Path to Power
Notwithstanding a detour to the East Coast for Harvard Law School, a clerkship at the liberal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, and a short stint practicing law in San Diego, Crapo is heartland born and bred. Raised a practicing Mormon in Idaho Falls, Id., educated at Brigham Young University, and ordained a bishop in the Church at the age of 31, the quiet senator enjoys hunting and returns home to his wife and five children in Idaho almost every weekend.
But the senator wasn't supposed to be the political success story of his family. Crapo's older brother Terry seemed to be the one headed for Washington D.C., rising as high as leader of Idaho state assembly. Soon after inviting Mike to join his law practice in 1981 in their hometown, Terry succumbed to cancer, which Crapo says prompted him to run for state Senate himself three years later.
Crapo has a long and reliably conservative record of favoring tax and spending cuts and opposing abortion rights and gun control.Crapo opposed the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1993, but has since voiced support for trade deals that would open markets for Idaho's agricultural products abroad. The Republican supported the war in Iraq and brushed aside allegations of mistreatment of detainees at Guantanamo Bay.
He voted with his party 89.8 percent of the time in the 111th Congress.
Crapo has a close relationship with his now-junior colleague in the Senate, Jim Risch (R-Idaho), who mentored the Idaho delegation's senior member when they were both in the state legislature in the 1980s.
Crapo has also worked across the aisle with Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) on rural health-care issues, and Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) on environment and health-care legislation.