The Senate’s second-ranking Republican is expected to announce that he will resign by year’s end. Trent Lott’s health is fine, but he wishes to pursue “other opportunities,” a congressional official said. Lott famously put his foot in his mouth in 2002 when he said the country would have been better off had Strom Thurmond won his segregationist bid for the presidency.
He didn’t retire after that gaffe, so we can only wonder what these “other opportunities” are and whether there’s a more interesting—or at least more specific—reason he’s stepping down.
Update: It seems that Lott’s decision probably has to do with the opportunity to cash in on his experience and avoid the GOP’s coming electoral headache all at the same time. Read more.
Sen. Trent Lott of Mississippi, the Senate’s No. 2 Republican, plans to resign his seat before the end of the year, congressional and White House officials said Monday.
Lott, 66, scheduled two news conferences in Pascagoula and Jackson later in the day to reveal his plans. According to the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity ahead of the announcement, Lott intends to resign effective at the end of the year.
No reason for Lott’s resignation was given, but according to a congressional official, there is nothing amiss with Lott’s health. The senator has “other opportunities” he plans to pursue, the official said, without elaborating. Lott was re-elected to a fourth Senate term in 2006.