The Secret Service isn’t Just about protecting the President….

The Washington Post is out with a piece that details how the Secret Service ran down a group of cyberhackers from Russia and caught them oversea’s…..

At noon on June 28, 2012, Vladimir Drinkman, targeted as one of America’s most wanted cybercriminals, and his wife hustled into a cab pulling away from their Amsterdam hotel. They had just been tipped off that the police were on to them, but an unmarked police car blocked their getaway. The Russian was handcuffed and arrested on charges of helping to mastermind what has been called the largest criminal hacking scheme ever prosecuted in the United States.

This week, after a protracted extradition proceeding, a Dutch court ruled that Drinkman will be sent to the United States to stand trial.

Drinkman, 34, is accused of taking part in a string of marquee hacks: the penetration of the electronic stock exchange Nasdaq, the theft of more than 130 million credit card numbers from Heartland Payment Systems, and cyber-­heists that victimized 7-Eleven, the Hannaford Brothers supermarket chain, Visa, Dow Jones and Jet Blue, among others.

If convicted, he could face up to 30 years in prison. He is alleged to be part of a ring whose actions, prosecutors say, have caused more than $300 million in losses and led to countless stolen identities.

Led by the U.S. Secret Service, the case is one of the most significant prosecutions in the annals of cybercrime. Not only are high-value hackers difficult to trace because of techniques used to mask their identities, but many of them also are in countries of the former Soviet Union, where extradition is virtually impossible….

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A Clinton in the White House will reopen lines to Democrats in Congress…

Barack H. Obama has never much cared for retail politics with his OWN party people in Congress. since becoming President….

Bill Clinton and for a lesser extent, Senator Hillary Clinton, where approachable and had no problem with talking to their party memebers in the Congress….

Democrats can’t wait for THAT to return…..

Philadelphia Democratic Rep. Chaka Fattah, who was elected in 1994, described Bill Clinton’s relationships on the Hill as “extraordinary.”

“I don’t think this is just looking at it through rose-colored glasses,” Fattah said, noting that when Clinton came to Philadelphia, he would meet the president at the airport, ride in the limo and take him to play golf. After one of Fattah’s first legislative victories for an educational program called Gear Up, Clinton traveled to a middle school in Pennsylvania and credited him for getting the bill signed into law.

“There was a lot of personalized interaction and they were engaged in this political effort, but it was also substantive,” Fattah said.

Clinton, who served from 1993 until 2001, led House Democrats into the minority for the first time in 40 years. Still, what lawmakers focus on aren’t his stumbles but differences between his and the Obama administration’s interactions with Capitol Hill.

“He did something that this president doesn’t do at all. Every time the 747 lifted off the ground, it was filled with members of Congress, Republicans and Democrats. I went to India with him, I went to South America with him, I went to Asia … and I went to Africa,” said Rep. Jim McDermott. “He was inclusive.”

The Clintons were so close to the Washington state lawmaker that Bill Clinton helped raise money for him when the House Ethics Committee investigated him over leaking a recorded telephone conversation during the 1997 investigation of then-Speaker Newt Gingrich.

When asked to compare Clinton and Obama’s Hill interactions, Rep. Jerry Nadler said there was a big difference.

“There is much less contact, no question about it,” Nadler responded.

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The scramble for GOP Presidential Campaign Money….

The money rush is ON!

Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey and former Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida plunged into all-out battle this weekend for the biggest unclaimed prize in American politics and the decisive advantage that could go with it: the billion-dollar donor network once harnessed by Mitt Romney.

In hundreds of phone calls that began even before Mr. Romney formally announced on Friday that he was forgoing a third bid for the presidency, allies of Mr. Christie and Mr. Bush began putting intense pressure on Mr. Romney’s supporters to pick a side. And now donors have nowhere to hide, since virtually every contender for the Republican nomination has established a leadership PAC or other fund-raising vehicle in recent weeks, and the candidates are leaning on them to make a commitment.

The next 48 hours, several donors said, could not only answer the question of whether Mr. Bush will face a serious challenge from Mr. Christie for the Republican Party’s establishment mantle. It may also demonstrate whether there is room left for anyone else in the first tier of Republican candidates. “I’ve already had three phone calls from various camps asking me to have them over to talk,” said John Rakolta Jr., a Michigan construction executive and a leading Romney fund-raiser. “I’ve told them I need a weekend to process this all.”…

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Note….

The linked post does NOT mention Scott Walker?

One gets the impression that a looming moderate ? Republican? fight is brewing?

I though Christie isn’t really in this…Or….Is he?

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Fox snap poll…Jeb Bush gets a lift with Romney drop out…..

In all the early polling after Mitt Romney annonced he was considering a another run for President he zoomed to the top of the polling….

Mitt not gonna run again….

Jeb Bush is back on top of the pile…..

A new poll suggests that former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush stands to gain the most from Mitt Romney’s decision not to run for president for the third time.

A Fox News poll released Thursday before Mr. Romney’s decision was announced found that Mr. Bush was the second choice of many who favored Mr. Romney, and would lead the field in his absence.

Although Mr. Romney would have led the field with 21% of Republicans surveyed by Fox, the poll found that in his absence Mr. Bush rose to No. 1 spot with 15%, followed by Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky tied with 13% each….

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Is Christie in Palin’s low GOP favorible range?

For those of you who are with me watching polling all the time for 2016…..

You know that Chris Christie has dropped in the overall polling, but still is in the top three in most polls…..

FiveThirtyEight is out witha piece that looks at his favorable ratings….

Those numbers are not particullary good….(Moderate and Liberal GOP’s do NOT like the guy much)…

Sarah Palin is a more conservative version of Chris Christie — at least as far as the 2016 Republican nomination contest is concerned.

After the revelation that she was thinking about running for president, and after her much-panned speech at the Iowa Freedom Summit, Palin has re-entered the presidential spotlight. But if she were to run, she would almost certainly go nowhere.

I say this on the basis of her net favorable rating (favorable minus unfavorable rating) among Republicans: It’s not very good. Although no live interview polls have tested Palin’s popularity in the past year and a half, surveys in 2013 found that Palin was almost universally known (average name recognition of 89 percent) but not universally beloved (net favorable rating of just +24.3 percentage points) among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents.

As I wrote this week, this compares miserably with past presidential nominees for the two parties at this point in the process (since 1980, not including incumbent presidents). Eventual nominees start the campaign either well-known and well-liked in their party, or not well-known. Palin, like Christie, isn’t in either category….

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Note….

Yes…The linked piece mentions moderate and LIBERAL Republicans!

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Out going Defense Sec Hagel hints possible need for non-combat troops in Iraq…

Chuck Hagel is leaving his job as America’s Defense Secretary….

In going out the door?…He’s keeping it REAL….

THAT is rubbing against a President that is set against any combat troops back in country ….But already have them there as ‘advisors’….

Outgoing Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is telling CNN that non-combat ground troops could be necessary in Iraq.

Hagel, who is on his way out at the Pentagon and appeared with President Obama this week at a farewell ceremony, said the battle in Iraq against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria would not require U.S. troops just yet.

But he suggested the need could become apparent.

“I think it may require a forward deployment of some of our troops …” he said on CNN, according to a Reuters report. “I would say we’re not there yet. Whether we get there or not, I don’t know.”

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Russell Wilson…The Seahawks Million Dollar man?….

The Seattle Quarterback , who at 5′ 11″ was thought to be too small will be in his second Super Bowl in a row….

Well, here he is…AGAIN…..

AND….

He’s waiting to get a raise….(He’s in for $817,000 this season*)

A BIG RAISE…..

Russell Wilson is one win away from claiming a second Super Bowl ring with the Seattle Seahawks in his first three National Football League seasons. The undersized third-round draft pick is also a step from becoming the highest-paid quarterback in league history.

Wilson, 26, has been among the NFL’s most underpaid players for the past three seasons, making just more than $2 million total in base salary and signing bonuses while leading the Seahawks to a 42-13 record and three straight playoff appearances, including a second consecutive Super Bowl trip.

Fifty-two other quarterbacks made more money this season than Wilson, whose team-friendly rookie deal has allowed the Seahawks to pay for a deep roster that has them in position to become the first repeat NFL champions in 11 years. That payroll flexibility in Seattle is going to change, especially if Wilson and his teammates hoist the Lombardi Trophy again after beating Tom Brady and the New England Patriots on Feb. 1.

“It puts him in that $120 million club, clearly,” Super Bowl-winning coach Brian Billick, now an analyst for the NFL Network, said during an interview in Phoenix. “People go, ‘Is one player worth that much?’ Nobody is worth that much. But in today’s market, that’s what you pay. That’s the going price. And it’s going north.”

Wilson can become the 11th quarterback in NFL history with multiple Super Bowl titles and the first with two in his first three seasons as a starter since Brady, who has three overall….

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*...NFL Football Players receive a base salary of $570,000 after two years…..

image…reddit.com

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Speaker Boehner’s invite to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to address Congress in March falls flat in the US and Isreal…

Republican House Speaker John Boehner has managed to piss out President Obama, Democrats and Yes…Israeli’s….

The Israeli Prime Minister , up for election right after the possible March appearance before the US Congress, is not making his country folks happy with his annoying the American President , especially with the Middle East the way it is now…..

House Speaker John A. Boehner’s decision last week to invite Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address Congress in March, just ahead of an election in Israel, appears to be backfiring.

Netanyahu is expected to speak his mind about the threat posed by Iran, a move aimed both at giving momentum to congressional efforts to expand sanctions on the regime in Tehran as well as burnishing the Israeli premier’s “Churchillian” chops back home ahead of elections he risks losing.

But, as The Post’s Morning Plum observes, it has galvanized Democrats to get behind President Obama, who is staunchly opposed to a sanctions vote because it would undermine current diplomatic efforts to reach a nuclear deal with Iran. The plan to stage the speech was apparently hatched in secret by Boehner (R-Ohio) and Israel’s U.S.-born ambassador, Ron Dermer, a former Republican operative, without notifying top Obama administration officials. The White House now deems Netanyahu’s visit a breach of protocol and says Obama will not meet with the prime minister so close to his country’s elections.

“There are things you simply don’t do. [Netanyahu] spat in our face publicly and that’s no way to behave,” an unnamed White House official told the Israeli newspaper Haaretz. “Netanyahu ought to remember that President Obama has a year and a half left to his presidency, and that there will be a price.”

It’s well known there’s no love lost between Obama and Netanyahu, but the Israeli premier’s arrival on the behest of Boehner has been widely perceived to cross a sort of red line — an act that’s not only politically provocative, but also shows disrespect to the institution of the presidency. Even Fox News was upset about it, as well as prominent Israel-friendly commentators.

And many in Israel are similarly not impressed…..

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Oil drop has evaporated Investors Money….

As me if I care?

Investors have a message for suffering U.S. oil drillers: We feel your pain.

They’ve pumped more than $1.4 trillion into the oil and gas industry the past five years as oil prices averaged more than $91 a barrel. The cash infusion helped push U.S. crude production to the highest in more than 30 years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Now that oil prices have fallen below $46, any euphoria over cheaper energy will be tempered by losses that are starting to show up in investment funds, retirement accounts and bank balance sheets. The bear market has wiped out a total of $393 billion since June — $353 billion from the shares of 76 companies in the Bloomberg Intelligence North America Exploration & Production index, and almost $40 billion from high-yield energy bonds, issued by many shale drillers, according to a Bloomberg index.

“The only thing people are noticing now is that gas prices are dropping,” said Sean Wheeler, the Houston-based co-chairman of the oil and gas industry team for law firm Latham & Watkins LLP. “People haven’t noticed yet that it’s also hitting their portfolios.”

The money flowing into oil and gas companies around the world in the last five years came from a variety of sources. The industry completed $286 billion in joint ventures, investments and spinoffs, raised $353 billion in initial public offerings and follow-on share sales, and borrowed $786 billion in bonds and loans.

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Note…..

But others will….

‘“We’re very concerned about the banks located in these oil-producing areas,” he said. “A prolonged time of low oil prices is really going to cause banks significant problems.”

More people will be affected than realize it, said Michael Shaoul, who helps oversee about $9 billion as CEO of Marketfield Asset Management LLC in New York. “So much of this has ended up in 401(k)s and in pension funds and in mutual funds, and that’s where the bulk of the pain is going to be felt.”

Same link…..

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David Duke vs Rep. Scalise in 2016?…Really?

If Duke runs?

The Republican establishment are NOT gonna be happy with the media coverage OUTSIDE of Louisanna….

Former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke says that he might run against House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and that Scalise is a “sellout.”

The Louisiana Republican has been caught up in a controversy over revelations that in 2002 he addressed a white supremacist group founded by Duke.

“I might just have to run against Steve Scalise,” Duke said Wednesday in an interview with “The Jim Engster Show” first reported by BuzzFeed. “I really might. I’m definitely going to consider it.”

Duke added that Scalise should resign from his leadership position and Congress altogether.

“He should resign because the difference between Steve Scalise and I is that he campaigned on the same issues that I introduced to the Republican Party, but he sold out,” Duke said.

Duke criticized Scalise for saying that speaking to Duke’s group, the European-American Unity and Rights Organization, was a “mistake I regret,” after the revelation last month.

“I said nothing different at the conference any different than what I ran for office on,” Duke said. “This wasn’t a Klan meeting. It wasn’t any sort of a radical meeting, it was a meeting that said there’s European-American rights, right?”

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US Senate 2016: Former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland (D-OH) to run…

Afternoon all!

This will probably the first big Recruitment for the DSCC. Former Ohio Democratic Governor Ted Strickland (D-OH) will run for the Democratic Senate Nomination in 2016. He’s 73 years old (would be 75 by the time he is sworn in as Senator).

‘Former Gov. Ted Strickland will run for the U.S. Senate next year, sources close to him confirmed today.

Attempts to reach Strickland, a Democrat, by The Vindicator today have been unsuccessful.

However, those sources say he told political allies Thursday that he would run in the 2016 Democratic primary for the seat and was spending today talking to high-level donors about his decision.

Strickland, 73, will visit Israel shortly and doesn’t plan to make an official announcement until the middle of February, one source said.

Strickland runs the Center for American Progress Action Fund, a politically progressive organization in Washington, D.C. One source said Strickland will resign from the group to concentrate on the Senate bid.’

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Strickland plans an Official Campaign Announcement in Mid-February. Republican US Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) whom Strickland would run against should he win the Democratic Nomination has 5,8 Mio. $ CoH.
Daniel G.

image…washingtonpost.com

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Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest 1/30/14…Poll finds Rahm Emanuel up….

 Reposted from Daily Kos Elections by Jeff Singer
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel listens as U.S. President Barack Obama talks about the economy, in Cahn Auditorium at the Kellogg School of Management in Northwestern University in Evanston October 2, 2014.       REUTERS/Larry Downing   (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS EDUCATION BUSINESS HEADSHOT PROFILE) - RTR48PYA

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel

Leading Off:

Chicago Mayor: Our long Windy City polling drought is really over! On behalf of the Chicago Tribune, APC Research surveys the Feb. 24 non-partisan primary and finds incumbent Mayor Rahm Emanuel ahead, but a bit far from the majority he needs to avert an April runoff. Rahm leads Cook County Commissioner Jesus Garcia 42-18; Alderman Bob Fioretti takes 10, with businessman Willie Wilson at 7. Two recent polls (one of them an internal for a group hostile to the mayor) also showed Rahm far ahead but not close to 50 percent.

Rahm has been bombarding the airwaves with positive ads, and it seems to have helped him restore his popularity. APC gives him a 43-35 approval rating, a huge turnaround from the 29-46 score they gave him in August. Garcia and Fioretti are not nearly as well known, sporting 34-6 and 25-8 favorable ratings respectively. The problem for Rahm’s opponents is that they don’t have anywhere near the type of money the mayor has, and no deep-pocketed groups have gotten involved. If Rahm keeps monopolizing the airwaves, the once-unpopular incumbent can very well walk away with victory next month.

Senate:

FL-Sen, 18: Whether Democratic Rep. Patrick Murphy runs for the U.S. Senate next year or for re-election, there’s no question that he’ll have money to burn. The congressman just announced that he hauled in $533,000 in the fourth quarter of 2014, a mind-blowing sum for what’s usually a dry fundraising quarter. If Murphy tries to move to the upper chamber, he can transfer this money from his House account.

IN-Sen: The National Journal has a great article about how Republican senators are hoping to defer would-be primary challengers. It notes that while people like Missouri’s Roy Blunt, Arkansas’ John Boozman, and Kansas’ Jerry Moran haven’t drawn any real intra-party or Democratic opponents, none of them are taking any chances. No one wants to turn into former Indiana Sen. Richard Luger, who lost touch with the base and wasn’t at all prepared when Richard Mourdock challenged him. As a result, most Republican senators are raising money and staying in contact with the party-rank-and-file…..

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Political Roundup for January 30th, 2015…Lindsey Graham 2016? …Red Racing Horses

by: Daniel Surman

President

Rand Paul: Senator Rand Paul hired Texas GOP Chairman Steve Munisteri as a senior advisor. Munisteri and Paul’s longtime relationship goes back to the 80s, when both were members of the Young Conservatives of Texas. Nevertheless, the move represents a blow to both Rick Perry and Ted Cruz. While Munisteri’s role is supposed to be more general than just fundraising, the chairman of a state with as many Republican donors as Texas is useful to have around.

Nikki Haley: A look at South Carolina Nikki Haley’s recent political past and why she isn’t a likely vice presidential pick. The article does not mention her unusually competitive 2010 election race and instead focuses on her internal struggles with other Republicans.

Lindsey Graham: The hawkish Senator’s quixotic bid looks more likely than ever. With his own organization ready to raise money, Graham will bet on the prominence of foreign policy and his home state of South Carolina to propel him ahead of better prepared and established competitors for the nod.

Senate

Florida: Another tea leaf Rep. Patrick Murphy (D) wants to run for US Senate? The representative pulled in a strong $533k in the 4th quarter of 2014. After comfortably holding a swing seat in 2014, Murphy probably wants to seize his chance to escape Democrats’ eternal minority status in the House.

Governor

OK-Gov: Former Rep. Dan Boren (D) is not ruling out a 2018 gubernatorial bid. Boren may be the only Democrat left in deep-red Oklahoma who could run a competitive statewide race, with a strong track record as a conservadem and a well-known name.

KY-Gov: A poll by Remington Research finds a wide-open Republican primary, with James Comer leading with 22%, Matt Bevin with 19%, and Hal Heiner with 18%.

CA-Gov: Governor Jerry Brown (D) retains almost $24 million in his campaign accounts despite heading into his final term. He spent less than $6 million on his 2014 reelection campaign, mostly putting that money into support for a pair of ballot propositions. With a record high approval rating and an endless stream of biannual ballot propositions to fight or support, Governor Brown could have some fun with the money.

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The New York City Police Department to form seperate terrorist/protest unit….

NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton will deal with a several issues in creating the unit…..

The Police Union has complained about not having the right equipment for situations like the Paris attacks….

The Paris attacks have renewed the efforts of the NYPD and other Departments acquiring heavy duty weapons….(Fergusn incidents will NOT stop this)

The Department wants more man power….

The Department IS worried about possible attacks on the city….

A new unit of 350 cops will handle both counterterrorism and protests, riding around vehicles equipped with long guns and riot gear under a new NYPD re-engineering plan to be rolled out over the coming months.

The department will do away with the current system that pulls cops from precincts citywide to provide a beefed-up presence at certain hotspots in “critical incident vehicles.”

“It strips the precincts of a couple of officers, day time, evening,” NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton said Thursday of the existing strategy initiated under former Commissioner Ray Kelly.
“We’re going to try to create a system where instead of doing that, we’re going to leave them back in the precincts so they get an enhanced presence.”

The new unit, which will be operational by summer, will be assigned to the counterterrorism bureau.

“They will be specially trained for it,” Bratton said during a Police Foundation breakfast.. “Their vehicles will be specially equipped with long guns and all the various heavy tactical gear, riot gear, and the officers will have the dedicated mission of protecting locations, being able to assist us in dealing with demonstrations.”

Source….

image…syracuse.com

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GDP gains @ 2.6 percent in the last Qtr….

That’s NOT a bad amount…

But it’s less than the 5% in the last quarter…..

The economy in the U.S. expanded at a slower pace than forecast in the fourth quarter as cooling business investment, a slump in government outlays and a widening trade gap took some of the luster off the biggest gain in consumer spending in almost nine years.

Gross domestic product grew at a 2.6 percent annualized rate after a 5 percent gain in the third quarter that was the fastest since 2003, Commerce Department figures showed Thursday in Washington. The median forecast of 85 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a 3 percent advance. Consumer spending, which accounts for almost 70 percent of the economy, climbed 4.3 percent, more than projected.

Swept up by the cheapest gasoline in years and the biggest employment increase since 1999, households are gaining the confidence to spend more freely, which will bolster the odds the world’s biggest economy can escape a global slowdown unscathed. Engaged consumers will help ensure that most American employers will look to expand, even as the decline in oil hurts companies such as Caterpillar Inc.

The expansion last quarter was “all about a solid consumer performance,” said Guy LeBas, chief fixed-income strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott LLC in Philadelphia, who correctly forecast the fourth-quarter growth rate. “Overall, the number has returned to trend growth after a couple of really hot quarters.”

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The 2016 Democratic Primary Debates?

The right leaning National Journal picks on the Democrats lack of challangers against a Hillary Clinton nomination run….

A few things are certain: There will be fewer Democratic debates than in 2008 and they’ll start considerably later in the cycle. Obama and Clinton debated 27 times during the 2008 primary, a staggering number that party officials have no desire to repeat. And instead of a spring start for those debates—the first one of the 2008 cycle was held in late April 2007—networks and the DNC anticipate the earliest a debate could start is the fall.

But if the field is small and Clinton is far ahead in polling, insiders expect her to have a lot of sway over the debate process and schedule—which may mean a much trimmer debate schedule than in years past.

“In a prospective Clinton candidacy … there’s a very strong chance she’ll start off with a very strong lead,” said veteran Democratic strategist Chris Lehane. “That would give her a little bit of a stronger hand to play in terms of both determining how many debates are actually proposed and which ones she actually agrees to.”

Hillary Clinton’s candidacy looks to be a near-certainty at this point, but what’s less clear is which of her potential opponents will actually decide to run. Vice President Joe Biden, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, former Sen. Jim Webb of Virginia, and Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont have all expressed interest in the race; progressive supporters of Elizabeth Warren are hoping to pull the first-term senator from Massachusetts into the race as well, but thus far she’s shown no interest….

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