November 26th, 2007
08:45 AM ET
15 years ago

Sources: Lott to resign by year's end

Trent Lott, R-Mississippi, is serving in his fourth term in the U.S. Senate.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. Trent Lott, R-Mississippi, intends to resign by the end of the year and join the private sector, sources tell CNN.

Lott is set to reveal his plans at a 12 p.m. ET news conference in Pascagoula and a 4 p.m. ET news conference in Jackson.

Lott decided to run for a fourth Senate term in 2006 for reasons including representing Mississippi and the Gulf Coast region in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

He now feels he's laid the groundwork in Washington to make sure the region is looked after, according to a source familiar with his announcement.

A senior Republican source close to Lott said one reason for the decision
is the new lobbying restrictions on former lawmakers.

A new law kicks in on January 1, forbidding lawmakers from lobbying for two years after leaving office. Those who leave by the end of 2007 are covered by the previous law, which demands a wait of only one year.

Mississippi's GOP Gov. Haley Barbour will appoint a temporary replacement, who will serve through 2008. A special election will then be held to determine who will serve the remainder of Lott's term.

Reps. Chip Pickering and Roger Wicker are the leading candidates to succeed Lott. But the talk is that Pickering, who announced earlier this year he intends to leave Congress, would turn down the job.

Lott is the Republican Whip in the Senate and his resignation will bring to an end more than three decades in Congress.

Lott won a House seat in 1972 and was elected to the Senate in 1988. He's currently in his fourth term.

He is the first person to be elected whip in both the House and Senate.

Full story

- CNN's John King, Mark Preston, and Dana Bash

Filed under: Uncategorized
soundoff (83 Responses)
  1. Michael Sheridan, Grand Rapids, MI

    As one of the new generation Republicans (social liberal and fiscal conservative) – I am happy to see the fringe of our party drying up – Democrats – you are now embracing the left wing…they have defined your party – maybe its time to look to the middle…moderate Republicans believe the same as moderate Democrats….and….there is only one moderate running in either party – Giuliani….social liberal – fiscal conservative (can you say the same about any of the other candidates…in either party??)
    Posted By Chris, Middletown, CT : November 26, 2007 9:06 am

    I'm assuming you're embracing the "fiscal conservatism = tax cuts" equation that the GOP have been selling for years. The Republicans can't claim to be "fiscally conservative" until they start paying off some of the mountain of debt they racked up during the Reagan and Bush administrations.

    As for the Republicans becoming a party of "social liberalism" – let me know when Dobson, Robertson and Perkins don't have their rings kissed by every GOP candidate seeking their endorsement, and maybe I'll believe you.

    If you're truly socially "liberal" and fiscally "conservative", I can't for the life of me figure out why you would want to be a member of the current Republican party.

    November 26, 2007 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  2. maurice Nashville, TN

    Good Riddance..... Please Leave NOW!!!!!!!

    November 26, 2007 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  3. Chris, Pensacola FL

    Chris, Middletown, CT

    I can actually. The candidate is Ron Paul. The beauty about Paul is that his values are NOT socially moderate (which should appeal to the religions), but his policies ARE socially moderate (which should appeal to the more liberal). Paul is MUCH MUCH MUCH MUCH MUCH MUCH MUCH MUCH...MUCH more fiscal responsible than Rudy is too.

    November 26, 2007 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  4. Wayne, Greenville TX

    It seems that Trent Lott's racist views go back long before his comments at Strom Thurmond's birthday, or his speeches at CCC functions. Through Google, I found the following in CNN's archives:

    The Pascagoula in which Trent Lott grew up was settled by immigrants from France, Spain, Italy, Lebanon and Yugoslavia. But in Lott's youth, as now, blacks numbered only about 18% of the area's population, and whites didn't feel as threatened as they did in the black-majority counties of the Mississippi Delta. While most neighborhoods were segregated, the largest black precinct was smack in the middle of town, and the races mixed easily on the streets and in factories, where jobs were usually available to all. Lott recalls that "race just wasn't that big an issue for me growing up."

    That situation changed dramatically when Lott attended the University of Mississippi. He arrived in 1959 and had become the leader of the interfraternity council by September 1962, when armed federal marshals arrived to install James Meredith as the university's first black student. Lott was not among the rioters who resisted the marshals or among the smaller group of students who favored integration. His main concern, he said, was keeping his fraternity brothers away from the violence. In a 1997 interview with Time, Lott said, "Yes, you could say I favored segregation then. I don't now."

    November 26, 2007 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  5. atlanta,GA

    Good Riddance...

    November 26, 2007 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  6. Allen, Redlands CA

    It's a pretty sad comment on American politics today that someone in such a high and powerful position as United States Senator would have to quit and become a lobbyist in order to preserve, or even increase his position of power. This tells me that the most powerful positions in Washington are not with our elected officials, but with the moneyed lobbyists.

    November 26, 2007 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  7. Daniel, NY

    This is truly incredible news. Even with a replacement, this is another huge headache for the GOP... and check out these race-by-race detailed Senate rankings to see just how much behind the Republicans already are.

    November 26, 2007 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  8. Daniel, NY

    is is truly incredible news. Even with a replacement, this is another huge headache for the GOP... and check out these race-by-race detailed Senate rankings to see just how much behind the Republicans already are.

    November 26, 2007 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  9. Bob, Roxboro, NC

    So much for the committment to our country these self serving weasles have.
    Why do these jerks run for office if they have no intention of completing their term? Don't get me wrong, I don't think much of Trent Lott and even less now. Thanks Trent, for playing your stupid games while the rest of us deal with the expense and disruption surrounding your hijinks.

    November 26, 2007 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  10. Bradley Schaubs, Greeley, CO

    Good riddance!

    And to all Republicans who support this wicked man, I say to you: you are truly lost souls. You're hopeless.

    November 26, 2007 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  11. Michael Sheridan, Grand Rapids, MI

    And for the last time – it's the "DemocratIC" Party – NOT the "Democrat" party. I refuse to sit idly by while people thoughtlessly us that stupid phrase in an attempt to attack us Democrats. It shows me that you're letting people like Limbaugh and Hannity do your thinking for you.
    Posted By Wayne, Greenville TX : November 26, 2007 10:12 am

    I've taken to using the term "Publican Party" when talking to any dittohead or Bush "dead-ender" who insists on the childish "Democrat Party" usage. "Publican" is a something of a dirty word in Biblical meaning – publicans in Roman times were tax collectors and (probably overpaid) government contractors.

    And it's a polite enough term that it will survive comment moderation – where more accurately descriptive vernacular words beginning with letters like "A" probably won't.

    November 26, 2007 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  12. summus

    $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$Greed$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$I hope Barbor can find another greedy Mississippian to fill the spot

    November 26, 2007 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  13. Ivan, Chicago, Illinois

    Most of the members of the Senate are millionairs, and without knowing if Lott is amoung them,I am still willing to wager that 90 per cent of the American people would financially trade places with him.
    For Lott to leave the Senate to get around a law the Senate passed is reprehensible and if Lott voted for that law even more so.

    November 26, 2007 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  14. SteveG, Huntignton, WV

    I can tell you all Robert Byrd is not going anywhere anytime soon. As long as he lives and is healthy to stay in the Senate he has said he will and guess what West Virginia will keep electing him so you all can shut-up about him being KKK and leaving because simply he is not going anywhere anytime soon! HAHA!

    November 26, 2007 11:37 am at 11:37 am |


    November 26, 2007 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  16. Bubba, Swainsboro GA

    "You drug-infested morons will batten down the hatches come 2009, because that's when the REAL fun starts in this country. "

    Sure, that's when you guys are going to explode the fertilizer bombs. I've heard it all before. And the income tax is illegal. Boo hoo.

    November 26, 2007 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  17. Walt, Belton, TX

    I'm happy with the one we have on the party logo. At least ours doesn't prance around on aircraft carriers in pilot drag declaring "mission accomplished" prematurely.

    Posted By Michael Sheridan, Grand Rapids, MI : November 26, 2007 11:14 am

    I was thinking cartoon characters, by if you care to personalize, I'll just say Ted Kennedy and leave it at that.

    November 26, 2007 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  18. Ken, Suitland MD

    To: Michael Sheridan, Grand Rapids, MI
    Re: Your post of November 26, 2007 10:09 am

    Mr. have it RIGHT ON!!! You hit the nail on the head for Chris and other like-minded, dis-heartened repubs. Their party was hi-jacked by the far right, starting around 1980, and its been getting worse ever since.

    The problem has been that too many of these people who believe themselves to be conservative, or who just like to be labeled that way, have bought into the republican lie machine....and have ignored the facts in front of them. Up until a few yeasr ago, there was a 'split' gov't, and the "communistic/socialistic" dems could always be blamed for all the evils, despite the repubs. being in power too. Now after these few years of monolithic repub. rule, it is very much harder for that lie machine to confuse people as to just who messed up. The sorry thing is: who are the ~30% of Americans who actually think Bush has done a good job, and who are these people, like Chris, running around still trying to find cover in a repub. party that goes against their own self-interest and that clearly does the counrty great harm? This is like a child burning his hand on a stove, and then contuing to try to find excuses to go back and do it again. This kind of hyper-partisan, ignorant, even stupid behavior does not bode well for our country.

    The dems are not perfect, but at least with them in power we can get the public debate back on track....with a dose of input from a grounded rupub. right. But hopefully with only an amusing nod to the poor rightwing nutjobs who are still battling against the "Enlightnement".

    November 26, 2007 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  19. Alex, Dayton, NV

    Good. He's been a disgrace to Mississippi ever since he was elected. I remember growing up in MS, and most of the people I knew wouldn't trust a penny or a second to him. But he kept getting re-elected. Why? Because he paid enough money to the right people. That's all.

    November 26, 2007 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  20. Terry, El Paso, TX

    "... call Trent Lott a racist for some off-comment that was misconstrued. Let's [not] overlook the fact that Strom Thurman was a Democrat when he ran as a segregationist." – Juan, Fort Lauderdale, FL

    Southern Democrats were Conservatives before the late sixties because of loyalty to Franklin Roosevelt and the New Deal policies that provided employment, rural electrification, and many other benefits to the grandparents of today's Southern Republicans. Those grandparents remembered not Lincoln's conquest of the Confederacy but Herbert Hoover's indifference to their welfare during the first four years of the Great Depression, between 1929 and 1932, when FDR won 42 of 48 states, including the entire South. The solid South remained with the Democrats through Johnson's landslide election in 1964.

    When Lyndon Johnson campaigned in for Congress in Texas in the thirties, he said he had three planks in his platform: "Roosevelt, Roosevelt, and Roosevelt," and the poor farmers of Texas' Hill Country liked all three planks. No Democrat should be proud of FDR's tolerance of southern segregation, but he left a much better America to us after his 15 years as President and we embrace every good thing he did and cherish his memory.

    Harry Truman, who succeeded Roosevelt, said in 1947, "My forebears were Confederates. ... But my very stomach turned over when I had learned that Negro soldiers, just back from overseas, were being dumped out of Army trucks in Mississippi and beaten." Strom Thurmond, a Democrat found that his stomach was turned by Truman's attitude, so he switched to the Dixiecrat Party and promoted a return to segregationism.

    The FDR coalition of Northern Liberals and Southern Conservatives lasted until the Lyndon Johnson jammed two unacceptable laws down the Southern throat: Medicare, which integrated Southern hospitals and the Voting Rights Act which allowed Southern Blacks to vote. After the passge of those laws, Lyndon confided to an associate that (I'm paraphrasing) "I think that we have given the South to the Republican Party for the rest of my lifetime." but poor Lyndon didn't live long enough to see the South return to the Democratic Party.

    After that, Southern Democrats turned Republican in wholesale numbers. Nixon, in 1968 was very aware of segregationist dissatisfaction with the Great Society's accomplishments for poor Blacks, and he pioneered the Southern Strategy, allying himself pretty openly with segregationists by waving the flag of "States' Rights". Later, Ronald Reagan and then Newt Gingrich fine-tuned the strategy, building a truly unholy alliance of Southern Segregationists, economic Conservatives, and Evangelical Christians.

    No Liberal can be a Segregationist, but the door is open wide to all former Segregationists who are tired of low wages, no benefits, and crappy jobs.

    November 26, 2007 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  21. Richard, St. Paul, MN

    Another Republican rat leaving the sinking ship.... what a surprise. Will the last crook left in Washington please turn out the lights when you leave?

    November 26, 2007 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  22. HH, Pittsburgh, PA


    November 26, 2007 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  23. Trish, San Diego, cA

    GOOD RIDANCE!!! Don't let the doors hit you on your way out.

    November 26, 2007 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  24. Wayne, Greenville TX

    Excellent post, Terry. I believe that if a lot of Republicans out there really looked at what their party stood for (and how voting for Republicans works against people), they'd become Democrats.

    November 26, 2007 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  25. Mike, Milwaukee

    Dear. Sen. Lott, can you please take your buddy Mitch McConnell with you????

    November 26, 2007 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
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