Idaho residents have firm opinions on the course of action Sen. Larry Craig should take in the remaining months before he retires.
The Idaho Statesman asked for responses from people who were riveted to the story and watched the two hours of interviews Tuesday night. Most of those people who responded said Craig's statements did little to change their opinions.
Here's what people had to say:• Mary Heikkola of Boise said she found Craig credible during Tuesday's broadcasts, which actually damaged her faith in the "mainstream media."
"I can understand why he thinks it's best for Idaho that he stay. The only problem we have is that this does prove my opinion of the mainstream media, be it print or blogs, that they cannot be trusted to tell the truth. That breaks my heart. It seems to me the mainstream media is out to destroy anyone that doesn't support the progressive, socialist, left-wing ideology they are out to destroy us with."• Marilyn Eldredge of Meridian said she hadn't expected truth out of the interviews.
"I wasn't disappointed. There are so many holes in Larry Craig's story I don't know where to begin. I can no longer call him senator because to me his actions have brought and continue to bring the great state of Idaho shame."
"It was well rehearsed. I still don't think he has answered the question of the deception. It was a mistake, but it was a deception in trying to hide the incident. When he announced his intent to resign, it was a plan. But it was a deception.
"...There was a lot of ‘my colleagues turned on me and ran me over with a campaign bus, the Idaho Statesman was out to get me.' I don't think the Minneapolis Police Department set up the sting with the intention of catching an Idaho senator."• Pat Duffel of Boise also voted for Craig.
"I guess I find him credible, and I appreciate everything he did for the state. At the same time, he pled guilty. I question his effectiveness for Idaho in Washington."• Arne Sampe of Paul said entrapment is a worse evil than Craig's political views.
"I totally approve of his decision to not resign. He stated up front that his resignation was an intent. In fact, I rather fancy that he ought to re-think his decision to not run for re-election. He could become a folk hero."• Kathy Coops of Boise said Craig's televised interviews substantiated her opinion.
"He was a victim of a sting operation, and the press was out to get him. Did he handle the situation correctly? No, but that's 20/20 hindsight, and he obviously pled guilty because he was duped by the arresting officer into thinking that the whole situation would go away."
"If I needed any further confirmation that this situation was orchestrated bi-coastally to take down one of the most powerful senators in the nation, a supporter of President Bush, from a state that supports that same president, this was it. Even a U.S. senator is subject to the foibles of all of us: fear, embarrassment, panic. Is he guilty of soliciting homosexual sex? Absolutely not. Of poor judgment? Absolutely yes."• Tony Rockwell said the interviews convinced him Craig wasn't telling the truth.
"I do not feel his entire career should be ruined. However, I do feel he should have been honest in his address to the public after the incident came to light. . . Based on the way the situation played out, I also feel he should have resigned as he said he would do."• Mike Bradbury said he doesn't care about Craig's personal life because most people have "something buried in the backyard."
"A man is only as good as his word. He said he would resign, and he should for the good of the state, the GOP and the country, which is all the same thing."
Kathleen Kreller: 377-6418