When considering the question of why Roland Burris would let himself get caught up in multiple tawdrinesses with no apparent objective other than to become Former Senator Roland Burris, you might consider this sequence from David Foster Wallace's brilliant 1992 account of the Illinois State Fair.
Between two minor corporate tents is the serendipitous snout of the "Sertoma Mobile Hearing Test" trailer, inside which a woman with a receding hairline scores me overdecibeled but aurally hale. Fifteen whole minutes both in- and outside the huge STATE COMPTROLLER ROLAND BURRIS tent fails to uncover the tent's function. Next door, though, is a bus on display from the city of Peoria's All-Ethanol Bus Sustem; it is painted to resemble a huge ear of corn.
I think you see what I'm driving at.