Monday, August 27, 2007

Why the Sen. Craig Story is Awful News

If you haven't heard about the story of the conservative U.S. Senator from the Gem state being arrested for allegedly soliciting sex in the Minneapolis Airport bathroom -- you may find the story here.

Have you had the opportunity to take in the schadenfreude?

Good. Now let's get back to business. Tomorrow, after the luridness of the story wears off, the fact that Craig will be up for re-election next year will start to become a larger part of the story. I'd imagine that given the circumstances the voters back in Idaho can expect a retirement notice in the months to come ... which means that Rep. Bill Sali will now have a pretty good chance at entering the the most exclusive club in the world.

If you don't know who Sali is, fire up Google, kick back and prepare to marvel at the man with the reputation of being the most hated Republican among Republicans.

His unfavorables are ungodly high for a freshman congressman, but Sali now has access to Washington insider money (in addition to his favored status with the Club for Growth), and that kind of support can go a long way in a place like Idaho, which is already staunchly Republican.

Whether he wants to run or not, there will be talk of Sali moving up in the world in the weeks ahead, and that's not good.

MORE: Patrick Ruffini mentions Sali in his list of possible successors, but only in passing, which gives me hope. Apparently there is no shortage of more qualified (and more sane) candidates to replace Craig, and that's about the best someone can reasonably ask for from Idaho.

EVEN MORE: Stu Rothenberg is just as sanguine. [via PW]

MORE STILL: Mark Ambinder gets day two going with both a clinical analysis and a look at the personal toll events like these take on those in the immediate circle of the accused.

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