Tags: white | burris | obama

Illinois Sec. of State: I'll Approve Burris If Obama Asks

By David A. Patten   |   Friday, 09 Jan 2009 09:41 AM

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White, who steadfastly refuses to sign off on Gov. Rod J. Blagojevich’s appointment of Roland Burris to fill the president-elect’s vacated Senate seat, says he’ll go along with the nomination under one condition: If Barack Obama asks him to.

White, 74, has stuck to his word that he won’t sign off on the controversial appointment unless ordered to do so by the state Supreme Court.

But now he says a mere word from Obama could change his mind in an instant.

White tells the Wall Street Journal: “It would be kind of tough to say no if the president asked me. If he were to ask me? 'Yes sir.' How do you say no to the president of the United States?”

Obama initially opposed the Burris appointment, but has reversed course and is now urging that he be seated in the Senate. It is not clear Obama would wish to directly inject himself into an Illinois political dispute, however, especially knowing that the matter is up for review by the state Supreme Court.

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