Roland Burris, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich’s choice to replace Barack Obama in the Senate, was on his way to Washington late on Monday, intent on participating in the ceremonial swearing in of new members in the Senate chamber the next day.
But the Democratic senators he aims to join, led by Majority Leader Harry Reid, don’t want him. To add Mr. Burris and his Blagojevich taint to their ranks, they believe, would be to imperil their chances of retaining his seat in 2010, when Illinois voters will finally get their say. So, for now anyway, Mr. Reid is vowing to deny Mr. Burris a spot in the Senate.
But that posture may be subject to change, and for one overriding reason: Mr. Burris is black.
For decades, blacks have voted overwhelmingly for the Democratic Party, which once shed its old Southern base in the name of civil rights but today offers little more than lip service to the passions of the civil rights community.
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