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Friday, December 13, 2002

Trent Lott Does Not Say the Magic Words

However, at his mea culpa press conference the "Singing Senator" comes damn near bursting into song as he describes "Mississippi, This Is Your Song". That would have been the newsclip of the week, and the "Checkers" moment for this generation. Darn!

Now, I did not see the whole press conference. But if he was asked a series of tough questions going back to the Time magazine story about his fraternity days, it sure happened quickly.

UPDATE: CNN Transcript. Here we go:

LOTT: You know, a friend of mine that sang for "The Lawrence Welk Show" -- I don't know, 15 or 17 years -- has written a song called, "Mississippi, This is Your Song."

And it talks about, you know, Mississippi, you know, you seek forgiveness where you've gone wrong.

One of the things I'm committed to is to try to help this state....

Apparently the orchestra missed the song cue, so he segued back to more standard press conference fare.

UPDATE 2: The Saturday WaPo coverage and editorial. I think they would have preferred a song or two. But no Stephen Foster. And please, no "White Christmas". Dream of something else.

Here is NY Times coverage of Congressional reaction. Some real table pounding support from top Republicans:

...even some of Mr. Lott's Republican colleagues were withholding comment to see how the public takes his fourth effort at an apology in a week.

"I want to reiterate that the president does not see the need for Trent Lott to resign," the White House press secretary, Ari Fleischer, said tonight. "He was candid, he was forthright, he was apologetic — and rightly so."

Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who will be the No. 2 Republican in the Senate next month, credited Mr. Lott with expressing "heartfelt regret" over remarks. "I believe the American people will accept his apology and want us now to move forward together."

Jack F. Kemp, a former Republican cabinet secretary who had criticized Mr. Lott for his remarks last week at a 100th-birthday celebration for Senator Strom Thurmond, issued a statement praising Mr. Lott "for his sincere, thoughtful and honest remarks today."

Well, if McDonalds served coffee that lukewarm, they could have avoided a nasty lawsuit.

Finally, and I do not comment on their relative importance, Andrew Sullivan.

STUNNING: I'm still reeling from watching Trent Lott's bumptious, smug, self-congratulatory self-defense. Leaving aside his noxious past, his sheer inability to convey any genuine remorse is reason alone to justify his removal from his position. His "apology" was formulaic, cheery, rote and unpersuasive....

Then Andrew tells us what he really thinks. OK, we will put Sully down as "undecided". Undecided, that is, between riding Lott out of town on a rail, and simply tossing him into the Potomac in January.

Oh, for heaven's sake. Other people have blogs, I have one long "update". Check out Lott versus the competition at the Sneaker.

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