Won’t be missed.
I actually heard something about this a couple of weeks ago at a convention—thought about sending Alan an e-mail, but it struck me as an odd rumor.
Anyway, one of our DC lobbyists asked me if I had heard anything about Lott resigning. She told me she had heard from several “insiders” that Lott would resign before the end of the year so that he and John Breaux (of Louisiana) could open up a lobbying firm in DC.
I found the notion of him and Breaux opening their own shop plausible, but not the notion of him leaving before his term was up.
Don’t know if that is the REAL reason, but I now give my original source a whole lot more credit than I did when I saw her 2 weeks ago.
The timing of Lott’s actual departure from office is important. A reader notes: “If the Miss. GOP Gov appoints a replacement (probably Pickering) in 90 days there will not be time for the Dems to effectively insert Moore in the 2008 elections in November (former corrupt AG also involved in the Scruggs trials). Otherwise, if the appointment is on Jan. 1st then the person will be in the Senate til the general election in 2008. Otherwise, after the 90 day election appointment the person would finish ole Trent’s appointment til 2012.”
Also this from another Yall Politics commenter:
If his resignation is effective Dec. 31, the vacancy will occur in 2007, not 2008. That puts the special election in the 90-day requirement, not the 2008 general. No primary. No interime appointment.
If the resignation is effective Jan. 1, then what Barbour wants to do with an interim appointment and an election in Nov. 2008 (reported on the C-L and linked by Mississippi Man) CAN happen. But then Lott goes under that new “no lobbying for 2 years” deal. That’s why he chose Dec. 31.
It’s a pretty short turn-around. Who currently has the network and money to put together a decent run in a no-primary free-for-all that will be settled before the 2008 Mississippi Legislature is out of session?
Update 12:03pm Eastern. Lott speaks: “It’s been really a great honor representing the people of Mississippi…a wild ride, but a very enjoyable one and that I’m proud of…I still feel strongly about fiscal responsibility (editor’s note: snort)…[Describes family gathering at Thanksgiving]…We do think there is time left for us to do something else…I will be retiring from the Senate by the end of the year…” Says his health is good…”I like being a Happy Warrior…no problems, no malice, no anger…I don’t know what the future holds for us. A lot of options will hopefully be available…” Mentions teaching and music and jokes about coaching at Ole Miss. Says there needs to be someone younger, fresh blood…
(I’ll second that.)
Q&A: Likens himself to a live oak tree. Admits he’s “made mistakes.” “I loved being whip.” Hillary Clinton and Pat Leahy have called sending well wishes. He’s “opening the door for a younger person, prayed a lot about it, feels good about the decision.”
Update 10:49am Eastern. Press conference will be held in Pascagoula at the top of the hour; another one is schedule in Jackson at 3pm Eastern. The Biloxi Sun-Herald reports that “speculation [about his exit] is centering on a possible academic posting.” Still doesn’t smell right.
Hope you all had a good Thanksgiving. We start off our Monday morning with a nice, big DLTDHYOTWO. The Politico reports that Trent (Vacant) Lott–you know, the goat-talking, anti-porkbusting Republican leader who thinks conservative talk radio is a “problem” –is going to resign by year’s end.
See ya. Buh-bye. DLTDHYOTWO (Don’t Let The Door Hit You On The Way Out)!
Hmmm. Wonder what’s going on:
Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.) plans to resign his seat by year’s end, a senior Republican official told Politico.
The announcement took Capitol Hill by surprise because Lott, the former majority leader, seemed to be relishing his job as minority whip, the second-ranking GOP leadership job. He had regained a post in leadership after he resigned following racially insensitive remarks at a birthday party for the late Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-S.C.).
Lott’s departure opens up a position within Republican leadership, and there could be a fight to replace him. Lamar Alexander, who ran for the position last year, would be a natural candidate, but there are plenty of GOP up-and-comers who could compete for the slot, including Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), and Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), who are part of the current leadership team and could be looking for a promotion to the no. 2 spot in the hierarchy…
…A Republican adviser close to Lott said: “He’s ready to move on. It’s that simple.
Not buying it.
Inveterate Beltway creatures who love the pomp and power of their office do not just decide they are “ready to move on.”
Is there another GOP Maalox moment in the works?
USAT says they’ll be two press conferences today announcing the decision.
MSNBC seems to think this has something to do with lobbying restrictions:
While the exactly reason Lott is stepping down before he finishes his term is unknown, the general speculation is that a quick departure immunizes Lott against tougher restrictions in a new lobbying law that takes effect at the end of the year. That law would require Senators to wait two-years before entering the lucrative world of lobbying Congress.
AP quotes officials referring to Lott’s “other opportunities:”
No reason for Lott’s resignation was given, but according to a congressional official, there is nothing amiss with Lott’s health. The senator has “other opportunities” he plans to pursue, the official said, without elaborating. Lott was re-elected to a fourth Senate term in 2006.
Glenn Reynolds: “He will not be missed.”
Allah starts the conversation about Lott’s replacement.
JWF: “Maybe he plans to do his barbershop quartet routine full-time.”
Flashback II: Reader L. points to this WSJ op-ed on Lott’s rage and political revenge campaign against insurers with his brother-in-law, infamous legal kingpin Dickie Scruggs.