The Craig Crisis Management Class

Posted: Oct 08, 2007 9:45 AM

Larry Craig has already given us so much that it hardly seems fair to extract more from him (after all, without Craig, the phrase "wide stance" may never have entered into popular culture).  

But if Craig is able to remain in the U.S. Senate -- which now is a distinct possibility -- he will have invented something much more useful for politicians and business leaders:  A new method of crisis management.

Think of it: A Republican U.S. Senator pleads guilty to lewd behavior in an airport bathroom ... and survives ...  Hard to belive, right? 

So how did he do it?  Here's how he has survived (so far) ...

When the scandal broke, the pressure on Craig to resign was intense.  And it's safe to say the media feeding frenzy would not have dissipated until he resigned.  So he did.  (Sort of.) 

And by giving the press the denoument they wanted, Craig actually took the air out of the story.  This bit of political jujitsu allowed the press to move on to the next big story, and bought Craig some time. 

Once the pressure subsided, Craig was then free to wiggle out of his promise.  (Of course, by then the press had already moved on to Britney Spears, and the outrage against Craig had calmed a bit.)

Whether it was intentional or not, Craig may have stumbled onto a new way to handle a media feeding frenzy.  The Craig 2-Step goes like this:

1.  Feed the beast.  Pledge to resign.  Say or do whatever it takes to stop the bleeding.  People have short attention spans and can't be outraged forever, so just get them off your back.  A month from now, they will be too busy to come back to an "old" story, anyway ... 
2.  Once the feeding frenzy ends, and the press moves on to a new victim, you are now free to change your mind. 

If Craig indeed survives, don't be surprised to see a few copy cats ...