Lott Out

This is weird: Trent Lott is resigning little more than a year into his fourth term. He’s not retiring, mind you; he’s flat-out leaving his seat and, for that matter, his position as Senate Minority Whip (Lamar Alexander must be happy). Apparently, the reason is that the lobbying reforms Congress, led by Obama, passed this year require Senators to wait two years before lobbying Congress; the bill takes effect at the end of this year, so if Lott wants to lobby as soon as he leaves Congress, this is his only opportunity to do so. Stay classy, Trent.
Believe it or not, this could add Mississippi to the list of potential Democratic pick-ups in 2008. Haley Barbour, the Republican governor, will get to pick a candidate now, but there’ll be a special election next year. Both Attorney General Jim Hood and former AG Mike Moore are potential candidates; it’d be an uphill battle, closer to the current races in Kentucky and Oregon than to those in New Mexico or Virginia, but it’s possible. Given as there are four more or less guaranteed pick-ups (New Mexico, Virginia, New Hampshire, and Colorado), two toss-ups (Minnesota and Alaska if Begich runs), and five leaning Republican but possible (Kentucky, Maine, Mississippi Oklahoma, Oregon), it seems like a filibuster-proof majority may be within reach. It’ll be tough, but it’s possible.

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