OBSERVATION: Obama bombed on Burris

Belatedly, President-elect Barack Obama has fallen silent on the issue of Roland Burris as his successor in the U.S. Senate. Had he thought things through a bit more clearly in the first instance, he could have left the issue to Governor Rod Blagojevich, Secretary of State Jesse White and Senate President Harry Reid. Or, he could have given the appointment a pass. Instead, he bought into the specious argument that while Burris is a good man and very well qualified, the perceived sins of his sponsor fatally tainted the appointment. Obama ignored both the law and common sense.

This puts the first half African-American President in sync with the legally dubious and arguably racist posture of Reid. Suddenly, Obama is a partisan in a strategy that risks reducing black membership in the World’s Most Exclusive Club to zero.

Obama was a follower when he should have been a leader. Had he accepted the appointment as legal and Burris as qualified, there would have been a junior Illinois senator sworn in with the class of ’09. He also would have prevented Reid from looking arrogant, stupid and racist.

Now, the drama will continue on the edge of the national spotlight, casting a discernible shadow across the historic inauguration festivities. Oh, the irony of it all.

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