Guest blogged by Jon Ponder, Pensito Review.
Trent Lott, the man who is probably best remembered for saying that the United States would have been a better place if Strom Thurmond, the South Carolina racist, had been elected president in 1948, is retiring from the Senate:
Lott, 66, scheduled two news conferences in his home state later in the day to reveal his plans. According to congressional and White House officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity ahead of the announcement, Lott intends to resign effective the end of the year.
No good news here, however. Lott's replacement will be appointed by the governor of Mississippi, Haley Barbour, the former GOP lobbyist and RNC head, who is undoubtedly scouring the state right now to find the most ardent rightwing racist troglodyte available to fill Lott's seat.
In fact, Gov. Barbour will be hard pressed to find someone who fits that description better than himself, and if the governor hadn't just been reelected in a landslide in November, he'd probably put his own name at the top of the list of appointees.
Lott ran unopposed for reelection last year, so his term won't expire until 2012. Typically, the governor's appointee will hold the seat until an interim election can be held, in this case, possibly as early as next November.
The AP says Lott's health is not an issue in his retirement, and the fact that no reason has been given for his abrupt departure --- not even the standby "desire to spend more time with his family" --- suggests he plans to cash in on his four decades as a Washington insider and power broker by becoming a lobbyist.
Lott, who made his comments about Thurmond at the late senator's 100th birthday party, is the sixth Senate Republican who has announced retirement this year, according to the AP.