The clear front-runner to replace Sen. Lott (R-MS) as Republican leader is Tennessee's Bill Frist, the Senate's only physician. A political novice elected to the Senate on his first run for office in 1994, Frist has enjoyed a rapid rise during his brief legislative career. And as NPR's Julie Rovner reports, having a health expert at the helm of a Senate that's expected to take on a number of high-profile medical issues doesn't hurt, either.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.