Friday, August 31, 2007

RNC pushing Craig to resign

This is certainly big. I found this story through TPM Election Central, which sources this CNN story:

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Several well-placed GOP sources in Washington and Idaho have told CNN that embattled Republican Sen. Larry Craig is likely to resign soon, possibly as early as Friday.

GOP sources with knowledge of the situation told CNN's Dana Bash that the Republican National Committee was poised to take the extraordinary step of calling on Craig to resign but held off.

The RNC put the move on hold, the sources said, because top party leaders have received indications that Craig himself is preparing to step down.

Sources have confirmed that high-level meetings on the matter were being conducted in Idaho on Thursday.

Craig has been under pressure to quit since news surfaced this week that he was arrested in June at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and later pleaded guilty to a disorderly conduct charge.


The RNC held off its call for Craig to resign after it got word from Idaho Republicans that such a move could backfire, said GOP sources.

"Any official group saying he would have to resign would have been explosive," a GOP source told CNN. "Craig can't easily go it if appears he's been dictated to by the White House, the RNC, or any other party structure. It has to be his decision."

"He needed a grace period, a day with no action," said the GOP source. "He's gotten some breathing room, and that's helped."

Despite indications of a resignation by Craig, the source also cautioned that the senator could wake up Friday morning and decide something different.

The Republican Party is in panic mode here. The last thing that the GOP wants is for Craig to stay on as senator, and to campaign for re-election in 2008. If Craig campaigns for re-election in 2008, he will become the latest poster boy for the Republican's "Culture of Corruption." The Republicans have been desperately trying to spin this as something that is not endemic of The Party--look at Tom DeLay's ranting on the Today Show that it is the Democrats and liberal media's fault for keeping this story in the headlines. The Republicans would force Craig to resign his senate position in order to avoid tarnishing the GOP's image in the 2008 elections, rather than have Craig run for re-election and have the Idaho voters determine his fate. It is all about CYA for the Republican Party here.

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