Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss., has more than $1.2 million in campaign funds, according to his report to the Federal Election Commission.Then there's this from the October 8 US News:
In contrast, Sen. Thad Cockran, R-Miss., reported having $495 in campaign funds last month, but his re-election race is not until 2008.
Lott has not declared whether he will run again, but said he would like to be the whip, a position currently occupied by Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania.
The repercussions over President Bush's pick of little-known Harriet Miers for the Supreme Court are now moving into the upcoming Senate leadership elections set for the end of this year. In the latest twist, former Majority Leader Sen. Trent Lott is picking up strong support from conservatives for a return to the leadership, likely as the No. 2 position of whip, because of his sharp questioning of the president's pick. Some are even talking about having him challenge his friend, Assistant Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who backs Miers, for the top job being vacated by retiring Sen. Bill Frist.And here's how the National Review online sees things. First Senator Lott:
While few Senate insiders expect the three-term Mississippian to challenge McConnell, conservatives energized and angered by the Miers nomination are talking about encouraging him for leadership as a way to police the president's agenda from a more conservative view. It also comes as fears grow that the current conference chair, Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, is in an uphill re-election battle. A loss would take Santorum out of the fight for the whip post.
"Lott may be back in leadership in 13 short months. Santorum goes down; Lott goes up to whip," says a Senate GOP strategist.
Perhaps the strongest statement from the Senate has come from former Majority Leader Trent Lott. In an MSNBC interview on Wednesday, Oct. 5, Lott said that Miers is ''clearly not the most qualified person for the job" — something that seems pretty clear.And now Ricky:
Rick Santorum, junior senator from Pennsylvania, may be the Republican with the most to lose if Harriet Miers is not the next Antonin Scalia or Clarence Thomas — and if it is not clear she is one of the aforementioned before November 2006. He is the senator the Left would most like to unseat in the midterm elections, and being double-digits behind in the polls, he's not in a position to lose any friends right now.I almost feel sorry for the guy. Well, not really.
Even so, last Thursday in an interview, Santorum criticized the president's "trust me" approach to the nomination: "I am concerned President Bush nominated someone who is a blank slate. I'm disappointed that he wanted to nominate someone like that instead of someone with a record.'' Santorum said, "It is what I term the president's second faith-based initiative, which is 'trust me.' I think, candidly, we deserve better than that."
In the White House, that had to hurt.
But he's looking at an uphill battle for his Senate seat - a seat that former Senate Majority Leader wants.
That's gotta hurt.
Rick Santorum, Trent Lott