The Clarion-Ledger Editorial, 11/30/7

But now, in his utterly surprising move to give up one of the state’s highly-valued Senate seats, Trent seems back on his game of only making closely calculated career moves.

My instincts tell me Trent is pulling a two-pronged maneuver: First, like baseball’s classic Tinker to Evers to Chance double play trio, Trent starts the double play, flips the ball to Gov. Haley Barbour, who pegs the now-golden pellet to young Chip Pickering. Pickering conveniently several months ago said he would shed his House uniform, to “spend more time with my family.”

This deal likely has been in the making for a long time, because Trent years ago made it clear Chip was under his tutelage. There’s also a matter of $1.4 million in cash left in Lott’s federal election campaign account. By law, he can’t pocket it, but he can transfer it to his anointed successor. The second prong of Trent Lott’s post-resignation venture stresses the word Lott – as in lots of money. The likelihood is Trent will head for the congressional “Revolving Door” and join 180 ex-colleagues in green pastures as a K-Street lobbyist on the Hill.

What’s important now is the precise timing of Lott’s resignation: whether it is effective in 2007, or spills over into 2008. By making his resignation effective in 2007, Lott can avoid a new rule requiring senators to wait two years before they can lobby their former colleagues.