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Aides: Burris unprepared for controversy

Feb. 23, 2009 at 1:20 PM

WASHINGTON, Feb. 23 (UPI) -- Embattled Sen. Roland Burris, D-Ill., was unprepared to handle the public relations and political fallout of his controversial appointment, supporters say.

Burris underestimated the reaction to revelations that he had much more extensive contacts with ousted Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich than he had laid out in his sworn testimony during the governor's impeachment proceedings, the Washington publication Politico reported Monday.

"The whole thing got out of hand so quickly and perhaps too quickly for it to be effectively managed," said U.S. Rep. Danny Davis, D-Ill. "I think people have made up their mind … and I don't know if there's a great deal he's going to be able to do to turn that around."

"This thing has snowballed into something that can't go on," an unnamed Burris confidante told Politico. "It's a disgrace -- 30 years of service … and all of a sudden he's a criminal?"

Burris has lacked an aggressive communications strategy, leaving the press and the public to speculate the senator may have gained his appointment by Blagojevich in return for the kind of political favors the disgraced ex-governor is accused of seeking from other Senate hopefuls, Politico said.

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