The drama surrounding Rod Blagojevich’s attempt to appoint Roland Burris to the Senate could get really good. See, while the Senate can deny Burris his seat, Blago cannot be denied entry into the Senate chamber:
CNN: Senate Democratic leaders, who consider Governor Rod Blagojevich a loose cannon, also have discussed what might happen if Blagojevich shows up on Capitol Hill Tuesday, said the aide familiar with their plans. But the leaders see that move by Blagojevich as unlikely at this time.
This would be a “radioactive” situation, according to the aide, because Senate Democratic leaders could not deny Blagojevich entry, as sitting governors have floor privileges in the Senate. Governors are allowed to walk around the Senate chamber or talk with senators while on the floor, though they cannot vote or formally address the Senate.
Blagojevich is aware he is allowed access to the Senate floor, his spokesman Lucio Guerrero said, but “the idea of going on Tuesday was first raised by a reporter,” not Blagojevich.
The governor is not planning on going to Capitol Hill at this time, Guerrero said.
It sounds like the Democratic leadership is ready to block Burris, which is a smart move, but it has its political costs. Namely, he’s a qualified, legal appointee, and the Senate would be rejecting a black nominee to replace the only black Senator, which can’t play well. But the price of letting him be seated would probably be worse, as the moment of Democratic ascendancy would be fully marred by the absurdity out of Illinois.
We really hope that Blago spokesman Lucio Guerrero is just beying coy, though, and that he does have plans to accompany Burris to Washington. Watching the other Senators avoid him on the floor would make for some great C-SPAN viewing.