Trent Lott to Quit Senate
How odd that Senator Trent Lott, who seemed poised to reclaim the Minority Leadership (someday soon), is resigning. His excuse is he wants to pursue other avenues (read: make more money). Hurricane Katrina, you'll remember, totalled his house.
Lott famously was bounced as Senate Majority Leader by Bush for making a racially insensitive joke (that ultimately revealed a racially insensitive past), but has since worked quite hard to make it up to African-American constituents in Mississippi. From the salmon-colored weekly:
"Trent Lott's abrupt decision to resign from the Senate is baffling, but -- unlike some of the other G.O.P. retirement announcements this year -- it won't offer Democrats a chance to bolster their majority.
"His maneuver actually maximizes the odds, which are strong in the first place, of his party holding onto the seat. By quitting now, Lott allows Haley Barbour, Mississippi's Republican Governor and the former G.O.P. national chairman, to choose an interim successor -- presumably Chip Pickering, a 44-year-old congressman who has eyed Lott's seat for years and who earlier this year declined to seek a seventh term in 2008 (presumably figuring Lott would be sticking around for a while).''