“The Rise and Fall of Susan Collins: A Closer Look at the Controversial Senator” 

 April 24, 2023

Introduction

Susan Collins, born on December 7, 1952, is an American politician who served as the senior United States Senator from Maine from 1997 to 2021. She was the first Republican woman to represent Maine in the United States Senate and is popularly known for her centrist and moderate political views. Collins was re-elected to the Senate four times but lost her last bid in the 2020 elections to a Democrat.

Collins, often considered a swing vote, was known for breaking party lines and working with both Democrats and Republicans to pass important bills. However, her political career has been a series of highs and lows, with her decisions often being controversial and leading to a lot of criticism. This blog will take a closer look at the rise and fall of Susan Collins, exploring her life and career and the various controversies she has been involved in over the years.

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Susan Collins: The Early Years

Collins was born in Caribou, Maine, and grew up in a politically active family. Her father served as the mayor of Caribou and was also a state senator. Collins attended St. Lawrence University, where she studied government before earning her law degree from the University of Maine School of Law. After graduation, she worked as a lawyer in the private sector before entering politics in 1987.

Collins began her political career as a staffer for Senator William Cohen, a Republican from Maine. She then became the Commissioner of the Department of Professional and Financial Regulation for Maine before running for office herself.

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The Rise of Susan Collins

In 1996, Collins ran for the United States Senate as a Republican and won against Joe Brennan, the former Democratic governor of Maine. Collins was re-elected in 2002, 2008, and 2014, earning a reputation as a moderate and independent voice in the Senate. Some of her notable achievements include:

– Co-sponsorship of the No Child Left Behind Act, which provided federal funding for education and standards-based accountability for schools
– Co-sponsorship of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
– Confirmed Supreme Court Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, both nominated by Democratic Presidents
– Voted against the repeal of the Affordable Care Act in 2017

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Over the years, Collins became known for her willingness to work with Democrats and break from her party on issues she felt strongly about. However, her career took a turn for the worse in recent years, with a series of controversial votes and decisions leading to criticism from both sides of the political spectrum.

The Controversies of Susan Collins

One of the first controversies to involve Collins occurred in 2017 when she voted in favor of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education, despite protests from educators, parents, and Democrats. DeVos was a controversial pick, with many accusing her of having little experience in public education.

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Another major controversy involving Collins came during the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearings in 2018. Collins was one of the deciding votes to confirm Kavanaugh as a Supreme Court Justice, despite allegations of sexual assault made against him. Many criticized Collins for her vote, arguing that she ignored the voices of women and victims of sexual assault.

Collins faced more criticism in 2019 when she voted to acquit President Donald Trump of charges of abuse of power and obstruction of justice. Many believed that she was putting party loyalty before her country and ignoring the overwhelming evidence against the President.

The Fall of Susan Collins

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Collins’ career came to a sudden end in 2020 when she lost her bid for re-election to a Democrat, Sara Gideon. Many believed that Collins’ controversial votes had caught up with her, and she was paying the price for ignoring the voices of her constituents.

In her concession speech, Collins showed her grace and dignity, saying, “I urge all of you to support our new President and the Congressional leadership, whether it be in the House or the Senate, in trying to heal our divisions.”

FAQs

1. What party did Susan Collins belong to?

Susan Collins was a Republican Senator from Maine.

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2. How many times was Susan Collins re-elected to the Senate?

Susan Collins was re-elected to the Senate four times before losing her last bid in 2020.

3. What were some of Susan Collins’ notable achievements in the Senate?

Susan Collins co-sponsored the No Child Left Behind Act, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and confirmed Supreme Court Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.

4. What was the controversy surrounding Susan Collins’ vote for Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education?

Many educators, parents, and Democrats were against DeVos as she was accused of having little experience in public education. Despite this, Susan Collins voted in favor of her confirmation.

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5. What was the controversy surrounding Susan Collins’ vote for Brett Kavanaugh as a Supreme Court Justice?

Susan Collins was one of the deciding votes to confirm Kavanaugh, despite allegations of sexual assault made against him. Many criticized Collins for ignoring the voices of women and victims of sexual assault.

6. What was the controversy surrounding Susan Collins’ vote to acquit President Donald Trump?

Susan Collins voted to acquit President Trump of charges of abuse of power and obstruction of justice in 2019. Many believed that she was putting party loyalty before her country and ignoring the overwhelming evidence against the President.

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7. What happened to Susan Collins in the 2020 elections?

Susan Collins lost her bid for re-election to a Democrat, Sara Gideon, in the 2020 elections. Many attributed her loss to controversial votes and decisions she had made in the past.

Conclusion

Susan Collins’ political career was a series of highs and lows. She was known for her independence and moderatism, but her controversial votes and decisions ultimately led to her downfall. However, her graceful concession speech showed that she was a class act until the very end. The rise and fall of Susan Collins is a reminder that politicians must always listen to their constituents and put country before party.

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