As a poli sci major, I'm embarrassed for whatever program produced Roland Burris (SIU-Carbondale, BA in Poli Sci in 1959). It sounds to me like Burris has fallen for one of the most famous blunders (the first being never get into a land war in Asia, but I digress), the blunder of trying to sound smarter than he is. It's really clear that the clue bus has never stopped in his neighborhood. His political career seems to consist mainly of financial postings (Comptroller, bank examiner, etc.). so I really think he's out of his league in the US Senate.
As a side note, in the biography of Burris that I found online, I present the following tidbit which shows his hypocricy:
In 1993, Burris, an advocate for a national handgun ban, helped to organize Chicago's first Gun Turn-in Day. The following year, Burris admitted that he kept a handgun in his home and had not turned it into police as he had urged others to do. A spokesman stated that Burris had "forgotten about" the handgun.