Jeffords Aftershocks: Remaking The Rules Of Engagement

The day Tom Daschle got Jim Jeffords to leave the G.O.P. and throw power to the Democrats, Daschle phoned George W. Bush as a peace gesture. "What's the protocol here?" Bush asked. After a political coup, does the President call the new Senate majority leader or vice versa? They both chuckled. No matter who dials first, the two most powerful politicians in Washington will be talking a lot more than they have in the past five months.

The ceremony this week transferring Senate control from Republicans to Democrats is a subtle one. The presiding officer simply recognizes Daschle instead of Republican...