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The Battle For Barack

The 2008 presidential race may still be a waysoff, but sources say Democratic hopefuls New York Sen. Hillary Clinton and Delaware Sen. Joe Biden have already clashedin their courtship of potential running mate and presumed party savior Barack Obama.The wooing began not long after Obama won his Illinois senate seat last Novemberwhen an unofficial “Clinton-Obama 2008” organization begancirculating bumper stickers for the possible pairing. Sensing an opening,Clinton quickly bonded with Obama, playing up their shared Chicago roots andpartnership on the outré Environmental and Public Works Committee. ButClinton’s gonna have to do a lot better than that if she wants to outplayBiden, sources say. Not only was the silver-haired senator a fixture at Obama’s Chicagocampaign fundraisers last year, he also managed to snag his new pal a coveted slot onthe decidedly more glamorous Foreign Relations Committee, providing the two with some priceless photo ops in the battleground states of Iraq and Afghanistan. With a recent PewResearch poll showing a majority of Americans supposedly ready to vote for Hillary, theformer First Lady isn’t likely to roll over and let Biden poach herhoped-for secret weapon. “Hillary practically adopted Obama, and nowJoe’s stealing her baby,” says one Capitol Hill observer.“She’s definitely got a grudge against Biden.” No word on whether either would-be candidate has consulted Obama for his opinion on the matter.

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