You can imagine what this is doing to the already worried Republicans. According to Craig's spokesman, he's down but not out:
A senior GOP Senate strategist said Republican leaders want him gone now and will press for him to keep his promise to resign. The strategist warned Craig is "losing any goodwill built up among his colleagues," adding, "He is simply a fish out of water, floundering right now to get his last gasp of political air."I can understand why he pleaded guilty, or at least I understand why a guy would plead guilty to a minor charge to get it out of the way quickly. I've done the same on a lesser level with parking tickets, when I was in fact legally parked. But he's a professional politician, and he knew or should have known the political ramifications of his arrest and guilty plea which came just in time for campaign season when Republicans need all the help they can get. And then he said he intends to resign. Whether or not out of political pressure is irrelevant.
But Tuesday night, spokesman Dan Whiting said Craig might not resign if he is cleared of the charges before Sept. 30. Legal experts said it is doubtful Craig will be cleared because he pleaded guilty to the charge. The unexpected announcement caught fellow GOP senators – and members of Craig's own crisis management team – mostly by surprise and threatened to draw negative attention to the party at a time when it is preparing for big fights over the budget and the Iraq war.
He pleaded guilty, then changed his mind. He intended to resign, and now is thinking about changing his mind. That's too many fumbles for one guy to have in the political playoff season. Despite the only evidence being innuendo, the Republicans being hypocrites to some degree, and their treatment of Craig being a bit of a double standard, Larry Craig is a grown man who dropped the ball all by himself.
If any other congressman pleaded guilty to lewd conduct in a public restroom I'd fully expect them to resign too.
Update: Noting what I said earlier, this story was and should have been over, that was until Senator Craig brought it right back today, the WaPo can now celebrate for being accidentally more relevant.