Idaho's senior Republican congressman called on Sen. Larry Craig on Thursday to make it clear he will leave his seat by Sept. 30, as GOP leaders sought to remove any doubt that the embattled senator will resign within weeks.
Craig's chief spokesman said his boss had dropped virtually all notions of trying to finish his third term, which ends in early 2009. But prominent Republicans in Washington and Idaho wanted a firm deadline in hopes of putting the controversy behind them.
Most Senate Republicans want their Idaho colleague, Larry Craig, to just go and go soon. They have enough scandals in their ranks without Craig's disagreeable little episode in an airport bathroom.
Privately, Senate Democrats would like to see him stay on to keep the scandal alive and help underline their contention that the GOP is the party of moral hypocrisy when it is not being the party of corruption.
"Hypocrisy," noted the French writer La Rochefoucauld, "is a tribute vice pays to virtue." In political life, charges of hypocrisy are commonplace; yet there, of all places, hypocrisy should be much preferred to the most common alternative, which is sheer shamelessness.
Congressman Brian Baird, D-Wash, was kidding when he said he brought his flak jacket back with him after visiting Iraq a few weeks ago.
Maybe he should have.
Baird, who initially opposed the war and as recently as May voted to set a timetable for withdrawal of U.S. forces, now says President Bush's military surge is showing signs of working and that current troops levels should be maintained until at least spring.
A 40-year-old highway bridge suddenly dropped into a major American river during the afternoon rush hour, with deadly results.
New bridge inspections were ordered, Congress held hearings, and bold federal programs were begun.
It was 1967 -- the same year work near downtown Minneapolis was completed on the I-35W bridge, which dropped just as precipitously into the Mississippi River a month ago, sparking a fresh round of national soul-searching on bridge safety.
Sen. Larry Craig says he may still fight for his Senate seat, a spokesman says — if the lawmaker can clear his name with the Senate Ethics Committee and a Minnesota court where he pleaded guilty after his arrest in an airport men's room sex sting.
Since announcing Saturday he intended to resign on Sept. 30, the Republican lawmaker who has represented Idaho for 27 years has hired a prominent lawyer to investigate the possibility of reversing his guilty plea.
A GOP leader Sunday denied a double standard in pushing Sen. Larry Craig to resign after a sex sting guilty plea, while remaining silent over GOP Sen. David Vitter's involvement with an escort service.
A senior Democrat said a double standard by Republican leaders is exactly what occurred.
Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., the Senate Republican campaign chairman, said Craig "admitted guilt. That is a big difference between being accused of something and actually admitting guilt."
"David Vitter never did that. Larry Craig did," continued Ensign on ABC's "This Week" program.
Idaho Sen. Larry Craig resigned Saturday over a men's room sex sting, bowing to pressure from fellow Republicans worried about a scandal dimming their election prospects.
"I apologize for what I have caused," Craig said.
Craig's resignation completed a stunning downfall that began Monday with the disclosure that he had pleaded guilty to a reduced charge following his arrest during a sex sting in a Minneapolis airport men's room.
Idaho Republican Sen. Larry Craig's decision to quit spares his party the embarrassment of an indefinitely prolonged scandal following his arrest during a sex sting in a Minneapolis airport bathroom.
Craig will announce his resignation, effective Sept. 30, at a news conference in Boise Saturday morning, GOP officials in Idaho and Washington told The Associated Press, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Still, opting to wait a month before officially bowing out raises questions of what Craig hopes to accomplish in Washington once the post-Labor Day session begins.
Republican Sen. John Warner of Virginia, one of the most authoritative voices in Congress on the military and a key figure in the debate over Iraq, said Friday he will not seek a sixth term in 2008.
Warner, 80, has held the seat since 1979, when the dashing former Navy secretary campaigned alongside his wife at the time, Elizabeth Taylor.
Warner is leaving what would have been a safe seat for the Republicans if he had chosen to run again. His departure gives Democrats a better chance to protect or even expand their one-seat majority in the Senate.