Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Playing Word Games

According to Crooks and Liars, Trent Lott suggested "Get Rid-O-Rove" on Hardball with Chris Matthews yesterday. Now I'll be the first to say that would be a stunning development, if it were actually true!

I suppose one could make the case that Senator Lott said that very thing, but you really have to read a lot into his words to pull it off.

Here's the discussion according to Crooks and Liars:

TRENT LOTT: 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? I don't know all that's going on, so I can't make
that final conclusion. But, you know, how many times has the top political
person become also the top policy advisor? 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.

CHRIS MATTHEWS:...Do you think he should go?

TRENT LOTT: Well, I didn't say that. I mean, I said, you know, is he in the
right position? I mean, a lot of political advisors, in fact, most presidents in
recent years have a political adviser in the White House. The question is,
should they be making, you know, policy decisions. That's the question you've
got to evaluate.

Now, I'll agree Trent Lott didn't offer Karl Rove a ringing endorsement, but to say that he suggested Rove leave is a stretch. At best he said "they needed to bring in some old gray beards", but he did not go so far as to say they would be passing Rove on the way out while they were on the way in. Senator Lott even said "Well, I didn't say that.", when asked by Matthews "Do you think he should go?

It is possible that Senator Lott means exactly what Crooks and Liars is implying, but you can't make that determination solely from this exchange.

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