Sen. Larry Craig’s spokesman late yesterday said the Idaho Republican was reconsidering his decision to resign. Craig pleaded guilty in June to charges that he solicited sex from an undercover police officer in a Minneapolis airport men’s restroom. But Craig maintained that he had done nothing wrong. He hired lawyers and a crisis management firm to fight any ethics charges he might face before he leaves the Senate on Sept. 30. “Should he be cleared before then,” said Craig spokesman Dan Whiting, “he may, and I emphasize may, not resign.”
“This could get interesting,” said Andrew Sullivan on AndrewSullivan.com. Craig’s kids—“all adopted, by the way”—have publicly bought dad’s “not-gay” routine. GOP Sen. Arlen Specter, a former prosecutor, urged Craig to withdraw his guilty plea and assured him he would win if he fought the case. This could revive this scandal just as it was fading away—which is the last thing the Republican Party wants.
If Craig is found innocent, said Mark Kilmer in the RedState.org blog, the “jaundiced and intellectually mediocre media,” along with “American lefties,” will get a “black eye.” But “a Craig fight and subsequent loss will toast whatever is left of his reputation and stick needles into a political voodoo doll of the Grand Old Party.”
If Craig is guilty, said The American Spectator’s Quin Hillyer in OpinionJournal.com, he is a “moral reprobate” and should leave the Senate. But he still deserves the nation’s “sympathy.” Craig served his constituents well in a quarter century of public life. “Somebody who would risk his career for such activities is crying out for help.”
No matter what Craig says now, said Leonard Pitts in The Miami Herald, his credibility is gone. He claimed he touched toes with the cop in the next stall—a common signal used by men seeking sex in public bathrooms—because he used a wide stance at the toilet. He could have saved himself a lot of trouble if—before marriage and kids—he could have brought himself to say, “Look, I like guys.”