Friday, December 20, 2002

TRENT LOTT IS OUTTA HERE! At least he has announced that he will step down from his Senate Majority Leader post. Good riddance!

Still too early to tell, but Bill Frist (R-Tenn) appears to be the front-runner to take Lott's leadership slot. Who is Bill Frist? Until this week, I had no idea. The WaPo has this (among other things) to say about him:
Known for a cool demeanor that masks his intense work habits, Frist can get by on four hours of sleep a night, a holdover from his days as a heart-lung transplant surgeon. The Senate's only doctor, he comforted tense officials at a meeting in the Capitol basement after an anthrax-laced letter panicked Capitol Hill. His Senate Web site became a clearinghouse for information about anthrax symptoms and treatment.

Several Republicans said Frist would be a huge help in selling an expected Bush admininstration health care initiative to Congress and the public. Some Senate aides said Frist would help the party portray a more moderate image if he succeeded Lott.

Aides said his goals include adding a prescription drug benefit for Medicare and making health care more affordable and available to low-income people. He promotes childhood vaccinations and wants to encourage the development of new vaccines. Much of Frist's agenda concerns prevention and treatment of AIDS, and he travels to Africa once or twice a year at his own expense to perform operations as a medical missionary.

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