Let’s speculate on how it might have turned out differently.
Idahoans are strongly opposed to illegal immigration. During a CNN report from Boise last week, one unidentified male said: ”The reason I would like to see him go is because he voted for amnesty, despite what Americans, or what Idaho citizens wanted.”
The two Idaho representatives, Bill Sali and Mike Simpson, have A- records on immigration reform. Sen Michael Crapo has an identical A- grade.
Craig, however, is C- overall but a defiant D- on amnesty.al
But suppose Craig had publicly argued against amnesty. There’s a chance that Idahoans might defended him post-scandal saying: ”Craig is our guy. He stared down President Bush on amnesty because he knows that’s where the state is on the issue.”
And Craig, with local support, could have refused to resign. After all, no one can force him to do it. Craig could have toughed it out by insisting that for the time being, he’s remaining and he’d evaluate his 2008 re-elections plans as time went forward
G.O.P. leadership threatened long and embarrassing public hearings unless Craig resigned.
But, think about it, why would the Republicans do that? All it would mean is protracted, negative headline producing media that would reflect poorly on not only Craig but also the entire party. [”Rising Pressure From G.O.P. Led Senator To Quit,” Carl Hulse, New York Times, September 2, 2007]
Too bad Craig didn’t heed his constituent’s wishes for stern immigration reform. Had he done so, Craig might have been able to ride out the storm.