BREAKING: Trent Lott to Resign Before the End of 2007
Mississippi: This is just breaking within the last hour. Republican Senator Trent Lott of Mississippi will resign before the end of 2007. CNN cites as the reason: "Lott intends to join the private sector." But can't Lott serve out his term and then "join the private sector"? What gives? MSNBC pins it down:
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.The K Street Gravy Train. Makes sense as reports are saying that there are no health issues, and there are also no new scandals (that we know of). And this must not have been a decision made as of the beginning of 2007, as Trent Lott stepped up to and beat Lamar Alexander for the Republican Whip spot (which dealt a bit of an embarrassment to Alexander). So, as Jerome says, Lott's "gettin while the gettin's still good." The Politico nails down expectations for an appointment and subsequent 2008 Senate race:
Rep. Chip Pickering (R-Miss.), who announced his retirement from the House earlier this year, would be a leading candidate for the Senate seat in the special election. One official said Pickering will run for sure. Another possible GOP contender for the seat would be Rep. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) Remember that, only about two weeks ago, Mississippi's other Senator, Republican Thad Cochran, announced that he would run for re-election in 2008, diminishing expectations that popular former state Attorney General Mike Moore would enter the race. Well, this announcement makes for a whole new ballgame. Expect developments and announcements (including something official from Lott himself) in the coming hours and days.
On the Democratic side, former Mississippi Attorney General Mike Moore has been mentioned as a strong statewide candidate in an otherwise heavily Republican state.