Trent Lott, the former Senate Majority Leader who lost his job because he praised a fellow Senator who ran for President on a racist platform, now wants his leadership post back.
The Hill, a Capitol Hill newspaper, is reporting Lott has formally declared his candidacy for Minority Leader of the Senate.
Reports The Hill:
After keeping his plans close to the vest since Election Day, Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.) formally declared his bid for minority whip on Monday evening.
Lott had refrained from openly discussing his intentions for the whip race even after GOP Conference Chairman Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), who was next in line based on seniority, lost his reelection bid last week. Few on Capitol Hill would second-guess Lott’s prowess at backroom maneuvering, and his silence had given way to questions about whether a new feint was in the works.
Lott, however, has a lot of baggage the GOP doesn’t need as it tries to recover from the Election Day thrashing that cost the party the majority in both the House and Senate. His outright stupdity in heaping praise in 2002 on former Senator Strom Thurmond’s 1949 Presidential campaign, in which Thurmond openly supported segregation, exposed the latent racism that still lingers in the party.
Lott has a long history of racism. As Time Magazine reported on Dec. 12, 2002:
Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott helped lead a successful battle to prevent his college fraternity from admitting blacks to any of its chapters, in a little-known incident now four decades old. At a time when racial issues were roiling campuses across the South, some chapters of Sigma Nu fraternity in the Northeast were considering admitting African-American members, a move that would have sent a powerful statement through the tradition-bound world of sororities and fraternities. At the time, Lott was president of the intra-fraternity council at the University of Mississippi. When the issue came to a head at Sigma Nu’s national convention Ã¢â‚¬â€ known as a “Grand Chapter” Ã¢â‚¬â€ in the early 1960s, “Trent was one of the strongest leaders in resisting the integration of the national fraternity in any of the chapters,” recalls former CNN President Tom Johnson, then a Sigma Nu member at the University of Georgia.