The Local Angle

Jeez, do we even need to watch the Craig interviews any more? The networks keep leaking bits of them, so the suspense is sort of eroding away.

Oh, right: We promised these guys we would. So you can bet we'll be popping some corn here at the BW mothership. Come on down and join us, BYOB.

Here's a few tidbits from the Craig interview with NBC's local affiliate, KTVB Channel 7. Mark Johnson conducted the interview.

In it, find multiple slams on the Idaho Statesman, Craig's insistence that he "doesn't want to play the semantics game" about his intent to resign, and why he now believes his arrest wasn't so much a matter of entrapment, but of profiling.

Here's the bits:

Senator Larry Craig: "I believe, and I think Suzanne believes - and even the reporter who did all the investigating said that we had put that story down. That this action, if it became public, if it went public - it would trigger that story. Well, the action did trigger the story. The story that had already been written and was sitting in a file of that newspaper was now out for the public to see. So you know, I was wrong and I was right."

Mark Johnson: "Which they said they weren't going to go with unless there was an incident."

Senator Larry Craig: "That's right. And as a result of that, did I feel pressure? Well, yes just a little bit. We'd been through a ten month unprecedented investigation, looking into our private lives - our children's lives - our children's adoptions records, Suzanne's divorce records."

Suzanne Craig: "They called 300 of our friends, they talked to them - they didn't ask what they knew about Larry Craig, they spread a rumor that came from a blogger. I would say that is not a substantive piece of news, but evidently they took it like that. So, I - I just didn't feel that was a credible way to go about reporting, to spread a rumor."

Senator Larry Craig: "I do believe the police officer was very aggressive, I do believe he profiled…I'm always very frustrated about profiling. I've got a bit of a streak of civil libertarianism right down my middle. That's why those 1800 individual Idaho case works are on my desk. I believe in fighting for the right of the individual. I respect law enforcement, but I also know there are law enforcement officers who get in trouble - that are very zealous if you will. I don't know if this man is that way. But I do know the way I got treated, with no experience at all was extremely intimidating to me. And I do believe I was profiled. And that's wrong for anybody, for innocent people to be wrapped up in this terrible experience."

Mark Johnson: "Do you feel like you've gone against your word in intimating that you were going to resign, and then didn't?"

Senator Larry Craig: "I don't want to play a semantic game at all, Mark. The day I said what I said, it was my plan to resign. Circumstance changed. I found out I could be effective. I found out that there was not this rush to get me out of town. Yeah, a few had lopped off my head and rolled it right down the street. But a good many weren't doing that. A good many were calling saying, 'you come back, you do your job Larry.' Was I going to then throw 27 years of work for Idaho out the window? Remember, this seniority that I hold is not mine - it belongs to Idaho. Idaho earned it through the work I've done there, and all those things weighed very heavily on my mind. I talked to the governor, I kept all of the delegation totally informed about the decision process I was in, and that I had not made a final decision as to whether I would resign or stay in office. So, I would hope that Idahoans hearing this would give me a little leeway after 27 years of dedicated work. I did change my mind, and it was based on the reality that I can stay there and work and complete the job for Idaho."