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“They work great as a team,” Mr. Chlapowski said. “I think it is very well known that they have a very good professional relationship working together in the Senate and it was demonstrated in the way they were able to get the stand-alone bill on the floor so quickly after the [defense bill] failed and push that forward to victory this year.”

And even Mr. Obama, who is now positioned to fulfill his campaign pledge to end the controversial policy, singled out the two senators for special mention in his statement after passage over the weekend.

There are some who are less enthusiastic about the partnership.

“I think Susan Collins is representing probably what she thinks the people of Maine want, but I’m not sure it’s something that Maine Republicans want,” said Charlie Webster, Maine GOP chairman.

Still, Miss Collins is confident that she and Mr. Lieberman are on the right side of history.

“I believe that society has changed so much since this was first implemented 17 years ago, and I think it’s important to remind people that it was [President Clinton] who signed it into law, which I also think shows you that times have changed.”