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Lott Breaks Deadlock Between Frist, Reid

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cal04 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 10:17 AM
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Lott Breaks Deadlock Between Frist, Reid
The dealmaking instinct can be hard to shake when one has been Senate majority leader and might again seek that post. Exhibit A: Former Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss., who broke a two-week deadlock between his successor, Sen. Bill Frist, R-Tenn., and Democratic leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., over the ratio of Republican and Democratic negotiators on a bill to secure the future benefits of millions with defined benefit pension plans.

Frist said the split should be 7-5; Reid insisted on 8-6. The debate devolved Friday into bickering over other issues.
Frustrated, Lott could not contain his inner majority leader. "We're at loggerheads here. Shouldn't be," he said on the Senate floor. "I have a novel idea: Go up to 9-7 or go down to 6-4." "I'll take it," Reid declared. "Nine-to-seven and you've got a deal."

But Lott no longer has the power to make such deals. He was forced to quit the majority leader's post in 2002 after making racially tinged remarks at a 100th birthday party for one-time segregationist Sen. Strom Thurmond of South Carolina. In a subsequent book, Lott made clear that he considered Frist one of the "main manipulators" of the events that led to his loss of power. The men have since talked and been able to work together, Lott has said. But that didn't stop the man from Mississippi from taking a not-subtle swipe at Frist and the Democrats for being unable to strike a deal.

"I've never seen this happen before. Never. Not one time when I was majority leader did the minority leader and I not come to an agreement on a number to go to conference," Lott remarked Friday. "I never remember this happening," Reid concurred. Lott then noted that Reid's style of issuing ultimatums was less helpful than former Democratic leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota. He then paid Frist some deference. "I want to be helpful. I realize it's presumptuous of me to talk about this," Lott said. But it worked. Within an hour, Frist announced that the conference committee would be composed of nine Republicans and seven Democrats.

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MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 10:25 AM
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1. Mark my words, Lott is gonna get the Leader job back again
With any luck, he will be MINORITY leader, but he has a talent for that sort of work.
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Tom Rinaldo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 10:47 AM
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2. Over the last 10 years every new generation of GOP leaders
makes the preceding generation look relatively moderate in comparison. It's uncanny. Gingritch looks like a moderate next to Delay. Dole seemed moderate compared to Lott. Lott got taken down in public by Republicans when his Strom comments embarrassed them, and now the southern tier of his State has literally been left hung out to dry in Bush's version of a hurrican emergency response plan, so Lott may be a little more prone to stray off the reservation than previoulsy. Nothing so dramatic as to hurt his chances to regain leadership though I suspect.
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tsuki Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 11:28 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. His racists comments did not embarass them. You can't
embarass a Republican because they truly believe it's God's Own Party.

They wanted Lott out to groom KatKiller as the next dim bulb for the Conservative agenda.

And once the Republicans discard you, you cannot make a comeback. Lott's out.
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mikeanike Donating Member (193 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 05:46 PM
Response to Reply #3
7. i don't know about that
Look at Nixon, he was an outcast for a little while but he made a comeback and is basically revered. Lott can make a comeback since a lot of GOPers feel that he got a bum deal in the strom thing
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Coexist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 11:35 AM
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4. did anyone catch C-Span yesterday? Frist and Reid were
having the POLITEST argument I have ever seen -but there were barbs and tension.
Reid even used the "minority and majority parties often change". It was great. Reid is sick of laying down, and he seems confident that we will pick up a couple seats and put him in the navigator's seat soon, if not the driver's seat.

I think they are deadlocked because, for so long Frist has the green light to walk over the Democrats on any issue he wanted to. They were not included in any numbers that mattered in any committees. Frist was the King of the Senate, not the majority leader. Now there is a light at the end of the tunnel for Democrats and Frist doesn't like anyone claiming even a smidgen of his power.
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joanski0 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 04:00 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Yes, I caught that. It was great!
Did you notice how Harry Reid got it into the record about how Frist's staff was bringing notes to Frist in his office to tell him what Harry was saying?

As for Trent Lott, I thought he was so funny blustering out like that I just cracked up laughing. He looked like a total fool - which he is.
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Coexist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 05:38 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. I know - his staffer's were running him notes on what Reid was
saying! If he wanted to hear it, why didn't he just show up?
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