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Friday, February 26, 2021

Hillary hits a rough patch

Buffeted by attacks from her rivals and accused of political double-talk, Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton has hit a rough patch on the road to her party’s nomination.

She remains firmly in the lead and there is no indication that her advantage nationally is in serious jeopardy, but a less-than-sharp debate performance last week has given hope to her Democratic opponents and energized Republicans.

In Iowa, polls show Clinton is basically in a dead heat, holding a narrow lead over Illinois Sen. Barack Obama and former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards. A big lead in New Hampshire has weakened a bit.

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House votes to protect gay workers

The Democratic-led House of Representatives on Wednesday defied a White House veto threat and voted to protect millions of Americans by outlawing workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation.

“This is truly a historic day,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, told her colleagues. “Discrimination has no place in America.”

The measure passed 235-184, falling far short of the two-thirds majority that would be needed to override a possible veto by President George W. Bush.

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Obama ticked over Internet photo

Barack Obama complained on Wednesday about an Internet photo that claims the Democratic presidential candidate didn’t hold his hand over his heart during the Pledge of Allegiance.

“This is so irritating,” Obama said when asked about the photo in Muscatine, Iowa.

The photo, which has circulated widely on the Internet, was taken in September during Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin’s annual Democratic fundraiser. A message accompanying the photo claims Obama didn’t observe the pledge.

Obama said the photo was taken during the singing of the national anthem, not the pledge.

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Rudy, Hillary locked in a dead heat

New York Sen. Hillary Clinton still holds a 20-point lead over her rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination but she and Republican front-runner Rudy Giuliani are in a dead heat, according to an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released on Wednesday.

Among Democrats, Clinton leads with 47 percent, followed by Illinois Sen. Barack Obama at 25 percent and former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards with 11 percent, NBC reported.

Clinton’s 22-point advantage over Obama in the poll is virtually unchanged since this summer.

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Suddenly, Ron Paul is a contender

Pumped up by a record day of online fundraising, Republican presidential contender Ron Paul said Wednesday he hopes to do well in a New Hampshire campaign in which he’s emerging as a potential spoiler — or more.

In an Associated Press interview, he said people startled by the $4.3 million take from his volunteer-led fundraising blitz Monday might be surprised on Election Day as well.

“They said if the candidate doesn’t call and pander to special interests you can’t raise enough money. But here, we found out the campaign is very spontaneous and volunteers are coming,” he said.

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