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TOP STORY -- Chicago Tribune banner: 'A defiant pick,' by Rick Pearson and Ray Long: 'In a display of political bravado, disgraced Gov. Rod Blagojevich on Tuesday appointed former Illinois Atty. Gen. Roland Burris to the U.S. Senate, challenging national Democratic leaders to reject the appointment of an African-American to the seat that propelled Barack Obama to the White House. The defiant move tests the resolve of Senate Democrats who said they would not admit anyone appointed by Blagojevich, who is facing impeachment after being accused of trying to sell the Senate seat for personal gain. And it reveals to a nation celebrating Obama's victory the underbelly of Chicago's race-based political scene.'
Chicago Sun-Times cover: 'State of Disbelief.'
***Sun-Times editorial: 'The governor's defense now can argue that the governor never intended to sell the Senate seat. See for yourself -- he chose Burris. Nor does Burris' appointment hurt Blagojevich if there happen to be African Americans on Blagojevich's jury, according to traditional thinking among the defense bar.'
PUNDIT PREP – 1) If the appointment is certified, Senate Democratic leaders are likely to introduce a motion to withhold seating 'the gentleman from Illinois' until the outcome of an investigation by the Rules Committee, which will look into whether the choice was fair and proper, whether there was a quid pro quo, etc. 'That buys us 90 days,' an official said. That should be enough so they won't have to act. An official calls Blago's move 'a tantrum ... 'I am TOO the governor.' It inflamed Illinois legislators, speeding up the impeachment process. 'He will not be governor by Valentine's Day,' the official said.
© Janet Crain
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