My Word for July 10, 2001

Yesterday, after I said Gary Condit should give the keys to his apartment to the police so they could do a full forensic search, he did just that.

I am not taking credit.

Inviting the cops to search his apartment is just the smart thing for an innocent man to do. Unfortunately, it's also the smart thing for a guilty man to do if he has had time to clear the apartment of anything incriminating.

Look ... I don't know that Gary Condit had anything to do with Chandra Levy's disappearance. It may have been a stranger. It may have been someone she knows other than Condit. It may have been herself. The best scenario for the Levy family is that she's sitting in a cabin in Alaska with a year's worth of food watching this circus on satellite TV.

I hope so. But, Condit has to remain under a cloud because he had an intimate relationship with her, and because he lied about it.

Those facts don't make Chandra Levy the victim of murder, and they don't' make Condit a perp. They just make him suspicious.

Condit's problem is that even if he didn't have anything to do with the disappearance of Chandra, it is now admitted fact he is guilty of the sex-with-the-intern offense.

So he's guilty right now in a way that might lose him an election, and the question is: Should he hang in, or quit?

Washington D.C. is full of former congressmen who were run out of office for one disgrace or another. Remember Bob Packwood? A lot of them stay in Washington, working as lobbyists, using the contacts and the power they amassed while members of Congress.

Condit should think about it. Chances are very good the scandal he's created will weigh down his attempt to be re elected.

Maybe O'Reilly's right. It might be time to resign and get into that lobbyist business.

After all, for Condit, one big benefit would be that nobody ever chases a lobbyist around asking about his girlfriends.

That might be Condit's best outcome ... if ... if... if... he is not facing what we call criminal jeopardy in the disappearance of Chandra Levy.

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