Auld Lang Resign: Topsy-Turvy Politics of '07

Nothing, of course, topped the August news of Craig, who pleaded guilty to a lewd conduct charge -- a plea he would later try to overturn -- following his June arrest.

The bizarre case pitted Craig versus his home state paper, the Idaho Statesmen, and led to the senator's announcement that he would resign at the end of September. Soon, though, Craig regretted that pledge, returned to Capitol Hill and insisted he would serve out the remainder of his term but not run for re-election in 2008.

Craig is one of many Republican senators who have stated their intention to leave Congress, including Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss., Sen. John Warner, R-Va., Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., and Sen. Pete Dominici, D-N.M.

There were also a number of prominent retirements in the House including former Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., all of which increase the Democrats' odds of holding on to at least their thin majority in Congress.

"It's not that unusual for people who end up in the minority to say, 'Shoot I don't like this anymore; it's much more fun in the majority.' So that's what you're getting," Roberts said. "That will have a big impact on the next election."

World War III

The year 2007 was also the year first lady Laura Bush seemed to find her foreign policy voice. After years of playing it safe, she weighed in on world affairs, deploring Burma's crackdown on an uprising by religious monks.

If the first lady found her voice on foreign policy, President Bush turned up the volume on his, raising the rhetoric against Iran.

In October the president warned publicly about a World War III if Iran didn't cease their weapons program.

"I've told people that if you're interested in avoiding World War III, it seems like you ought to be interested in preventing them [Iran[ from having the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon," he said.

However in December, the National Intelligence Report revealed U.S. intelligence agencies believed Iran's nuclear weapons program had been halted in 2003.

Reporters noted Bush continued to raise questions about Iran, even though White House Press Secretary Dana Perino said the president was told in August that Iran had halted its weapons program years ago.

Just days before the release of the report, Bush had convened an international conference in Annapolis to restart peace talks in the Middle East.

While the 24-hour meeting was billed as a conference to boost Israeli-Palestinian relations, in many ways the uninvited guests, most notably Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, garnered more attention from the meeting.

Ahmadinejad condemned the conference as a failure, using strong language to suggest that Israel will collapse. However, one major diplomatic development did emerge from Annapolis.

Bush announced that in January he would make his first visit to Israel as president.

White House Exodus

The year 2007 included a second-term staff exodus from the White House, prompting White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten to tell staffers in September that if they stayed past Labor Day he would expect them to stay until the end of the president's term.

Bush's longtime political aide Karl Rove left the White House, as did White House Press Secretary Tony Snow.

The goodbye list also includes terrorism adviser Fran Townsend, senior adviser Dan Bartlett, legislative affairs director Candida Wolff and embattled Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

The president got some good news in 2007 -- he'll be welcoming a new member of the family in 2008.

Jenna Bush, announced her engagement to longtime boyfriend Henry Hager, though the Bushes continue to play coy on whether there will be a White House wedding.

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