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UPDATE: Pressure builds for Idaho Sen. Larry Craig to resign, even as we wait for news of a possible announcement today. The Associated Press is reporting that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell called Craig's conduct “unforgivable." NBC's Tim Russert told Matt Lauer this morning, "He can't survive. The Republicans have done everything but change the locks on his office doors...I've never seen anything like it." Idaho Democratic Party Chairman Richard Stallings has issued this statement: “As Governor, Butch Otter has a responsibility to the people of Idaho to put their interests ahead of his political party’s. Should Senator Craig vacate his Senate seat, we urge Governor Otter in the strongest terms possible to put the interests ahead of Idahoans ahead of his political party by committing to not fill this seat with anyone who has expressed an interest in running for the Senate in 2008.”

Senate Leader: Craig’s Conduct “Unforgiveable”

UPDATE: Pressure builds for Idaho Sen. Larry Craig to resign, even as we wait for news of a possible announcement today.

The Associated Press is reporting that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell called Craig’s conduct “unforgivable.”

NBC’s Tim Russert told Matt Lauer this morning, “He can’t survive. The Republicans have done everything but change the locks on his office doors…I’ve never seen anything like it.”

Idaho Democratic Party Chairman Richard Stallings has issued this statement: “As Governor, Butch Otter has a responsibility to the people of Idaho to put their interests ahead of his political party’s. Should Senator Craig vacate his Senate seat, we urge Governor Otter in the strongest terms possible to put the interests ahead of Idahoans ahead of his political party by committing to not fill this seat with anyone who has expressed an interest in running for the Senate in 2008.”

Enough major stories are now in the loop that the timing may be favorable. President Bush’s office has announced the resignation of press secretary Tony Snow. The ten-year anniversary of the death of Princess Diana is second or third in line on the networks and CNN. The investigation of the Virginia Tech shootings is controversial, and a Mom has let her five-year-old drive the car. Virginia Senator John Warner announced he won’t run again.

It’s impossible for Craig to hope that his announcement will be buried in the news cycle, but it never hurts to have dilution from other major stories.

We’ll update as information becomes available. Also, please check NewWest.Net/Boise over the weekend for other news and commentary.

About Jill Kuraitis

Jill Kuraitis is an award-winning journalist who specializes in news of Idaho and the Rocky Mountain West. Her B.A. in theatre management is from UC Santa Barbara, and she went on to work in theatre, film, and politics before writing became a career. Kuraitis has two excellent grown children and lives in Boise with her husband of 30 years, abundant backyard wildlife, and two huge hairy dogs.

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4 comments

  1. To Mr. Stallings: Who in the hell do you think Otter is? All I can think about is the story about the frog ferrying the scorpion across the creek, the scorpion promising not to sting the frog. The frog does his part, and as the scorpion departs on the other side, he stings the frog. Why? asked the frog. You promised, gave your word. “It is just my nature.” said the scorpion…..Well, I damned well hope that Otter realizes the nature of Democrats, and that the sting would be a given. And, if Idaho’s Governor was a Democrat, Stallings would not have said one word on behalf of not having a possible candidate to take the interim job.

    It appears Senator Craig has veracity problems, and it also appears that the Idaho Democrats do not have a viable solution other than the shared opinion that Craig should resign. No matter what Democrats might think of him, Otter is not naive or stupid. You take political gain, or at least try to hold the line. That is how the game is played.

  2. Either side could claim to be the frog or the scorpion for that matter. Given what I have seen in Idaho, my native state, it is the opposite from what you stated. Nevertheless, isn’t it at least fair to all candidates looking to run for this open seat to not be given a pass at the primary election, and force the candidates to make their case for this high office on their personal merits without the power of the bully-pulpit? I have seen to much backbiting on both sides the past 20 years to expect less, but it sure would be a nice change of pace.

  3. Sometimes being a Democrat in Idaho is embarrasing. No wonder we lose elections. Someone tell Stallings to shut up! If being appointed to a vacant position shortly before the next election was as strong an advantage as Stallings thinks it is, then RISCH would be our governor now instead of OTTER, who won the election despite Risch being an appointed incumbent. So if anyone would know firsthand how full of crap that argument is, it would be Otter and Risch.

  4. And yet here is Governor Otter (on Wednesday, 9/5) saying that he doesn’t want to pre-empt the primary process, and is considering putting in a “placeholder”… that is if Craig makes good on his “intent” to resign.

    It’s fascinating to see you folks jump all over the Democrats who have been quiet and reasonable in their public statements in this affair. Stallings suggestion is quite reasonable; he offered Phil Batt and Cecil Andrus as two possibilities of experienced politicians who have ample experience to step into a big role on short notice without the need to turn a short-term appointment into a full-time campaign as a pseudo-incumbent. Calling for the governor to consider the best interests of the people of Idaho is an embarrasment?!

    It’s the Republican leadership (in Washington, not Idaho) that moved with alacrity to give Craig the boot, the day the news broke. I’m sure Mitch McConnell’s word (it’s only because of the “guilty” plea) is as good as Craig’s.