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104962243-AP_18023560307962-collins-talking-stick.530x298.jpgv1516729898 Politics 

Senators used a 'talking stick' during shutdown negotiations

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, who moderated bipartisan negotiations in her office to break the government shutdown stalemate, describes the power of the centrists and her efforts to keep the talks civil, during a TV news interview on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018. Collins holds a ceremonial "talking stick," a gift from Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., which was passed from senator to senator; only the senator in possession of the "talking stick" could speak as others were listened.

J. Scott Applewhite | AP

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, who moderated bipartisan negotiations in her office to break the government shutdown stalemate, describes the power of the centrists and her efforts to keep the talks civil, during a TV news interview on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018. Collins holds a ceremonial “talking stick,” a gift from Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., which was passed from senator to senator; only the senator in possession of the “talking stick” could speak as others were listened.

Political pundits will debate the winners and losers of the three-day government shutdown, but a clear frontrunner for the unsung hero award has emerged: Sen. Susan Collins’s “talking…

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