"I heard a man open his heart up"

Larry Craig has friends in Idaho. Well, one of them, anyway.

Published August 29, 2007 3:02PM (EDT)

Is anyone buying Larry Craig's "the press made me do it" defense?

We've found one person: Idaho State Republican Party chairman J. Kirk Sullivan, who tells Spokane's Spokesman-Review that he watched Craig's turn before the cameras Tuesday afternoon and "heard a man open his heart up." "I think he knows that he made a snap judgment in Minneapolis. I think he knows it, and I think he is in a position to correct it," Sullivan said

Sullivan added that "nobody's proven anything," which, of course, nobody had to do because Craig admitted his guilt when he, you know, pleaded guilty.

The National Review's
Mark Steyn seems to get that point. "What was all that business about blaming it all on the 'strain' brought about by the Idaho Statesman?" Steyn asks. "What kind of excuse is that? 'I wouldn't have wound up in that men's room if you guys hadn't been investigating my secret gay sex life.' This was a ridiculous performance. He pleaded guilty not in the heat of the moment, but two months after the incident, and without telling anybody else ... Sen. Craig is carrying on as if his trial starts next month. It doesn't. It's over."

Sen. John Ensign and the National Republican Senatorial Committee would certainly like it to be over. The Republicans have more seats to defend in 2008 than the Democrats do, and they were surely counting on Craig's as a safe one. And it probably will be -- Idaho hasn't sent a Democrat to the Senate since 1974 -- so long as Craig isn't still sitting in it.

In a SurveyUSA poll conducted Tuesday, 55 percent of Idahoans said they believe Craig should resign. If he does, Idaho's Republican governor will select his replacement.

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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