Republican Minority Whip Trent Lott is quitting the Senate—but he's probably not leaving Washington or politics for very long. The timing of Lott's departure suggests he is planning a lucrative career as a lobbyist, reports MSNBC. A resignation in 2008 would have required a two-year "timeout" before Lott could legally work as a lobbyist.
Lott's departure before new regulations take effect means he'll have to take off only a year, and could lobby former colleagues in 2009, a crucial time in negotiations over a new tax bill. A director of a major tax lobbying firm described Lott as "one of the most astute observers of how the place works.” Lott told reporters: "That’s what I do. I count votes for a living.”