In the throes of his crisis in 2002, Mr. Lott spent hours bunkered in his home in Pascagoula, Miss., methodically calling friends and colleagues — 50 calls a day — in an effort to save his job. It was a rigorous and disciplined process, similar to the one he followed in recent days as he campaigned quietly for the whip post. He contacted colleagues by phone and in person, emphasizing his ability to get results, his encyclopedic grasp of Senate rules and his skill in working closely with the House....
Mr. Lott largely undertook his campaign for whip in one-on-one discussions, figuring that a visible effort would bring attention to his past troubles and perhaps scare off potential supporters.
“Nobody knew where he was; it was a stealth candidacy,” said former Senator John B. Breaux, Democrat of Louisiana and one of Mr. Lott’s closest friends. “His strategy was, ‘Run silent, run deep,’ like the old submarine.”