You know, some days it just amazes me how people work hard to write controversial articles (nothing wrong with that) without thinking their argument through fully (something wrong with that). Politico has an article running on its Web site that is titled “In politics, does race trump gender?” As is the case with a number of people, the issue of race generally gets people fired up (as does gender … so imagine when you combine the two) and certainly creates a level of interest different and higher than most other topics. In other words, great headline. The first sentence, however, made my jaw drop and nearly bust a hole through the top of my desk, “How comehas had such an easy time getting to the while has had such a hard time?” I’m thinking it would be news to Roland Burris that he has had an “easy time” getting into the U.S. Senate. President-elect Barack Obama came out against him, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid came out against him, most Democrats were against him (and he is in their party), he was being unfairly linked to disgraced Gov. Rod Blagojevich of Illinois, he had people trying to dig up dirt on him, the Illinois Secretary of State did not want to certify him, he had to go to the courts and get a ruling, he was turned away from the U.S. Senate in the rain while being hounded by reporters and photographers … etc. You get the picture. Apparently, according to Politico, that was easy. Smooth sailing into the U.S. Senate for Roland Burris. Is Kennedy getting the harder time? Who knows? To my knowledge, she has not even officially been nominated (by New York Gov. David Paterson) to replace Hillary Clinton in the Senate. In fact, I believe she is still just one of many potential candidates (obviously, she is the most high profile of the individuals in the running to replace Hillary). And, Kennedy is probably the front runner in this race to fill that seat. Here is a strange statement from the Politico article, “Once supporters of Roland Burris made his appointment to the Senate all about race, the deal was done, though it took a few days for Senate leaders to wake up to the fact.” Not everyone made it about race. Rep. Bobby Rush did bring race into the issue, but not all Burris supporters linked this to race. In fact, I would argue that most supporters of Burris’ nomination supported him because they believed there was no legal reason to deny him. But, I understand it makes for a better and more controversial article to make the issue about race rather than the legalese of the appointment. I would not have a problem with Caroline Kennedy being appointed to replace Hillary Clinton … if that is what the governor chooses. Burris’ political credentials are strong while Caroline Kennedy must be asked questions since she has not been involved in politics. It does not mean she should be excluded due to a lack of experience, but it does mean that people have a right to ask some tough questions of her. So far, she has been pretty solid under the media spotlight. The article asks why Kennedy has been asked tough questions about foreign and domestic issues, but Burris has not been asked those same questions. I’m not sure he has not been asked those questions. And, if he has not been asked those questions, perhaps it’s because he has been asked more questions about the person appointing him (Blagojevich) in a bizarre and almost unbelievable scandal that has the media largely obsessed. Maybe Kennedy has had to deal with things that Burris has not had to deal with, but clearly Burris has had to deal with things that Kennedy has not had to deal with in trying to gain a seat in the U.S. Senate. But, I think it’s almost premature to talk much about Kennedy going to the U.S. Senate when I am not sure she has been formally nominated by Gov. Paterson.