While Arianna is keeping tabs on Russert, as promised I continue to keep tabs on Pet Keeping. Today on Pet Keeping with Marc Morrone, we learned about how to take care of cats, how King Charles Spaniels make ideal pets, and how it's pay-back time, big-time, on the Republican side of the aisle in the Senate.
Cats: They are creatures of habit and you can't force them to do anything they don't want to do.
King Charles Spaniels: They have excellent temperaments and need to be walked at least once a day.
Republican Senators: No matter what they say they don't all like each other -- and Senators from Mississippi are the ultimate survivors.
Although publicly it will be denied, there is no doubt that Trent Lott is out to cripple Billy Frist and re-establish himself as a leader of the Republican Party. With Billy Frist and Karl Rove badly wounded badly with their own ethical scandals and the entire Republican Party in disarray, there is no better time than now to go in for the kill and that's exactly what Trent Lott is doing. He has been patient for three years and is now taking every opportunity to show that when Frist and Rove are long gone, he’ll still be here. And that the sooner they are gone, the happier he'll be.
Rove picked Frist as his choice for majority leader and then Rove and Frist knocked off Lott. Now Lott is out to get both Frist and Rove back and he is succeeding.
A little background: If not for Rove and Frist, Lott believes he would still be majority leader and he may be right. According to the Washington Post, at the time of Lott’s overthrow, a number of Republicans felt "Frist's biggest liability will be the perception that he is seen as too close to the White House, Rove in particular. Many senators have complained that White House officials, through anonymous statements to the media, are trying to undermine Lott and pick the Senate leader." [Wash. Post, 12-20-02]
Here is what Lott has to say about Billy Frist, about the Miers nomination championed by Frist, and about Karl Rove and Plamegate.
Lott on Frist:
"I consider Frist's power grab a personal betrayal. When he entered the Senate in 1995, I had taken him under my wing. ... He was my protégé and I helped him get plum assignments and committee positions.
Lott says he would have weathered the political storm if not for the "manipulations" of Frist and other GOP colleagues. "No other senior senator with stature would have run against me," Lott said. "If Frist had not announced exactly when he did, as the fire was about to burn out, I would still be majority leader of the Senate today.....Frist didn't even have the guts to call and tell me personally."
Lott on Miers:
"There are a lot more people - men, women and minorities - that are more qualified in my opinion by their experience than she is."
Lott on Rove:
"Well, the question is—that you asked, is he good for American politics? Look, he has been very successful, very effective in the political arena. The question is, should he be the deputy chief of staff for policy under the current circumstances? ... But, you know, how many times has the top political person become also the top policy adviser? Maybe you can make that transition, but it's a real challenge, and I think they have to—I do think they need to look at bringing in some more people, you know, old gray beards that have been around this town for a while, help them out a little bit at the White House."
Stay tuned to Pet Keeping with Marc Morrone for more on this story.