Burris Sloooowly Learns Senate

And we mean slowly

In a piece this week in The Hill about the virtually non-existent relationship between Illinois senators Roland Burris and Dick Durbin, J. Taylor Rushing reports that "Burris has left a very faint legislative footprint."


"In an exclusive interview with The Hill, Burris said he has been focused on learning the Senate."

Will he be up to speed in time for a re-election campaign? Maybe he could run on the fact that he'll already know the rules.

"[H]e has written only two private bills and has given no press conferences or interviews on legislation," The Hill reports. "On occasion he has spoken out on the Senate floor or presided over chamber activity, but generally he has kept one of the lowest profiles of all 59 Democrats."

Of course, a low profile is understandable given the circumstances surrounding his ascension to the seat. But you'd think he'd try to make his mark somewhere. But his difficulty reaching out to Durbin after basically humiliating him to get the job has been an obstacle.

"The few examples of Durbin-Burris co-sponsored legislation include a resolution commemorating the birth of Abraham Lincoln, a pilot program expanding caregiving resources for disabled military veterans, and legislation to provide disaster relief for wind-damaged counties in southern Illinois," Rushing writes.

Other colleagues are only slightly impressed.

"Democratic senators say Burris has earned a begrudging measure of respect in the conference - if a slow learner, they say, he has shown diligence in learning Senate rules and paying faithful attention to the party’s agenda."

Not exactly a record to run on.

Rod Blagojevich said he appointed Burris because Illinois needed two senators, but it looks like we've still just got one.

Steve Rhodes is the founder of The Beachwood Reporter.

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