I don't think any of us should be surprised when politicians try to play events to their own and their parties' advantage. What I do (unfortunately) find surprising is when a politician actually stands up for his principles, even to his own disadvantage. I certainly hope that the moral points Jeffords has accrued from his action will stand him in good stead in the future, and that his career will not suffer because of it.
I have always thought that even politicians I disagreed with probably had the good of the country at heart, even when I felt that they were totally mistaken in their ideas. George W. Bush is the first one that I have seriously felt doesn't give a damn about any of us.