Coming off a shockingly large re-election win last year, Maine Republican Sen. Susan CollinsSusan CollinsSenate Republicans reluctant to rush vote on healthcare bill GOP senator defends funding Planned Parenthood GOP sen: 'We should not be voting' on healthcare this week 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