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Danny Davis: 'I thank God every day' I didn't take Senate seat
By Rob Olmstead | Daily Herald Staff

Danny Davis


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Published: 5/27/2009 2:15 PM

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He is the man who would be king - or at least senator.

Before there was Roland Burris, there was U.S. Congressman Danny Davis. Davis was offered the U.S. Senate seat by former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, but turned it down.

As headlines blared Wednesday morning about Burris' recorded conversation with the brother of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, Davis was asked if the headlines made him glad he took a pass.

"I'm more than glad. As a matter of fact, I thank God every day," laughed the baritone-voiced Davis.

Davis acknowledged that "It would be wonderful to be a member of the United States Senate. ... By the same token, I just figured that there was too much swirling around the appointment and it would be difficult to make it stick and I would have to spend so much time trying to rationalize in the mind of people that nothing went on other than, 'Do you want the job? Here it is.'"

That is exactly what Burris now finds himself doing - and more. Burris is under investigation by several bodies to determine if he perjured himself when he failed to tell the Illinois legislature about the conversation with Robert Blagojevich, Rod's brother. In that conversation, the appointment was discussed and Burris promised to make a donation to Rod Blagojevich.

"Some of the things (recorded) are not going to be easy to explain and especially will not be easy to explain to Joe Blow ... the voter," said Davis.

Still, he doesn't think Burris crossed the line.

"I don't think that he has as much of a legal problem as he has a perception problem," said Davis. "That kind of conversation probably goes on a great deal; the voters just don't hear them ... and I think that's the problem Sen. Burris has."