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Some blame Lott for tough GOP defeat in Mississippi
TheHill.com ^ | 5-19-08 | Susan Crabtree

Posted on 05/19/2008 5:18:23 PM PDT by DeweyCA

House GOP leaders have taken the blame for last week’s devastating loss in Mississippi, but in some Republican circles the real culprit is former Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss).

Lott created the House opening by opting to leave Congress late last year before tougher lobbying restrictions went into effect. After his departure, Rep. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) was appointed to serve out Lott’s unexpired term, which created the need for the special election to fill Wicker’s seat.

Republicans were irked that Lott would retire early just to serve his own financial interests.

But that’s only the tip of the anger iceberg for some GOP members, campaign consultants and K Street insiders concerning Lott, whose office did not respond to several requests to comment for this story.

Lott also bucked his own Mississippi congressional colleagues by supporting Greg Davis, the Southaven mayor and former state legislator who lost to Democrat Travis Childers. The rest of the delegation backed former Tupelo mayor and former Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Chairman Glenn McCullough Jr.

The senior statesman’s decision to go against his delegation contributed to a bruising, hard-fought primary runoff that left Mississippi GOP voters divided — and, quite possibly, left the stronger general-election candidate on the sidelines.

“That race was more about an intra-state fight between Trent Lott and McCullough then anything,” said Rep. Zach Wamp (R-Tenn.). “And McCullough was the better candidate.

Lott’s support gave Davis the edge even though he was weaker against Childers.

“The party loses when people are vengeful,” Wamp added.

Lott helped get McCullough appointed to the TVA but the two later had a falling-out, according to local reports. Details of the dispute are unclear. The Hattiesburg American reported only that McCullough “refused to endorse a Lott-backed TVA initiative that McCullough found to be dubious.”

No matter how the dispute started, it continued with Lott supporting Davis, even though the district was always considered a Tupelo seat and McCullough, the city’s former mayor, would have attracted more of those votes than Davis would have.

Lott acknowledged as much late in the campaign when he spoke on talk radio and on the trail and urged GOP voters to rise above regional state differences.

“Certainly a lot of Republicans are in a bad mood because we’re in the minority and we’ve had this self-inflicted problem in a very important race,” remarked one GOP campaign strategist who works in the Deep South. “Lott chose a candidate with limited general election appeal and I think a lot of people question that.”

Mississippi GOP lawmakers were reluctant to criticize Lott publicly, citing his willingness to stump for Davis in the final weeks of the campaign and his donations to Davis as well as Gregg Harper, an attorney running for the seat that will open up when Rep. Chip Pickering (R-Miss.) retires at the end of his term.

“At this point we have to refocus for November,” said Pickering when asked if Lott hurt the GOP’s chances in the race. “John McCain will be at the top of the ticket and Sen. Lott is very close to McCain and he’s going to be doing everything he can to reverse this outcome in November.”

One GOP lobbyist on K Street also cited Lott’s $200,000 gift to his alma mater, the University of Mississippi, as contributing to the perception that he’s not doing everything he can to help House Republican reelection efforts. That money, the source said, would have been better spent on contributions to GOP campaigns across the country.

But even those critical of Lott’s decision to back Davis over McCullough said negative feelings likely won’t linger too long, considering Lott’s 25 years in Congress and lifelong contribution to the party.

“There will be disappointments, lessons learned and some hard feelings,” said one Mississippi Republican politician. “But he has so much good will stored up that the Mississippi GOP family will come back together.”


TOPICS: Politics/Elections; US: Mississippi
KEYWORDS: 110th; childers; congress; elections; gop; gregdavis; lott; ms2008
Is anyone really surprised by this? Lott, like so many RINOs (do I have to mention McCain?), always looked out for himself above the GOP. He has always been a self-serving twit who cares more about having a luxuriant lifestyle than about his country.
1 posted on 05/19/2008 5:18:23 PM PDT by DeweyCA
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To: DeweyCA

McCollugh was the RINO in the race.


2 posted on 05/19/2008 5:20:04 PM PDT by Sybeck1 (Ronald Reagan Fought Regulation, John McCain Brought Regulation...)
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To: DeweyCA

Lot’s wife, however, was turned to salt.


3 posted on 05/19/2008 5:23:49 PM PDT by xcamel (Forget the past and you're doomed to repeat it.)
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To: DeweyCA

I do.


4 posted on 05/19/2008 5:25:36 PM PDT by Norman Bates (Freepmail me to be part of the McCain List!)
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To: DeweyCA; Sybeck1; dixiechick2000; fieldmarshaldj; AuH2ORepublican; Kuksool; BillyBoy; LdSentinal; ..

“Lott helped get McCullough appointed to the TVA but the two later had a falling-out, according to local reports. Details of the dispute are unclear. The Hattiesburg American reported only that McCullough “refused to endorse a Lott-backed TVA initiative that McCullough found to be dubious.”

Personal things like this come into play more than any of us know. I just wish that Chip Pickering hadn’t ruled himself out for the Senate appointment.

“No matter how the dispute started, it continued with Lott supporting Davis, even though the district was always considered a Tupelo seat and McCullough, the city’s former mayor, would have attracted more of those votes than Davis would have. “

This was, in part, a regional contest. There has long been a regional and economic rivalry between the Tupelo area and the Memphis suburbs, and Tupelo-based candidates have long been elected there. While Travis Childers’ home town is Boonville rather than Tupelo, he was seen as having much more in common with the local folk there than Greg Davis, who was seen as a Memphis city slicker. It’s not so much that Davis was a bad candidate personally, but that too many people thought that the polished suburban mayor wasn’t “one of us.”

Incidentally, Davis is staying in the race.


5 posted on 05/19/2008 5:26:17 PM PDT by Clintonfatigued (Karl Marx supported free trade. Does that make him a free market conservative?)
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To: DeweyCA

Where have all the decent, strong-minded men gone? This country is hurting for someone like that. I really don’t see any on the horizon. I hope they are just hidden where I can’t see them. And I hope they come out of hiding soon.


6 posted on 05/19/2008 5:26:44 PM PDT by beaversmom
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To: Clintonfatigued

Incidentally, Davis is staying in the race.

For the election in November!! It’ll be time to united and DEFEATED the DEMS. Lets surprise the DEMS in the house!!


7 posted on 05/19/2008 5:29:56 PM PDT by EagleandLiberty (El Rushbo Tribal name -- RinoHunter Coming Soon - a new CONSERVATIVE PARTY --- www.falconparty.com)
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To: DeweyCA

Lot’s wife, however, was turned to salt.


8 posted on 05/19/2008 5:31:53 PM PDT by xcamel (Forget the past and you're doomed to repeat it.)
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To: DeweyCA
Lott, like so many RINOs . . . .

ACU Lifetime: 92. Yeah, whatever.

9 posted on 05/19/2008 5:33:48 PM PDT by 1rudeboy
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To: DeweyCA

10 posted on 05/19/2008 5:36:07 PM PDT by Extremely Extreme Extremist (Bipartisanship: Two wolves and the American people deciding what's for dinner)
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Comment #11 Removed by Moderator

To: DeweyCA
Lott’s $200,000 gift to his alma mater, the University of Mississippi,

So much for his explanation about leaving the Senate early because he had to make some money before he retired. What a chickenshit is Trent Lott.

12 posted on 05/19/2008 5:51:27 PM PDT by hinckley buzzard
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To: DeweyCA

Lott - “I can’t remember the last time I’ve bought lunch”


13 posted on 05/19/2008 5:52:38 PM PDT by Selmore (If your gonna take the hill, take the hill.)
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To: vetvetdoug
Lott's actions were self serving and true to his form. He cheated his Country, his State, his constituents and his party.

Hard for those former Democrats to stay Republican. Phil Graham being an exception.

14 posted on 05/19/2008 5:53:28 PM PDT by itsahoot (We will have world government. The only question is whether by conquest or consent.)
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To: vetvetdoug

Hopefully, this will be your last post on Free Republic.


15 posted on 05/19/2008 5:54:49 PM PDT by centurion316 (Democrats - Supporting Al Qaida Worldwide)
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To: Clintonfatigued; darkangel82; Galactic Overlord-In-Chief; AuH2ORepublican; Impy; Darren McCarty

If Davis is the nominee again, we lose again. For all those that think we can just blast a Democrat sitting in a heavily Republican seat out merely because of an unpopular Dem Presidential candidate with just any Republican nominee, I point to Gene Taylor. He’s sitting in arguably the MOST Republican seat in MS, and he’s been there going on towards 20 years and hasn’t had a close race since he first ran. He voted unapologetically for Pelosi for Speaker, too.


16 posted on 05/19/2008 6:11:29 PM PDT by fieldmarshaldj (~"This is what happens when you find a stranger in the Alps !"~~)
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To: centurion316
I won't miss Lott, and I won't miss a whole stack of so called Republicans who came in under a mantel of Conservative values and then sold out all of us who worked hard to put them in.
So now Lott will be a lobbyist , Isn't that special...
17 posted on 05/19/2008 6:12:00 PM PDT by reefdiver (Had Enough? Drill 4 OIL,)
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To: centurion316
I apologize for offending your sensitivities. Childers ran as a Conservative and is really a flaming dishonest liberal that will vote the Democrat party line. His supporters in the State Legislators are some of the most dishonest and heavy handed Democrats one can imagine. I have nothing but disgust for Childers and those that live around me that supported him.
18 posted on 05/19/2008 6:16:08 PM PDT by vetvetdoug
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To: vetvetdoug

My sensitivities have nothing to do with it. That kind of language has no place here, and you have been around long enough to know it.


19 posted on 05/19/2008 6:18:12 PM PDT by centurion316 (Democrats - Supporting Al Qaida Worldwide)
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To: fieldmarshaldj

Taylor’s a gutless anti-military punk. He wins because of voter stupidity and because he’s the kind of ‘rat who can win that seat.


20 posted on 05/19/2008 6:22:15 PM PDT by darkangel82 (If you're not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. (Say no to RINOs))
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To: DeweyCA

[The senior statesman’s decision...]

Trent Lott is many things; statesman is not one of them.


21 posted on 05/19/2008 6:36:25 PM PDT by 43north (I hope we are around long enough to become a layer in the rocks of the future.)
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To: DeweyCA

IMHO, Lott started the decline of the conservative movement when he rolled for Bill Clinton and did the late night deal that let him off the hook.

This struck a blow deep in the conservative soul.

Lott is worse then a RINO, he betrayed us in the worse way.


22 posted on 05/19/2008 6:40:32 PM PDT by stockpirate (Purge the RNC and GOP of ALL SOCIALISTS . Starting with Juan McCain.)
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To: DeweyCA

Amen, bro. Lott was once a force for good, but he turned to the dark side of the force. What a disappointment and waste.


23 posted on 05/19/2008 6:57:34 PM PDT by MadMax, the Grinning Reaper
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To: MadMax, the Grinning Reaper

You could say the same of Baker (LA-6).


24 posted on 05/19/2008 7:17:14 PM PDT by scrabblehack
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To: DeweyCA
...negative feelings likely won’t linger too long, considering Lott’s 25 years in Congress and lifelong contribution to the party.

Lott's "lifelong contribution to the party" pretty much consisted of being there -- a state that was of dubious value.

25 posted on 05/19/2008 7:32:39 PM PDT by okie01 (THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA: Ignorance on Parade)
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To: Clintonfatigued
This was, in part, a regional contest. There has long been a regional and economic rivalry between the Tupelo area and the Memphis suburbs, and Tupelo-based candidates have long been elected there. While Travis Childers’ home town is Boonville rather than Tupelo, he was seen as having much more in common with the local folk there than Greg Davis, who was seen as a Memphis city slicker. It’s not so much that Davis was a bad candidate personally, but that too many people thought that the polished suburban mayor wasn’t “one of us.”

I hate this ignorant sentiment. Of course the GOP did nothing to combat it.

26 posted on 05/19/2008 10:12:16 PM PDT by Impy (Obama, you are stupid and I don't like you.)
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To: xcamel
Lot’s wife, however, was turned to salt.

LOL!

27 posted on 05/19/2008 10:34:53 PM PDT by fortheDeclaration ("Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people".-John Adams)
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To: Clintonfatigued

There is a Dem poll showing Musgrove leading Wicker, 48-40. Since it is a partisan poll used to generate fundraising for Musgrove, take it with a grain of salt. However in light of the painful defeat of MS-01, no seat is safe. Northeast MS is a “swing” region. Musgrove did carry the region when he ran for Governor in 1999.


28 posted on 05/21/2008 6:42:27 AM PDT by yongin
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