tried to reach out to reach out for them and, uh, {unintelligible. – Burris was turning around and looking at people behind him at the airport}

Q: How do you feel about your supporters bringing race into this issue here?

Burris: You know, I cannot control my supporters. I have never in my life and all of my years I’ve been elected to office thought anything about race. I’ve been elected four times in the state of Illinois and the great people of Illinois have seen the qualifications and the commitment Roland Burris has and race has never been a concern of mine. Certainly as a matter of fact, {interrupted to get closer to the microphones: Q: Sir? B: Oh, is there a problem? I have, um. I’m trying to talk to the young lady.} As a matter of fact I have looked upon the state of Illinois as the only state in the nation, think about this, that has elected four blacks statewide. Two United States Senators and two constitutional officers and now they have an appointed individual who is also black as United States Senator.

Q: Mr. Burris. Who do you plan to meet with and to do what you call these negotiations in Washington?

Burris: Well, I will be in touch with our senior senator, Dick Durbin, and hopefully he will have things outlined for me and set up there and we will proceed from there. I understand that he has a schedule for me from Harry Reid the majority leader and we will see what takes place there.

Q: Are you scheduled for Wednesday?

Burris: Wednesday, that’s correct.

Q: You’ve been subpoenaed to appear before the House Impeachment committee.

Burris: We’re handling that as well.

Q: How are you going to do that?

Burris: Well, I am, I am the Magic Man.

Q: Are you planning to travel to Springfield?

Burris: On Thursday we can.

Q: Thursday?

Burris: Yes.

Q: But not on Wednesday.

Burris:  We cannot. I’m a United States Senator. They cannot stop me from doing my senatorial duties.

Q: What’s the plan for tomorrow … have you negotiated… what’s going to happen{unintelligible question}

Burris: We’ll go there and see what transpires Jack. We’ll present ourselves to be seated and then we’ll take it from there.

Q: {cross talk from several questioners} you will not run in 2010?

Burris: Huh?

Q: Is that a deal that you will not run?

Burris: No, I haven’t heard that. Who cut a deal?

Q: Will you run then?

Burris: That decision has not been made. Let me get in and get seated and get moving. Get my Senate legs under me and begin to tackle the problems and we’ll decide that later on.

Q: Were you willing to make that offer as a condition of gaining your seat?

Burris: I can’t negotiate this in the press.

Q: The Secretary of the Senate this morning received your paperwork but didn’t formally accept it because it’s not complete. Is that the beginning of their effort to unseat you? Are you just bothered by that?

Burris: No. I’m not bothered by that because the appointment’s legal. Why don’t you all understand? That what has been done here is legal. Those, I mean, that, that’s legal. I am the junior senator from Illinois and I wish my colleagues in the press would recognize that. All the drama and you, I guess it keeps you all on the job. Is that right? {chuckles}

Q: Have you heard from the Governor lately?

Burris: {still chuckling} No. I’ve not.

Q: You have not talked to the Governor in the last two days?

Burris: No I have, what do you understand about no I have not?

Burris: I don’t have any {unintelligible} I don’t have any {unintelligible}.

Q: {cross talk from multiple questioners} tomorrow morning if you’re turned away at the door, what happens right after that?

Burris: Well my lawyers will take it from there and we’ll see what happens.

Q: if you have an opportunity to meet with senate leadership how are you going to sell yourself? What are you going to say to them?

Burris: Well I’m going to sell myself the same way I’ve sold myself to the people of Illinois. I’ve represented them for twenty years in this great state. I am a solution to the problem.

Q: How are you going to separate yourself from Rod Blagojevich?

Burris: Why should I separate myself from Rod Blagojevich?

Q: {unintelligible}

Burris: And? Would you separate the people when they elect you? No. I mean I don’t have to separate myself from Rod Blagojevich. He carried out his duties and he filled the vacancy as according to law. Isn’t that correct? Isn’t that what the statute says? That the governor shall {emphasis Burris’} appoint a person to fill the vacancy. It doesn’t say anything about being tainted or being associated with or being, you know, {unintelligible}, you know this is all politics and theater. But I am the junior senator according to every law book in the nation.

Q: Mr. Burris, there are so many people who have talked against you sitting in the senate why is it so important for you to actually be seated?

Burris: How many, how many? Well so many people have talked for {emphasis Burris’} me sitting in the senate too. So that’s a wash.

Q: But why do you still want to be associated with the governor? I mean, he is tainted and…

Burris: Am I tainted?

Q: Well, but he did appoint you.

Burris: So? He signed some bills, are those bills he signed illegal?

Q: We don’t know.

Burris: What do you mean you don’t know? You don’t want to know because you don’t want to know the answer because it keeps you working. {chuckles}

Q: When you accepted the position last week did you expect this kind of spectacle to take place in the last week?

Burris: Well, I figured I have two people, especially Jack come and talk to me but I’m not expect all of this type of  theater but, uh, no I didn’t expect all of this. I expected that my qualifications, my commitment to the people of Illinois, that that would be the best choice that the governor could make because I can hit the ground running I can go in and go and begin to just learn the procedure and then begin to go to work for the people of Illinois.

Q: {cross talk from questioners} that Illinois has become a laughing stock in the nation? Does that bother you at all?

Burris: Well that’s because of all of the media.

Q: What do you rate your chances tomorrow of being seated?

Burris: Well, we’ll see. I don’t want to put a rating on that. We will see.

Q: You do expect tomorrow…

Burris: I’m going there to be seated. I am the junior senator from the state of Illinois. That’s all I can say.

Q: You haven’t been sworn in yet.

Burris: Well, I look to be sworn in. But I am the senator.

Q: What do you expect to testify to the impeachment panel Thursday? What do you …

Burris: I’ll tell them what happened.

Q: What if they want …

Burris: We sent them an affidavit. The lawyer from the governor’s office contacted me and we did a couple days in between, you know, that situation.

Q: Do you feel wanted?

Burris: I feel I am a solution to the problem of the people of Illinois. That’s how I feel.]

Q: Some people wonder why, with all the speculation, why you even bother to take the seat and why not turn it down? Like Danny Davis said, “there’s just too much baggage around this seat”, why not…

Burris: My commitment, I will say this again: Because of my commitment to the people of the state of Illinois. I have served them sixteen years in elective office and I have an opportunity to serve them again and I’ll certainly seek to do that.

Q: Is it serving your own ego at all to take this spot?

Burris: I don’t even need to respond to that.

Q: Are there behind the scenes negotiations going on between you, Dick Durbin, Reid, and the Obama Administration?

Burris: No, I’ve touched base with Durbin a couple days ago and I look forward to touching base with him or my staff or with his staff as we proceed to Washington to be seated.

Q: What about tomorrow, once you’re turned away, what do you plan on doing?

Burris: We’ll have to see. We’ll have to see.

Q: Nobody from the Obama administration has talked to you or contacted you in any way?

Burris: That’s correct, that’s correct.

Q: Are you angry with Jesse White for refusing to sign that…

Burris: Jesse’s my friend Mike, you know that. I’m not angry with the Secretary of State. He’s a great public servant. I’m not angry with anybody. As a matter of fact, I’m happy. I’m enjoying this on behalf of the people of Illinois. Yes.

Q: What kind of negotiations will you have to do when you get there?

Burris: I do not negotiate in the press.

Q: You don’t negotiate in the press, but are you going to negotiate with anybody?

Burris: I will sit down and talk to Mr. Reid. I mean that’s what I’ll tell him, I’m here to take my seat.

Q: But is that necessary?

Q: Have you been contacted yet?

Burris: No. No. Thank you all so much.


Video:
Cross-posting to Take Back Our Seat

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