Trent's Lott in life

Published January 11, 2005 6:43PM (EST)

From the Jackson, Mississippi Clarion Ledger:

"Sen. Trent Lott is in the thick of preparations for President Bush's inauguration later this month. His responsibilities range from supervising construction of a viewing stand for about 500 people to planning an Inauguration Day lunch for the president and dozens of high-powered guests."

When War Room saw that Trent Lott is coordinating the Bush inaugural celebration, the first thing that came to mind was the fallout over the former Senate Majority Leader's unfortunate remarks at Strom Thurmond's birthday a few years back. At the arch-segregationist and former presidential candidate's party, Lott declared that America "wouldn't have had all these problems over all these years" if Thurmond had won in '48.

Revealing one's nostalgia for Jim Crow is pretty near the top of the political gaffe list, and in the resulting furor, Bush abandoned Lott. "Any suggestion that a segregated past was acceptable or positive is offensive and it is wrong," the president said. "Recent comments by Sen. Lott do not reflect the spirit of our country."

Left out in the cold by the president, Lott was soon forced to resign. But while his star may have fallen, his inaugural responsibilities demonstrate he's still a powerful man. "Several high-powered people have called him looking for tickets," the Clarion Ledger reveals, and Lott exerts absolute authority over the catering services: "The senator has chosen quail for the inaugural lunch."

At Bush's 2001 inauguration, Lott was the most powerful man in the U.S. Senate. At this one, he's the party planner.

By Jeff Horwitz

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