The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Politics

January 5, 2013

Crapo's DUI plea could tarnish clean image

(Continued)

Crapo immediately tried to put such concerns to rest. "I have recently made personal choices that are at odds with who I am, who Idahoans rightly believe me to be and who I strive to be," Crapo said Friday in front of more than a dozen reporters, cameramen and photographers in a courtyard outside the courthouse.

In his long, blanket apology, he asked the forgiveness of voters, who he said justly held him to a higher standard. Then he got specific. "In recent months, and for less than a year, I have on occasion had alcoholic drinks in my apartment. It was a poor choice to use alcohol to relieve stress — and one at odds with my personally held religious beliefs." He declined to elaborate on the source of the stress and added that he hopped into the car because he had been "restless and could not sleep." ("I was alone during this drive and never left my vehicle," he clarified.)

Unlike the lewd-conduct arrest of Crapo's former Idaho colleague, Larry Craig, the drunk driving incident is unlikely to have an impact on Crapo's reputation in the Senate, a chamber that is not particularly judgemental about the consumption of alcoholic beverages.

"His colleagues will probably view him with a certain degree of sympathy," said Jennifer Duffy, a Senate analyst at the Cook Political Report. "But this is not likely to impact his relationship with them in any negative way."

Crapo had reached out to several Republican colleagues, who said they were surprised at his arrest but expressed their support.

"He is thoroughly hurt by his own actions and feels tremendously sad that he allowed this to happen," said Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, a fellow Mormon and good friend. "Even his wife can't understand why it happened."

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