Friday, August 31, 2007

Craig Close to Resigning

When Larry Craig's arrest was revealed, I commented that Senate leaders might be expected to move aggressively to ensure that GOP scandals did not become a big issue in the 2008 election. I suggested that might be evinced in talks with Senators dealing with ethical questions. I did not anticipate that Senators would close ranks so quickly to make clear to Craig that he was unwelcome.

After all, it's rare that Senators and Congressmen coordinate efforts during recess. Usually they must be together in Washington to develop a group approach to a problem. But whether the united front was coordinated or organic, it's reported that Senator Craig will soon step down:

Scandal-stained Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) is pondering his resignation in the face of political pressure in Washington and Idaho following revelations that he was arrested last June in an airport restroom, the Associated Press and CNN have reported.

The Republican National Committee took the unusual step Thursday of drafting statements calling on Craig to resign, GOP aides said, a rare move to force the third-term senator out. But the committee never released its statement to allow Craig more time to announce his own departure.

There's probably not much choice for Craig. He's lost his committee assignments and his GOP colleagues have requested an ethics investigation into his actions. It's hard to conceive that he can do anything to restore his electability.

And if he wants to restore his name and reputation, that's probably simpler as a private citizen than as a Senator shunned by colleagues and targeted by them for defeat.

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