Sen. Trent Lott was just elected to the No. 2 spot in the GOP Senate leadership.
Remember: This is the guy who was driven out as Senate majority leader in 2002 for apparently praising Sen. Strom Thurmond’s racist, segregationist policies. Read about that, and watch the video. (Sorry: It’s a low-quality Real Media file. If anyone finds a better version, please put a link in the comments box.)
WASHINGTON—Senator Trent Lott of Mississippi, who was driven from the Republican leadership four years ago after he made ill-considered remarks at a birthday party for Strom Thurmond, returned to the Senate’s top ranks [Wednesday], winning election as minority whip in the next session by a single vote.
Mr. Lott won the post over Senator Lamar Alexander, who had predicted on Tuesday that he had enough support to win. The 49 Republicans who will make up the new Senate chose Mr. Lott by a vote of 25 to 24.
Mr. Lott, who turned 65 on Oct. 9, will be second in command to Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who was unanimously elected to be minority leader in the next Senate. Mr. McConnell had been the party whip while Senator Bill Frist of Tennessee was party leader. Mr. Frist is retiring from the Senate.