I missed the latest episode of the Larry Craig reality show because of a more important prior commitment — I spent a long weekend touring college campuses with my high school senior.
These days, however, there's no getting away from the Craig story. Everywhere, it seems, are reminders of just how embarrassing this saga is for Craig and for his state. That's even the case at the campus of the University of Idaho, where a young Larry Craig once served as student body president.
On Friday morning — a day after a Minneapolis judge refused to rescind Craig's guilty plea on a disorderly conduct charge — Craig was the topic of conversation at Moscow's one and only Starbucks. One person quipped that Craig intends to say in the Senate no matter how many men's rooms he visits.
During the campus tour, the U of I bragged on a list of famous Vandal alums. Former U.S. Sen. Jim McClure got a well-deserved mention. Appropriately enough, so did Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne. So did the actor who provides the voice of Patrick the starfish on "SpongeBob SquarePants."
No mention of Craig. Perhaps an oversight, but I wouldn't bet any college savings on it. Perhaps, if you're going to get a few laughs when mentioning an alum, it's safer to stick with the voice of a dull-witted cartoon starfish.
Craig probably doesn't care much about where he stacks up next to Patrick the starfish. He most certainly does care about how he measures against McClure, the man he succeeded in the Senate 16 years ago.
McClure remains a palpable and revered presence on the U of I campus. He has an impressive hall named in his honor. At the U of I bookstore, copies of the new biography "McClure of Idaho" enjoy a prominent display, not far from replica football jerseys.
Meanwhile, I wonder how, years from now, Craig's 28-year congressional career will be remembered at his alma mater — and how Craig's actions of the past four months will tarnish that legacy.