Burris Flap Rouses Ghosts of Obama's Past

President-elect probably wants to forget these guys
By Gabriel Winant,  Newser User
Posted Dec 31, 2008 10:44 AM CST
Incumbent Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., center, celebrates his primary victory in Chicago over challenger Barack Obama in the Illinois primary in this March, 21, 2000, file photo.    (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green, File)
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(Newser) – If Barack Obama caught Rod Blagojevich’s press conference yesterday, in which he named Roland Burris to fill the vacant Senate seat, Obama probably saw everything he doesn’t miss about Illinois. Each member of the trio on stage—Blagojevich, Burris, and Rep. Bobby Rush—claims a history with Obama, notes the Washington Post. Burris called Obama “someone whose career I really helped launch,” and Rush claimed, “I helped teach him.”

Obama’s friends say he never liked Blagojevich, which might explain why he backed Burris against him in 2002. And Rush’s "teaching" of Obama took the form of a you’re-not-black-enough schooling in a 2000 congressional primary contest. Burris summed up the situation well, saying, “We might not all like each other all of the time, but we're running in the same big circle.”
(Read more Barack Obama stories.)