Friday, October 19, 2007


Sen. Larry Craig wants it both ways.

When arrested in the Minneapolis bathroom sex sting, he insisted he pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct because he was "embarrassed" and wanted the incident to "go away" before it became news.

Well, Craig now seems no longer embarrassed and is making no effort to make the episode vanish. He has submitted to two long TV interviews, one on the NBC national network. He continues to fuel national media gags and political commentary. He's reneged on his promise to resign and instead will stick around until the end of his term in 2009. That is prompting pained, public lamentations from his Republican colleagues in the Senate. All of this will keep the episode in the news.

Now there's new speculation that Craig isn't really interested in proving he was trapped in a sting operation and wants to expunge his name from police records. Rather, he's sticking around to prepare his bonafides to become a six-figure Washington lobbyist when his Senate days end.

So, the senior senator who once believed Idaho needs a full-time senator now gives the state, at best, a disgraced and powerless senator who will devote the next 15 months to being an outcast in his own party, litigating in court to rehabilitate his name, and adding to the state's reputation of allowing yet another goofy politician to hold sway.

This escapes Sen. Craig: His whines and bleats of victimization are unconvincing. He is a crybaby trying to induce sympathy. That might wash with neighbors in his hometown of Midvale, but public whimpering won't move Senate Republicans to throng to his side and embrace him.

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