Why, it was just last January, 2006 when he assured them:
"I have chosen Mississippi and America once again," Lott said. "I am going to ask the people to re-elect me to another term in the United States Senate."
Yeah, well, that was then, but this is now, right?
I mean, why would someone willingly step away from "the most exclusive club in the world?"
The answer's pretty simple if you're a republican - money, money, and more money. Specifically, Lott can cash in on his connections within one year after resigning only if he leaves before the end of this calendar year. If he waits until after January 1, 2008 when new Senate ethics rules take effect (warning - pdf), then he'll have to hold off for two years before pimping his flabby ass to the highest bidders.
It'll be interesting to see how this plays out down in the Dummest Fucking State in the Country, since the election laws there require the governor to issue a proclamation to hold an election for a replacement within 10 days of the vacancy, and that the election shall be held within ninety (90) days from the time the proclamation is issued...
Now, nobody can split hairs to their own advantage like a southern politician, and since the politician in question is the ample-jowled former tobacco lobbyist / head of the repub national committee Haley Barbour we're sure to see plenty of hair-splitting, along with lots of high-stakes arm wrestling, ample back-stabbing, and probably a few Texas Titty Twisters before this is all through.
Oh, and court. This is definitely going to end up in court.
That's because the above-mentioned 10-day proclamation / 90-day election rules only apply if Lott bails in 2007. If Lott bails in 2008, then Barbour can hold the election for a replacement in November, when turnout is higher for the Presidential and other races. Barbour and his partners in crime have less control in a low-turnout special election held in, say, March or April.
But, also as noted above, if he resigns after January 1, 2008 Lott would have to wait for two years (not just one) before sucking as much federal tit as he could fit in his bloodless lips. And personally, I don't think Trent's a very patient kind of guy.
"What I want to tell you...Ladies and Gentlemen...That there's not enough troops in the Army...to force the southern people to break down segregation and admit the nigger race into our theatres, into our swimming pools, into our homes and into our churches."
-- Strom Thurman, 1948.
"When Strom Thurman ran for president, we (the Dummest Fucking State in the Country) voted for him! We're proud of it! And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn't have had all of these problems over all of these years either."
-- Trent Lott, December, 2002.
Bonus Mississippi History Lesson
Freedom Summer, 1964 - some of what Trent Lott was referring to when mentioning "all of these problems."
Trent Lott - Class 'A' Asshole