Herding Cats – A Life in Politics

On Monday July 31, 2006, I was driving down I-40W and got off the interstate at Papermill Rd. as I approached Weisgarber Rd. my cell phone rang. I answered it and one of the loyal Republican workers and Knox County Vice-Chairmen had called to ask if I had seen one of our “Republicans” was supporting a Democrat. I said, Yes.

Through the conversation, my friend said, “The job you have (as Republican Party Chairman) is like Herding Cats” I laughed and said, I believe that is true. I told her that I was going into Mackays Books and CD’s and that she had given me the idea to look for Senator Trent Lott’s book Herding Cats. I found it and have just completed it.

It was a great post election book for me to read. I have always admired Senator Lott.

In my office since the early 90’s I have a Trent Lott yard sign hanging on my office wall.

This book really details how a young Lott was first introduced to Washington on the staff of a Democrat Congressman. He recognized that he was a Republican, he ran for the Congress and during his service, moved through the ranks of leadership and really perfected the Republican Whip operation. The opportunity to be elected to the U.S. Senate presented itself and Lott used his grassroots techniques to become elected. He rose through the Senate as a “results maker”. He has some interesting stories about the many Presidents that he served with and for. The trial of William Jefferson Clinton consumes two chapters and are behind the scenes documentary of the drama that was the impeachment trial.

The 40 words that forever changed Lott were not intentional and were off the prepared text, due to Senator Bob Dole using all of Lott’s prepared text for Strom Thurmond’s 100 birthday.

This story of his departure from the position of Majority Leader demonstrates the power of the blog and how the power of the blog moved the story and ultimately kept it in the publics and mainstream medias eye and allowed a few Senator’s, primarily Don Nichols to keep the fire burning and to get Lott to remove himself from the Majority leader ballot, ultimately allowing Senator Bill Frist to be elected and serving as Majority Leader. Lott could have given up entirely but he has stayed for the greater good and Mississippi and America are better for it.

Check this one out. It is a quick read and an excellent book, if politics interest you.

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