Waiting for the small motorcade that would bring Senator Larry Craig to the Boise Depot where he would announce his resignation was gathered a mixed bag of approximately a hundred and fifty people and lots of media. There were those who were in a somber mood knowing they were soon to witness the sad and tragic end to a long and distinguished political career. Then there were those that were in a much more celebratory mood knowing that Craig's resignation was just the culmination of a hypocrite's, in the eyes of many, rapid downfall.
There were the usual Idaho Republican dignitaries: Governor Butch Otter, GOP Chairman Kirk Sullivan, Congressman Bill Sali, Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna and others. [I didn't see Sen. Crapo or Rep. Simpson.] There were also some prominent Democrats: State Rep Nicole LaFavour and Idaho Democratic Party Executive Director John Foster and others.
There were also the three women holding the "Craig is not gay; he's a pervert" and similar signs. Some of those gathered had brought their children and carried them on their shoulders for a better look.
As Craig's car arrived, a scattering of applause erupted, accompanied by disbelieving looks from others; more evidence of the political division apparent in the crowd which may truly mirror that in the entire state. As he got out of the car, Kirk Sullivan greeted him with a handshake, then as he slowly made his way to the podium, looking tired and resigned, he was greeted by other GOP dignitaries. Once at the podium, another scattering of applause.
It was immediately clear as he began to speak that the Depot location had not been wired for sound and anyone not in the front row or listening to the feed would not be able to hear. The crowd pressed closer hoping to catch a few of the Senator's final words over the persistent hum of the satellite trucks.
When he finally uttered the word "resign," two young men shouted "yeah!" The gentleman in front of me turned around looking horrified, as if wondering who would dare celebrate that moment. I thought, "Apparently this man hasn't been paying attention."
The speech over [read a copy here], Craig took no questions and ushered his wife to the waiting car, walked around to the front passenger seat amid a press of reporters, cameras and a few catcalls and climbed in. With a short brrupp from the accompanying police escort, he was gone.
That was it. The end of Larry Craig's political career. The whole thing lasting just a few minutes longer than the events in the airport men's room that precipitated the inevitable events that followed.
And as perhaps an omen, I have no pictures of the event: dead batteries in the camera.
Update 15:05: Check out more local coverage: