New Hampshire Takes Center Stage

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All eyes on New Hampshire.

Sanders and Clinton square off at a debate tonight one day after they both participated in a town hall.

It’s a fight among Democrats over who is more liberal.

Tonight there is a last minute debate between Sanders and Clinton at the University of New Hampshire in Durham.

John Wagner and Abby Phillip in The Washington Post write today,

 “The two Democratic presidential hopefuls sparred Wednesday over whether Hillary Clinton is enough of a "progressive," while she and Bernie Sanders both sought to manage expectations in a race that has now shifted to very different terrain.

With less than a week before the New Hampshire primary, and polls showing sizable leads here for Sanders, the Clinton team sought to emphasize the advantages that the senator from Vermont has as a next-door neighbor. Sanders's camp countered that Clinton should be stronger in the Granite State, given her win here as a presidential candidate in 2008. On the campaign trail, on Twitter and in a town hall broadcast Wednesday night by CNN, the biggest issue of the day was Sanders's questioning of Clinton's progressive credentials.The exchange was sparked by a day-old jab from Sanders, who told reporters in Keene that she is a progressive "some days," except when she "announces she is a moderate."

 Dan Balz also in the Washington Post writes,

Hillary Clinton has two large tasks to accomplish in the days ahead. The first and most immediate is to narrow the gap in New Hampshire with Sen. Bernie Sanders, who has long led the polls here. The second is to sharpen and elevate a message still built more on résumé and determination than on vision and inspiration. The first could prove to be easier than the second, but the second could be the more important to her candidacy in the long run.”

Jonathan Easley writes in the Hill,

“Hillary Clinton on Wednesday night defended accepting huge speaking fees from Goldman Sachs, arguing that it won’t influence the way she treats the banking industry. Speaking at CNN’s Democratic presidential forum, anchor Anderson Cooper pressed Clinton on whether it had been a mistake for her to reel in more than $200,000 per speech for three speeches to the Wall Street giant. "Look, I made speeches to lots of groups. I told them what I thought. I answered questions," Clinton said.

“But did you have to be paid $675,000?,” Cooper asked.

“Well I don’t know,” Clinton responded. “That’s what they offered.”

The crowd burst into laughter as Clinton explained that “every secretary of State I know has done that.” Cooper shot back that usually the secretary of State is not preparing to run for president.

“To be honest I wasn’t committed to running,” Clinton said. “I didn’t know whether I would run or not.” Clinton said she would not be influenced by the money.”

On the Republican side, it’s all-out war between several candidates, as New Hampshire becomes all important.

Reid Esptein and Heather Haddon in the Wall Street Journal today writes,

For three current or former Republican governors still running for president, next Tuesday’s primary is a make-or-break contest—and a strong finish by Florida Sen. Marco Rubio could render them all also-rans when the campaign moves beyond New Hampshire. With stakes so high, the signs of stress were evident here Wednesday. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, sixth in the Real Clear Politics polling average of New Hampshire, declared the GOP primary here a two-man race between him and Mr. Rubio. Ohio Gov. John Kasich, frustrated by persistent questions about his appeal to core conservative Republican voters, insisted he is fighting for every vote. And former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush waged a two-front battle, arguing on television that he is superior to Mr. Rubio while his campaign aired a two-minute television ad attacking Donald Trump. Messrs. Christie, Kasich and Bush are fighting to appeal to the party’s more centrist voters and business-focused donors, groups whom Mr. Rubio hopes to win after his better-than-expected third-place finish in Iowa on Monday. The governors each need a solid showing here after each getting less than 3% support in Iowa.”  

1200EST -- NJ Gov Christie holds a meet and greet. Village Pizza of Newport, Newport, NH. LIVE via LiveU

1200EST -- Donald Trump holds a rally. Exeter Town Hall, Exeter, NH. LIVE

1230EST -- Sen Rubio holds a town hall meeting. Saint Anselm Institute of Politics, Manchester, NH. LIVE via LiveU

1315EST -- Sen Cruz attends an addiction and recovery meeting. Emmanuel Baptist Church, Hooksett, NH. LIVE via LiveU

1330EST -- OH Gov Kasich speaks at Concord High School. Concord, NH. LIVE via LiveU

1330EST -- Donald Trump meets business owners. Great Property Management, Exeter, NH. LIVE via LiveU

There’s a major investigation underway right now into the explosion on board an A321 passenger jet in Africa that left one man sucked out of the fuselage. It’s believed to be the work of terrorists.

There’s a hearing into high drug prices on Capitol Hill today with the House looking into some drug companies pricing tactics.

Oil prices are up sharply despite more supply. Most global stocks up today.

Credit Suisse posted a nearly $6billion loss and is cutting 4,000 jobs.

Shell reported a 60% drop in profits.

Is the overheated art market cooling. Two major works failed to sell at an auction.

For more news, follow me on Twitter: @ClintPHenderson