Trent Lott

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Why the Senate Needs Seersucker Thursday

Dana Milbank links the death of bipartisanship to the death of fun

(Newser) - Last Thursday, something tragic happened: The Senate cancelled Seersucker Thursday. Senate leaders thought the tradition, begun by Trent Lott in the '90s, of wearing the light pajama-esque suits and perhaps hitting up the dairy lobby's ice cream truck, would send the wrong message given the weighty issues of... More »

GOP Feuds Over Senate Losses

DeMint's tactics cost party a majority, senators complain

(Newser) - While their counterparts in the House are celebrating a historic win, Senate Republicans are pointing fingers over their failure to recapture the chamber. Some prominent senators and party operatives blame Sarah Palin and South Carolina's Jim DeMint for helping candidates too conservative to win gain the GOP nominations in Colorado,... More »

Flip-Flopping Steele Backed Lott in '02

RNC chair didn't call for resignation over racial comments

(Newser) - If Michael Steele truly thinks Harry Reid’s current situation is similar to Trent Lott’s, he should be pushing for Reid to stay as Senate majority leader. But since he’s not, he’s flip-flopping, Mike Allen writes in Politico . In 2002, Maryland's newly elected lieutenant governor weighed in... More »

Reid Won't Be Ousted Over 'Negro' Remark

GOP critics are conducting a partisan witchhunt, advisers say

(Newser) - Harry Reid won’t heed Republican calls to step down as majority leader following the revelation that he used some decidedly politically incorrect language to talk about Barack Obama. Reid feels he’s shored up support on the left, senior advisers tell Politico , meaning he can depict the attack launched... More »

It's Not Reid Who Needs to Apologize—It's Steele

Comparing majority leader to Trent Lott is offensive

(Newser) - OK, using the term Negro was seriously last century, writes Sandy Banks, but Harry Reid didn't say anything bigoted or anything African Americans don't know to be true when he essentially said if "you're black, it is easier in this country to be light-skinned." He apologized for offending... More »

RNC's Steele to Reid: Step Down

Romer on Wall Street bonuses: 'For heaven's sake, people'

(Newser) - Harry Reid has put his foot squarely in his mouth with quotes about President Obama's lack of "Negro dialect," and Michael Steele would like him to take it out long enough to say, "I quit." "Remember this is a leader who only a few weeks... More »

Senate Seats Most Likely to Flip (Only 1 to GOP)

New Dems from VA, NM, CO likely

(Newser) - The GOP's best case-scenario sees the party losing only three Senate seats this fall. Washington Post blogger Chris Cillizza runs down the races most likely to flip a vote:
  1. Mississippi: Trent Lott replacement Roger Wicker has never been elected statewide, and Barack Obama's coattails should draw in the large black
... More »

Democrat Nabs Unlikely Miss. House Seat

Upset victory in deep red district sends panic through GOP

(Newser) - Democrats scored a shocking upset last night, nabbing a House seat in a deeply conservative Mississippi district. Democrat Travis Childers prevailed 54% to 46% in the special election, Politico reports, soundly overcoming a nearly $2 million GOP campaign. Coming from a county that threw Bush 62% of its support in... More »

In Surprising Turn, Scruggs Pleads Guilty

Famed Miss. lawyer may serve 5 years in bribery case

(Newser) - Dickie Scruggs, one of the nation's top class-action attorneys, entered a surprise guilty plea today in Jackson, Miss., to charges of conspiracy to bribe a judge, the Clarion-Ledger reports. Federal prosecutors said they would recommend 5 years in prison for Scruggs, who also faces a $250,000 fine. He pleaded... More »

Wicker Will Step Into Lott's Shoes

Mississippi governor picks conservative Republican

(Newser) - Mississippi's governor has chosen Rep. Roger Wicker, a conservative Republican, to take Trent Lott's vacant seat in the US Senate until a special election can be called, the Jackson Clarion-Ledger reports. After 35 years, Lott quit this month, a year into his 6-year term. The timing of the special election... More »

Oregon Senator Raises Hackles With Lott Praise

Smith calls seeming pro-segregation remarks 'misconstrued'

(Newser) - Oregon Sen. Gordon Smith is in the doghouse after defending Trent Lott’s infamous 2002 speech waxing nostalgic on Strom Thurmond’s 1948 presidential run. A key Democratic target in 2008, Smith said yesterday that Lott was “misconstrued” as segregationist when suggesting that, had there been a Thurmond administration,... More »

Lott Cashes in Chips

Former minority leader quits 5 years before his term ends

(Newser) - Minority whip Trent Lott retired from the Senate last night, five years before his term’s end. He revealed his departure 16 minutes before the chamber’s 12:05 a.m. closing. The 35-year Congressional career ended with “characteristic flair,” the AP reports—Lott quoting his high school... More »

Storied Miss. Lawyer Indicted, Still Partying

Town rallies around high-profile Grisham pal accused of bribery

(Newser) - As he greeted party guests, Richard “Dickie” Scruggs—the trial lawyer famous for taking down Big Tobacco and taking on Katrina insurance companies—didn’t look like someone who had just been indicted. And though prosecutors say he conspired to bribe the judge in his latest case, Oxford, Miss.... More »

Rumors Roil Around Lott Resignation

Could the senator's hasty exit be tied to Dickie Scruggs?

(Newser) - There’s been much conjecture about why Trent Lott resigned five years before his term’s end—boredom, bitterness, eagerness to cash in on K Street—but now bloggers on both sides of the aisle are wondering whether a scandal involving his brother-in-law, Dickie Scruggs, might be behind the surprise... More »

Katrina Lawyer Indicted in Bribe

Dickie Scruggs, others accused of trying to steer legal fees

(Newser) - Trent Lott's brother-in-law Richard "Dickie" Scruggs has been indicted on bribery charges for allegedly offering cash to a judge to steer legal fees in a Katrina insurance case, reports the New York Times. Four other attorneys, including Scruggs' son, also face charges. Scruggs is best known for winning a... More »

Kyl Set to Replace Lott as GOP No. 2

Ariz. senator has clear path to becoming minority whip as leadership shuffles

(Newser) - Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl is almost certain to become Republican minority whip, the Hill reports, filling an opening created by the retirement of Trent Lott. Kyl apparently won't be opposed, with other GOP senators instead contesting lower leadership roles. Tennessee's Lamar Alexander, who some thought would try for whip, will... More »

Lott Likely to Snare Lobby Job

Timing of departure suggests he'll return as lobbyist

(Newser) - 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... More »

Trent Lott to Resign

Senate's No. 2 Republican said to be stepping down before year's end

(Newser) - Trent Lott, the Senate's second-highest-ranking Republican, is resigning before the end of the year, the AP has learned. He will announce the decision later today in his home state of Mississippi. The reason for the resignation is unknown. There is nothing wrong with Lott’s health, a congressional official confirmed,... More »

Congress Overrides Bush Veto

Senate votes 79-14 to pass water resources bill, following House

(Newser) - President Bush was handed the first veto override of his two terms today as the Senate voted 79-14 to pass a $23-billion water-resources bill over his objections that it constituted "irresponsible spending." Thirty-four Republicans defied the president to vote for the bill; the House had voted 361-54 in... More »

Craig to Stay in Senate 'for Now'

GOP leaders react grimly as Craig prolongs the effort to retract his guilty plea

(Newser) - GOP leaders listened in icy silence as Larry Craig vowed today to stay a senator while trying to change his guilty plea, the AP reports. A Minnesota judge says he will decide the matter sometime next month. "Today was a major step in the legal effort to clear my... More »

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