Burris: "I Am The Solution"

(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Roland Burris, the man named by embattled Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich to Barack Obama's Senate seat, held a press conference in Chicago this afternoon before getting on an airplane headed to Washington D.C.

Burris, who called himself the junior senator from Illinois during the press conference, said he planned to sit down with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and tell him, "I'm here to take my seat." The new Senate session begins tomorrow.

"I feel I am the solution to the problem for the people of Illinois," Burris said. He said he did not need to separate himself from Blagojevich, who has been charged with trying to effectively sell the seat to which he named Burris.

The Senate Democratic leadership has vowed not to seat Burris or anyone else appointed by Blagojevich. The Secretary of the Senate, Nancy Erickson, today rejected Burris's certificate of appointment, saying it does not conform to a rule requiring it be signed by both the governor and the secretary of state. Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White had previously vowed not to sign the certificate.

Burris, meanwhile, has been called to testify Wednesday before the committee considering impeaching Blagojevich.

The Blagojevich appointee enjoyed what the New York Times described as a "raucous sendoff" in a Chicago church over the weekend. You can watch video of that appearance here.

"[T]he Lord put his hands on the governor and said, 'this is the person that has to go to Washington,' and that appointment is legal," Burris said to hundreds of supporters assembled at the church. "That is all there is."

Watch part of the press conference below:

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