Bush's Cool Operator

Bill Frist is the President's crafty Senate warrior with much on the line. Can the G.O.P. leader deliver?

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist likes to tell a story from his days as a pioneering heart surgeon back in Tennessee. A lot of times, Frist recalls, you'd have a critical patient lying there waiting for a new heart, and you'd want to cut, but you couldn't start unless you knew that the replacement heart would make it to the operating room. You didn't want a mistake like opening up the transplant cooler and seeing it filled with Coca-Cola. "A lot can happen at the end," Frist says with a laugh.

A politician, like a surgeon, is tested on deadline, when...

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