Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Opinionator

August 30, 2007, 3:36 pm
Novak: I Knew It Was You, Fredo
By Chris Suellentrop
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Now he tells us! Seven years after his first meeting with Alberto Gonzales, Robert Novak relays the news that “several Republican senators” believed in 2001 “that Gonzales was not qualified for a senior government position.” Novak writes in his Washington Post column:

I met Gonzales for the first time in 2001 when, along with other conservative journalists, I went to the White House for a background briefing on the new president’s judicial nominations by presidential counsel Gonzales. I was stunned by the incoherence of the briefer. After checking with several Republican senators, I received the same verdict. Their judgment was that Gonzales was not qualified for a senior government position.

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August 30, 2007, 9:58 am
Craig’s Next Move
By Chris Suellentrop
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In its third consecutive daily editorial about Senator Larry Craig, the Idaho Statesman editorial page asks Craig to resign.

“It is difficult and unpleasant to call on Idaho’s senior senator to end a career in public service. We don’t do this casually, or unanimously,” the editorial states. It continues:

However, we cannot abide an elected official who didn’t disclose a lewd conduct arrest until the story broke 77 days later — a lie by omission and a violation of the public trust. We cannot believe Craig can effectively serve Idaho, under the shadow of his guilty plea on a lesser charge of disorderly conduct. We cannot afford, as a state with but four congressional representatives, to have a senator who merely provides fodder for bloggers and late-night talk show hosts.

“Worse still, Craig’s credibility has eroded within the power structure in Washington, D.C.,” the editorial argues, later adding, “He will no longer be a spokesman for his causes, from immigration reform to seeking federal dollars for Idaho projects. He will always be seen — even if no one is so coarse as to say it — as that senator involved in that weird arrest at an airport restroom renowned as a pickup spot for anonymous sex.”

Even if Craig’s public image is now “an incomplete caricature,” by staying in office “he is contemplating a future that just doesn’t exist,” the editorial says. “The longer it takes for him to face the facts, the longer the interests of Idaho are marginalized.”

Craig has responded to the stories about his arrest by “operating from a defensive state of denial,” the editorial says. It adds, “If Craig wishes to keep his secrets, he may do so as a former U.S. senator.”

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