THE G.O.P. DEFECTOR: Senator Turncoat Has No Regrets

THE G.O.P. DEFECTOR

Turncoat, hero, ingrate, revolutionary. Folks around Capitol Hill called Vermont Senator Jim Jeffords a lot of things this year, but as of May 24 there's one thing they couldn't call him: Republican. Jeffords' sudden switch to independent--he saw the G.O.P. moving too far right of his moderate viewpoint--ended the Republican Party's control of Congress. "Democrats got to set the agenda instead of reacting to a Republican President," says a senior Senate Democratic aide. "That is a huge change."

Jeffords says the initial bitterness toward him has cooled among G.O.P. colleagues. "At first," he says. "I was pretty much walled off."...

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