Roland Burris was just sworn into the US Senate by Vice President Dick Cheney, a moment greeted by sustained applause rather than the brickbats during a long-running controversy.
Fellow Democrats initially balked at Burris, because he was appointed by Governor Rod Blagojevich of Illinois, who faces federal corruption charges that include trying to sell the seat -- once occupied by President-elect Barack Obama -- that Burris now holds.
Burris, the only African American in the Senate, says that the economic recovery is his top priority. Within hours, he'll get a vote on a key measure to release the second half of the $700 financial bailout. Obama is asking Congress for the money, but the rescue package is deeply unpopular with the public.
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.