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The elevation of Lott is "Newt Gingrich winning another election," says TIME congressional correspondent Karen Tumulty, who sees presidential politics at play: Lott is a "stalking horse" for Texas Sen. Phil Gramm, who's expected to be a Dole rival for the 1996 GOP presidential nomination. "As long as he has to turn over the keys to Lott, it's going to be difficult for (Dole) to leave (D.C.) while he runs for president," she says. As for the Dems: "Dodd was definitely going to put a harder edge on their message." But the more moderate Daschle has a problem on another front: "He's going to have to prove to the Democrats that he's not up there as Bill Clinton's water boy," she says.Post your opinion on theWashingtonbulletin board.