On Wednesday, Idaho Senator Larry Craig's disorderly conduct case returns to a Minnesota courtroom; there, he is attempting to withdraw his plea of guilty, and service of his sentence, on the charge. Within a few days, the Northwest's senior senator (and its second most senior member of Congress) may - or may not - resign from the Senate. This the last of four essays considering the case, its causes and its effects.
Senator Larry Craig has said he probably will resign after a court hearing on September 26, Wednesday, but by September 30, which is next Sunday; if he does what he and his spokesmen have said is probable, then you could imagine a formal announcement coming on Thursday or Friday, with resignation to take effect two days later. Shortly thereafter, within two or three days we imagine, Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter would appoint a replacement. (On Friday, maybe, if Craig announced on Thursday; but probably on a weekday, and we'd guess not on the same day.)
There's been no end of talk in Boise about who Otter might appoint, and a very long list of possibles - somewhere around 30 names, the last time we counted - has been released. The focus has been on Lieutenant Governor Jim Risch, who is broadly considered the single most likely prospect. When conversation moves (as it often does) to, "Well, what if it's not Risch?", then the name of Attorney General Lawrence Wasden tends to arise. And then, after that, a broader list.
We'll get to some of that in this post. Before we do, we thought we'd discuss for a bit a question hardly posed at all in any public venue: What qualities or qualifications should the next senator from Idaho have?