Yesterday's rebuff of Craig's bid to have his guilty plea reversed had been seen as the trigger for his resignation. But it may have gained him the extra time he needs to fight on, as he alluded to in his post-ruling statement. If his plea would have been revoked and reversed, Craig would then be exposed to a trial that would rehash the entire incident. Now, he can continue to "explore" his "additional legal options" while his fellow Republicans are put into a position of ratcheting up the pressure with public ethics hearings or letting Craig continue on.
A resignation is what GOP leaders sought to put the incident behind them. Now that it appears unlikely, they'll have to calculate the potential further damage that may be incurred by the spectacle of going after one of their own. Perhaps Craig decided to call the bluff. In many ways, the damage has been done. The bathroom humor, pardon the pun, would remain whether Craig does or not. Do Republicans want to keep the story on front-pages with public hearings?
Wearing The Flag: CBSNews.com's David Miller looks at the latest flag flap: On Thursday the AP noted that Barack Obama doesn't wear the American flag lapel pin that became a must-have accessory in Washington after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. According to the report, Obama told KCRG-TV in Cedar Rapids, Iowa that he prefers to express his patriotism through his ideas rather than through a pin.
Is Obama taking a risky stand? Maybe not so much. The flag pin doesn't seem to be a required accessory on the campaign trail for candidates like Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, Mitt Romney and John McCain. None of them were seen sporting the stars and stripes at the last debates they attended, and photos of other recent public appearances show bare lapels as well, although reports suggest they do at times and all are surrounded by American flags at many of their speeches.
The lone exception when it comes to wearing the symbol among the top-tier candidates is the Republican front-runner, Rudy Giuliani. Whether in a suit or a tuxedo, Giuliani doesn't seem to go out in public without the lapel pin -- apparently, America's flag is a popular choice with America's Mayor.
Obama's Iowa Surprise? CBSNews.com's Brian Montopoli yesterday looked at the hurdles Barack Obama has to overcome in Iowa if he's going to get his "hidden vote" out to the caucuses next January. The AP today reports that Obama has a three-pronged strategy to win in Iowa: "Keep Clinton's support down"; "Keep Edwards from surging ahead"; "Continue building Obama's support among both traditional and
nontraditional voters." Or, better stated: Get more people to show up than anyone else.
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