At shortly after 12:30 EDT today, an apparently uncontrite Idaho Republican Senator Larry Craig announced his resignation from the Senate effective September 30. Craig’s statement, however, seemed as odd as the mens’ room incident that led to it.
Craig’s statement read, in part:
"I choose to serve because I love Idaho. What is best for Idaho has always been the focus of my efforts and it is no different today. To Idahoans I represent, to my staff, my Senate colleagues but most importantly to my wife and my family, I apologize for what I have caused. I am deeply sorry.
"I have little control over what people choose to believe but clearly my name is important to me. And my family is so very important also. Having said that, to pursue my legal options as I continue to serve Idaho would be an unwanted and unfair distraction of my job and for my Senate colleagues."
This amid press reports that Craig was hiring a lawyer to try to get his guilty conviction for disorderly conduct in a Minneapolis airport mens’ room overturned.
Washington has learned, after eight years of tutoring by the Clintons, that politicians’ words have to be parsed carefully. What does Craig mean that he "intends" to resign? Does he hold out some small hope that if his guilty plea is overturned quickly enough, he can recant and stay? Or, as some wags have suggested, is he planning to switch parties?
If Craig were contrite, he would have asked forgiveness for what he had done, not what he had caused. Think about it: if those words had come from William Jefferson Clinton, they would mean that he was apologizing for getting caught, not for the charges to which he pled guilty.
Larry Craig is apparently a very troubled person. It will be a good thing to see him take his troubles away from the Senate floor.