Trent Lott's Untidy Job:
The Senate Leader, Trying to Rise Above the Chaos

By Kevin Merida
Washington Post, Thursday, January 14, 1999, pages C1, C8


For its part, the White House seems unwilling to touch [Lott], with criticism or praise.  "The man's got a difficult enough job,"says one White House official.  "We don't want to make it more difficult" by passing judgment.   And yet the White House didn't hesitate to pass judgment on other Lott behavior, most notably last month's quick-draw rebuke of Clinton for lauching airstrikes against Iraq.  The White House was furious.  And after a loud chorus of bipartisan boos, Lott backtracked.  His ego and standing were certainly bruised by the episode, but he was perhaps more stung by reports earlier in the month that he had given a speech to and had ties to the Council of Conservative Citizens, a group that many liberals and conservatives alike consider to be racist.  He has since renounced the group.