It turns out the Republicans’ first move as a minority in the Senate was to dip into the past, by electing Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss., as minority whip. He will serve as the second to Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who was unanimously elected as minority leader to replace the retiring Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn. Why McConnell would want a former majority leader breathing down his neck is a mystery. Lott, of course, gave up his leadership job in 2002 after suggesting at Strom Thurmond’s 100th birthday party that the nation would have been better off if then-segregationist Thurmond had won the presidency in 1948.
The election of these unequivocally partisan leaders hardly suggests the Republicans are ready to reach out to the other side. Then again, Senate Democrats are sticking with their sometimes caustic leadership team, too — Harry Reid of Nevada will be majority leader, and Dick Durbin of Illinois will be majority whip.
Posted by Rhonda Holman
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