Craig Story Now Even Weirder

This post includes my apology for writing again about Sen. Larry Craig but I don’t know that I have ever heard of anything like the news that Craig is reconsidering his decision to resign — and has all along since announcing his departure Saturday — because Sen. Arlen Specter told him to keep fighting. No, Craig is not wavering because he feels so strongly about fighting for his innocence that he wanted to remain in the U.S. Senate, but because Specter stuck up for him.

We now know Craig purposefully massaged his announcement of resignation by stating it was his “intent” to resign and he had informed his lawyer (Monica Lewinksy’s lawyer) that morning that he was providing himself the wiggle room. Remember, however, that he made clear in his statement that he knew his situation would be a distraction from the more important business of the Senate and he couldn’t proceed with pursuing his legal remedy without being a sideshow. We don't have to stretch our imaginations to guess how clearly Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell must have made that to Craig in their phone conversations last week, those conversations about how Craig would lose his seniority on committees and how the leadership would pursue an ethics investigation into his airport matter.

Specter has long been a thorn in the side of Republican leaders and his views will no doubt be dismissed. No one else has come forward to help Craig, but Republicans everywhere have praised McConnell’s swift and severe response to Craig’s guilty plea. I couldn’t imagine this getting uglier but somewhere this week, on a telephone line from Washington to Idaho, it definitely will.

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