Burris Introduces “Senior Citizen” Durbin

Vice President Biden joins senators at old Republic Windows factory

A cog of Vice President Joe Biden's gaffe machine appears to have struck Sen. Roland Burris in the head during their appearance at a North Side factory today.

Politically, this was Burris' first public event with the Illinois delegation.  Mayor Daley introduced Burris with little fanfare, and Burris then introduced Sen. Dick Durbin.  During his introduction, Burris called Durbin "the senior citizen," rather than senior senator.


Durbin and Burris both laughed, and the junior senator said he's actually made the same mistake before in a committee.

Burris was born in 1937, by the way, and Durbin didn't come around until 1944.  But who's counting? 

Burris' flub came as Biden joined Mayor Daley and other local politicians at a symbol of America's financial crisis: Serious Materials -- formerly Republic Windows -- the factory where workers staged a sit-in until they got severance pay.

Serious "is the story of our new economy; the story of the Recovery Act," Biden said.

The new owners have begun rehiring just 12 of the 260 union workers left without jobs when Republic shut down in December. The company hopes to hire more of those displaced as demand for its energy efficient windows increases.

The vice president will also speak at an urban affairs conference Monday.

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