Chicago U.S. Sen. Roland Burris kept out of sight Friday as longtime friend Gov. Pat Quinn joined the roster of fellow Democrats calling for his resignation following new disclosures about his controversial appointment, while the White House urged the senator to take the weekend to consider his future.
Burris began the week with passionate defenses, proclaiming he had nothing to hide even as revelations mounted about his attempts to raise money for his disgraced patron, former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, and his failures to disclose multiple conversations with Blagojevich advisers.
By Friday, Burris eluded reporters and only repeated pleas through his spokesman to “stop the rush to judgment.” The junior senator scheduled private visits to a veterans medical center and naval training center north of Chicago but did not speak publicly.
Quinn praised Burris, a former Illinois attorney general, as an honorable man and said Friday it would be a “heroic act” for him to put the interests of the state and his constituents ahead of his own.
“It takes a great deal of fortitude and courage to do that and I think people will recognize that,” Quinn said. “It’s never easy to step aside and resign from anything in life, especially something as important as United States Senate.”