Stimulus Winner: Susan Collins

Coming off a shockingly large re-election win last year, Maine Republican Sen. Susan CollinsSusan CollinsSwing-state Republicans play up efforts for gun control laws Reid knocks GOP on gun 'terror loophole' after attacks GOP pressures Kerry on Russia's use of Iranian airbase MORE proved last week that she is now ready to exert her will as one of the most influential members of the Senate.

Collins was undoubtedly a winner of last week as she, along with Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson (Neb.), marshaled their economic stimulus bill to passage in the Senate. And once that was done, Collins held firm, saying she wouldn

The win, said University of Maine political scientist Richard Powell, showed that Collin