He had arrived outside the Capitol at 10:25 a.m. Eastern time with Capitol police helping him through a scrum of TV cameras, boom mikes and reporters.
The man attempting to sign in as the new junior senator from Illinois was met by Terrance Gainer, the Senate sergeant at arms and an old friend: Gainer was director of the Illinois State Police when Burris was attorney general. Gainer served as a ready and friendly escort, ushering Burris to a security line inside the Capitol.
Gainer escorted Burris into the Secretary of the Senate's office on the 3rd floor of the Capitol, one floor above the Senate chamber, to present his credentials. Media gathered around the corner -- several abreast stretching down the hallway.
Leaders have been negotiating with Burris, and there was some word that Burris might accept his rejection in the secretary's office. Guards initially had been told they were to treat Burris as they would a senator, easing his path through the Capitol entrance, but were later told to take him through security as any visitor.
I feel sort of sorry for this man. He is a legend in his own mind, but he had to know this wasn't going to be a walk in the park for him. Having lost five straight primaries, he is familiar with rejection.