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Burris: 'What Mess?'

The scene from outside the "Hudson News" at the lower level of BWI airport:

Roland Burris touched down at 5:20 p.m., about 35 minutes later than scheduled, and was greeted by a scrum of reporters and cameramen awaiting his Washington arrival. Of course, the Burris camp sent out his exact flight schedule ahead of time so that reporters would show up.

Dressed in a blue suit, with a lapel pin supporting Chicago's Olympic bid, Burris sounded alternatively optimistic and defiant.

When asked if he anticipated this kind of mess, Burris quipped: "What mess? There's no mess."

Still, he said that he was equipped with the necessary muscle. "We've got a dynamic legal team," Burris said. "Even when you're on your ship you need to wear a life jacket."

As for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's comments that Burris was not, in fact, a senator, Burris firmly countered: "I am the United States senator from the state of Illinois." 

Burris said he has been in contact with Majority Whip Dick Durbin, but cautioned that the Illinois senior senator is "not all buddy buddy but cooperative."

Burris lauded himself as a man with the necessary experience and public standing.

The people of Illinois, "do not need to go without a senator during these tough time," he said. 

Burris reaffirmed his commitment to avoid causing a scene by attempting to access the Senate floor.

Burris was accompanied by some legal advisers and family friends. He was scheduled to appear on "The Rachel Maddow Show" tonight, according to one of his advisers. No other official plans were scheduled until tomorrow.

The last press conference held in the baggage claim of BWI was in the fall of 2006, when the airport was one of the primary sites for the repatriation of American citizens from Lebanon.

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