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Friday, December 16, 2005

Ain't Goin' Nowhere Just Yet

Trent Lott makes noises about running for his old leadership position, according to a subscribers-only Breaking News Alert from The Hill:

If Lott were to retain his old post, it would be regarded as one of the most dramatic political comebacks since Richard Nixon recovered from his loss in the California governor race in 1962.

"There are a lot of problems in here," Lott said motioning toward the Senate chamber as he stood outside it. McConnell is expected to succeed Frist, and his ally Sen. Robert Bennett (R-Utah), the chief deputy majority whip, has said that McConnell has locked up over 40 of the 55 Senate Republican votes. [...]

[...]"I want to keep it dangling out there to keep everyone uneasy," Lott said of his plans to run for leadership should he not retire.

As for the difficult prospects of defeating McConnell, Lott said that senators "reconsider their positions" and that others "flat out lie," referring to lawmakers who may promise to vote for a leadership candidate and later switch their votes.

Lott said that he got elected whip in 1994 by challenging Republican Whip Al Simpson (R-Wyo.), despite heavy lobbying from then Majority Leader Bob Dole (R-Kan.), who "did everything to keep me from winning." Lott won the whip post 27-26 thanks to the backing of younger conservatives elected to the Senate in 1992 and 1994.
Not sure that sounds like a man fixin' to retire. No matter how he qualifies the statement. Unless he really is just trying to sow unease and discontent among the Republican leadership. Either way, should be interesting to watch.

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