In short, while the rest of the country voted to throw the bums out, Idahoans concentrated on tossing just one bum: Bill Sali. Dan Popkey, the Idaho Statesman political reporter who helped break the Craig scandal, wrote that some Idaho Republicans were celebrating not just over the races they won, but especially over the Sali race they lost. "I don't think Republicans wanted to see Bill Sali in Congress for life," an anonymous GOP source told Popkey. "Now was the time to take him out." Sali promptly went on talk radio to call Popkey "a horse's patoot."
Etymologists say the word patoot derives from potato. Over the years, Idaho has produced plenty of both. But without Larry Craig and Bill Sali to kick around, Famous Patoots will no longer be the state motto.