Lott's Adventures in Gaffeland

When you're a politician, the worst slip is saying what you really think

If a gaffe is when a politician tells the truth (as someone once said), Senate Republican leader Trent Lott's bizarre endorsement of white racism and segregation does not qualify. An authentic gaffe is more like Lawrence Lindsey's comment that a war against Iraq could cost $200 billion, which got him fired as President Bush's top economic-policy adviser. Nobody at the White House disputed the figure--they just didn't want it brought up. This is called being off-message, and in Washington that's much worse than being, say, wrong. Lindsey's replacement, investment banker Stephen Friedman, was found to have economic beliefs not always in...

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