It is a very good thing that Trent Lott is running for re-election, and not just because it helps secure the GOP’s senate majority, though it does indeed keep a seat firmly in the red column.
There is also the very real possibility that Lott will return to the leadership, and when he does, will be a very different and much more aggressive majority leader than he was in his first run in that job.
(He’s got his eye on being whip, and Jon Kyl may as well, in which case Kyl would have the edge. But Kyl may be looking down the road to his turn as Judiciary Chair just as a new president arrives, or perhaps even to the number 2 slot onthe national ticket if the nominee is from other than the west.)
Lott became leader for the first time in a Senate that had not yet collided with either the deeply angry Democratic caucus or the new media. The job of Majority Leader is much different than it used to be, and Bill Frist has discovered this as well. Eventually someone is going to figure out that confrontation –weekly, daily, hourly– is the only way to make real progress in this era of deep political division.
And that person will be a success as Majority Leader.
It could be Lott 2.0.