He’s Back! Trent Lott Seeks Reelection and May Try to Regain a Leadership Post

Senator Trent Lott
As Senate majority leader his programs were segregationist if not racist

It had been widely believed that Mississippi GOP Senator Trent Lott would retire at the end of his term next January. Many commentators believed that Lott had lost the will to continue in the Senate after he had been forced out of his position as majority leader. Lott gave up the post to Bill Frist in 2002 because of comments he had made at South Carolina Senator Strom Thurmond's 100th birthday celebration. Lott mused that the country would have been better off if the archsegregationist Thurmond had been elected president of the United States in 1948.

But Lott has surprised the pundits and decided to run for reelection. Undoubtedly, he will win another term.

The big question is whether Lott will attempt to rejoin the Senate leadership. Senate majority leader Bill Frist is not seeking reelection this fall. The third-ranking senator in the GOP leadership, Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, is trailing in the polls by a large margin in his reelection bid against Bob Casey, son of a popular former governor. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky is considered the frontrunner for majority leader. But Lott may mount a challenge or bide his time and seek the No. 2 position.

In all events, a return of Trent Lott to a powerful leadership position in the GOP is bad news for blacks. Consider the following:

Copyright © 2006. The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education. All rights reserved.