Larry Craig

Editorial: Sen. Larry Craig needs to resign

For the good of a state he loves, a state he has served for more than aquarter century.

It is difficult and unpleasant to call on Idaho's senior senator to enda career in public service. We don't do this casually, or unanimously.

However, we cannot abide an elected official who didn't disclose a lewdconduct arrest until the story broke 77 days later -- a lie by omission and aviolation of the public trust. We cannot believe Craig can effectively serveIdaho, under the shadow of his guilty plea on a lesser charge of disorderlyconduct. We cannot afford, as a state with but four congressionalrepresentatives, to have a senator who merely provides fodder for bloggersand late-night talk show hosts.

Worse still, Craig's credibility has eroded within the power structurein Washington, D.C. Senate Republican leadership has called for an EthicsCommittee review of the case, and at leadership's request, Craig Wednesdayagreed to give up his Senate committee assignments. Several congressionalRepublicans -- including Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Norm Coleman ofMinnesota -- say Craig should resign. The White House is "disappointed in thematter," spokesman Scott Stanzel said Wednesday.

Two days ago, we urged Idahoans not to rush to judgment, and give Craiga chance to explain himself. Unfortunately, we have seen and heard enough.Judging from his performance Tuesday, when he read a brief public statement,Craig seems more interested in hunkering down, operating from a defensivestate of denial. This is his prerogative. But he should not compromise Idahointerests in the process.

If Craig wishes to keep his secrets, he may do so as a former U.S.senator.

In 2002, the Statesman enthusiastically endorsed Craig's re-election,hailing him as an influential leader who is "hitting his stride as asenator." His stunning misstep has now cost him his viability and hiscredibility. He must now step aside.

Read more of this editorial in Thursday's Idaho Statesman and