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Kucinich Throws His Support to Obama

By Shailagh Murray
A late Christmas gift has arrived for Sen. Barack Obama.

Rep. Dennis Kucinich doesn't have an official campaign office in Iowa, and his only events in the state have been multi-candidate forums. What he does have is a small but loyal following amounting to 1 percent of likely Democratic caucus goers, according to this week's Des Moines Register poll.

In a statement released today, Kucinich said if he doesn't happen to clear the 15 percent threshold for viability in individual precincts on Thursday, he would "strongly encourage" his supporters to pick Obama as their second choice. "This is obviously an 'Iowa-only' recommendation, as Sen. Obama and I are competing in the New Hampshire primary next Tuesday," Kucinich pointed out. But he added, "Sen. Obama and I have one thing in common: change."

In 2004, Kucinich agreed to share support with former Sen. John Edwards, an arrangement that political observers believe may have contributed to the former North Carolina senator's strong second-place finish.This year, his natural ally is Obama, the only other Democrat in the race who opposed the Iraq war before it started.

"I have a lot of respect for Congressman Kucinich and I'm honored that he has done this," the senator said in a gushing thank-you note released by his campaign this afternoon.

By Web Politics Editor  |  January 1, 2008; 5:26 PM ET
Categories:  B_Blog , Barack Obama , Dennis Kucinich  
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Next: Madeline Stowe Gets Out the Vote for Edwards

Comments

diksagev:

Do you expect Dennis Kucinich to be dogmatic in his thinking, even if he knows that Edwards does not represent his feeling and view right now? One thing you must know is that dogmatism is a negation of progressivism. Progressives, such as the likes of Dennis Kucinich, are not dogmatic. To suggest that because Dennis K supported Edwards four years ago means he should again support him this time is surely suggestive of dogmatism. Hence, DK was right and will be absolved by history that his support for Obama was the right decision to make. I want to therefore give a pat of Dennis's back for his decision. Obama is our future and hope for a change in Washington.

Posted by: jkerkulafoeday | January 3, 2008 12:29 PM | Report abuse

I think Dennis is playing politics here. Edwards is the second most progressive candidate to Kucinich according to the DFA poll. By supporting Obama in Iowa, he increases his chances for success in New Hampshire. I disagree with the comment about Edwards not accepting the Vice Presidential role with Obama. No one knows that for sure. It is too early to make that judgement. Edwards is to the left of Obama and would fit that roll perfectly. Obama on the other hand is just slightly to the left of Hillary Clinton, and both he and Hillary are the Media darlings(Republican lite). It would be a mistake for Edwards to nominate someone to the right of his very progressive agenda to be his running mate. The NeoCon/NeoLiberal cabal wouldn't hesitate to assassinate Edwards if one of their plants was the Vice President. If on the other hand Edwards ran with Richardson, Dodd, or Kucinich, and won, assassinating Edwards would do them no good. And please don't dismiss the assassination theory, look what happened when JFK was assassinated. LBJ, a moderate, who's wife just happened to be a war profiteer continued the war and did very little for the progressive agenda. After all nobody would think of assassinating George Dubbya, because what would be the point, we would just end up with another more treacherous right wing fascist with Dick Cheney. Gauge the politicians by what their platform says and never mind who is endorsing who. That kind of spin is what got us into this mess in the first place.

Posted by: Fascistfighter | January 3, 2008 12:16 PM | Report abuse

JakeD

I wonder where Hillary,Edwards, and the rest of the Democratic candidates stand on the issue of abortion. I wonder why only Obama was singled out in your posting. Maybe, as I said the reason is "odd" or "unexplained" or "racist" in nature! Or, maybe you explain for the benefit of our readers why you opted to single out Obama and not Clinton or Edwards.

Posted by: jkerkulafoeday | January 3, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

I think that Dennis is great, and I would love to see him in the Obama cabinet. I salute his statesmanship and integrity by making this announcement. He knows in his heart that he cannot be elected, and has done a great service to the country by running and keeping important issues that others would rather not discuss on the table.
It gives me a headache to continually read that Hillary is the only or most electable candidate. I do not dislike the woman. I will work adamantly for her election if she is to be the candidate. But I (political science major and one who has followed politics closely for WAY to many years) can not make the numbers work for her to be elected. If I am wrong (and I sincerely hope to be), I am even more confidant that she will be a major drag on the ticket for a number of traditional red/purple states where in the Democrats have opportunities to pick up seats. If we get the presidency (which is a wonderful prize) but lose the Senate and/or the House...we have nothing. The best we can hope for is 4 more years of stalemate. We must increase our margins in both branches to be able to make actual changes in the way this country works. I am confidant that Obama can win. I think that Edwards, Richardson, Dodd, or Biden can win. I do not think that Hillary, Gravel, or unfortunately, Dennis can win. My greatest hopes for this country that I do love is for tomorrow night to be the start of real change..and the start of the Obama nomination procedure. Wayne P

Posted by: potrafka | January 2, 2008 9:53 PM | Report abuse

sgoewey,

I agree with you in part. Hillary is clearly the Democratic candidate that Republicans would like to face in 2008. The two most plausible reasons I can come up with for those who claim that Republicans want to face Senator Obama in a general election are that they are Clinton supporters using "tranferrence", knowing full well that it's really Hillary the GOP wants; or they mistake the fact that Most Independents and some Repubicans will actually support Obama over the weak field of Republican candidates and mistake that as a sign that they feel they could defeat Obama.

The polls indicate that Obama and Edwards already fare better than Clinton against the various GOP candidates but the Clinton campaign continues to spread the lie that Hillary is the "most electable" Democrat. Look no further than the TV ads of Republican candidates for President to see who the GOP wants to face in Novemeber. GOP candidates are salivating so badly over the prospect of getting to face Hillary that they attack Hillary and compare themselves to her almost as much as they target their Republican opponents even though not a single vote has yet been cast in the Primary elections.

I DO believe that many Republicans who fear they may be doomed to lose the White House in 2008 would rather see Senator Obama in the Oval Office than Hillary Clinton; but it's faulty logic to think that means he is the candidate they'd rather face because they believe he would be more easily defeated. Senator Obama is already running well against Clinton and would more easily carry the majority of her supporters if he wins the nomination, making him very strong in the general election. It's highly doubtful that Ms. Clinton would fare as well with the Obama and Edwards supporters if she gets the nomination.

Where I disagree with you is on your wish for Edwards as the number 2 spot on an Obama ticket. I doubt he would accept the VP spot again after 2004, and I don't think he brought a great deal of strength to the ticket in that role 4 years ago anyway. Unfortunately, there is some doubt in my mind that Mr. Edwards would take a back seat to Senator Obama and there may be some racial undertones about that, I'm sad to say. I've heard to many reports out of the Edwards camp indicating that they consider themselves to be the best choice for many voters who will not support a woman or an African American man. He's been put forth as "the top white man left standing" for me to see him joining the Obama Team. Whether he would accept or not, I personally have much more respect for Senator Biden and I also believe he would make the Democratic ticket stronger than Edwards in the VP spot.

Posted by: diksagev | January 2, 2008 5:04 PM | Report abuse

jkerkulafoeday:

Will you think it "odd", "unexplained" and/or "racist" if we point out that Obama supports taxpayer-funded abortions?

Posted by: JakeD | January 2, 2008 4:51 PM | Report abuse

This is an "interesting" development. I'm not sure how important it as or how much influence it may have on the eventual outcome, but it's interesting.

It's interesting to see what a candidate who is still active in the race and is considered a candidate representing change thinks concerning which of the major candidates he considers to be the real CHANGE candidate. Probably what I find most interesting about this story is that Kucinich made this same move 4 years ago during the Iowa Caucus and the candidate he endorsed happened to be Edwards. Perhaps the most interesting thing about all of this is that Kucinich feels strong enough about Senator Obama as the candidate (other than himself) who represents real change in government, and that includes Edwards who received that same vote of confidence 4 years ago.

Posted by: diksagev | January 2, 2008 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Not only Barack Obama the most likable candidate in this presidential race, but he is the most electable candidate. The Republicans know this very well. They are terrified by Barack's popular appeal. They will have no genuine arguments or issues against him in the general elections, except concoctions heavily influenced by racist sentiments. I will think that Americans should not let "odd", "unexplained" and racist sentiments to becloud their judgements. Let no one be fooled that Hillary is more electable than Obama. Besides her divisiveness, she's has more negatives than positives. Republicans will be more than happy to have her as the Democratic nominee. The "scandal" of the 90s will be reintroduced by the Republicans. Her inconsistency will be interpretted as "flip-flop" as it was the case with Kerry in 2004. Her ill or poor judgement will also be a factor. All of these make her a drag on the Democratic Party if she's nominated. I am not sure Dems can afford the cost of her nomination.

Obama is the answer; he has good and sound judgement. He has demonstrated this. The "experience" argument does not hold water at all. Bill Clinton even alluded to this during his bid for the White House in 1992. If the Clintons dismissed the importance of experience in 1992 at the time, why do they think "experience" matters now? Do they not see their dramatic flip-flop on the "experience argument" as a demonstration of insincerity and inconsistency? Political grandstanding or double talk will not survive the wave of change ignited by Barack. Barack is set to win the nomination. No one or force can stop him. We are with him all the way to the White House in November 2008. Bravo Barack! You have got our support.

Posted by: jkerkulafoeday | January 2, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Kudos to Dennis Kucinich for throwing his support to Barack Obama. That's the act of a statesman not a politician. America needs more statesmen and fewer politicians.

Posted by: mazd273 | January 2, 2008 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Kucinich,Paul,and Obama have heavily conscripted college students (with their " get out the vote" and caucus efforts )the majority of who are in Iowa for only four years(or less.) I wonder how the natives who have been there for generations feel about this group "stacking" the caucus'. I
can only hope that the veteran Iowans make
every effort to caucas and select Hillary who is far and above the best candidate for the job AND is likely to give us the HISTORICAL CHANCE for the FIRST WOMAN PRESIDENT of USA.

Posted by: Kavanaugh1 | January 2, 2008 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Yes!

Posted by: neddelaney | January 2, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

I am a Kucinich supporter, and I can see why he would support Obama as second choice in Iowa. Dennis is still in this race and believes he has a chance to make a decent showing in states such as New Hampshire and California. If he's in it to win it, it makes sense for him to support Obama rather than Edwards.

Edwards is viewed by people on the left as the next most progressive candidate after Kucinich. People who think Dennis has no chance and that Edwards DOES have a chance, will vote for Edwards. Edwards is therefore Dennis' main competition. So why would he tell his supporters to back Edwards?

Also, don't forget Edwards and Clinton's attempt to exclude Dennis and other "long shot" candidates from the Democratic debates. Why should Dennis endorse Edwards after that stunt?

I also think Obama is more electable than Edwards. Yes, Obama is a compromiser who wants to sit at the big table with the monied interests, and that makes us "purists" very unhappy with Obama. But Obama's upbeat and inclusive message resonates with a lot of people. Edwards, on the other hand, is shouting angrily that he will "fight" the powers that be. That message will resonate with people on the left, but not the general electorate.

Dennis says that he and Obama represent change. The most important change needed in November 2008 is that the Republicans are voted out of the White House. Despite polls saying that Edwards would beat out any Republican, I don't believe it. I think Edwards would be the latest in a string of losses, like Gore in 2000 and Kerry in 2004. Obama, on the other hand, is considered a fresh voice, and people are dying for something new and fresh.

As for the Repugs' inevitable attempt to swift-boat Obama (by calling him "Hussein" or "Osama" or claiming he's a radical Muslim), well, the people that would buy into such smear tactics would not vote for Obama anyway, because of the color of his skin. Edwards would also be swift-boated, as a flip flopper, a "sleazy" trial lawyer, and John Kerry's running mate. Who could best stand up to such attacks? I think it's Obama rather than Edwards.

One last thing about Obama. Look at where he came from. Look at his community activism in Illinois, and the fact that he chose to work for the poor after law school. That says something about who he is at his core.

I want more than anything for Dennis to win and I will vote for him, because he is the real deal, not a poor substitute. But if we can't have Dennis, then I trust his intelligence and his judgment when he says that Obama is the candidate most likely to bring about change in November.

Posted by: ajacobs | January 2, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Dennis Kucinich is a traitor to his beliefs & the Progressive cause. If he was true to himself & the Progressive cause he would have supported John Edwards instead of Obama-just as he did last time.

Posted by: eapetrus | January 2, 2008 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Dennis Kucinich has had about as much chance as I do to be President and but of course to the Progressive Liberals he is a hero. The FAR LEFT is off base on most issues so therefore they always end up as wannabee losers.

Posted by: garys916 | January 2, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse

WHEN OBAMA SHOWED UPTP VOTE IN SENATE HE VOTED EXACTLY AS CLINTON DID! WHERES THE UNBIAED MEDIA!Your comment is awaiting moderation.
http://www.tpmcafe.com/blog/electioncentral/2007/mar/29/comparison_of_hillary_and_obama_votes_on_iraq

By Greg Sargent and Eric Kleefeld | bio
Since the comparison of the Iraq positions over the years of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama is one of the hottest issues of the campaign, we thought it would be useful to post a comprehensive comparison of all of their votes on everything relating to the Iraq war.

So here it is: A massive compilation of Iraq-related bills -- and the votes by Hillary and Obama on them, side by side -- beginning in early 2005, when Obama first joined the Senate.

Of the total of 69 votes we compiled -- some significant, some not -- it turns out that the two differed on only one. You'll see that one in bold on our chart. But let us be clear: We are not posting this to suggest that their earlier difference at the start of the war -- their most important difference -- should in any way be overshadowed by these similarities. For many, that difference will remain paramount -- for good reason. We just wanted to add factual grist to what is but one component of the debate.

As you can see, Clinton and Obama have voted the opposite way on only one vote on our list: The confirmation of General George Casey to be Chief of Staff for the Army, held just this past February. Hillary voted against confirmation, while Obama voted to confirm.

Additionally, please don't hold it against us if we missed any important votes. No agenda here, readers. If we did, let us know, and we'll add it immediately. Herewith, our full chart of Iraq votes after the jump.

1/2/2008 11:07:33 AM

Posted by: PLAY21005 | January 2, 2008 11:12 AM | Report abuse

It seems as if some people are just talking past each other. Let's slow down for a second, and I'd like to ask Paul Easton a question: in which "subsequent primary" have you heard that Obama is not running?

Posted by: JakeD | January 2, 2008 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Americans are speaking with their hearts. Go Obama ,Obama go. This is so significantly important ,that it shows Obama to be the genuine change agent ,at least coming from Kuccinich, a fellow preidential candidate. This is one of the very few endorsements not based on behind the scene political arm twisting .

Posted by: Mypostcopkiller | January 2, 2008 9:13 AM | Report abuse

The Republicans must be jumping up and down with glee!! It is so obvious that they want to rum against Obama. He is a demacrat wanna-be who they will expose in November with ease. They could not do that against any other Demacratic candidate. They no that Obama has absolutely no chance to be elected and they are doing all they can to help him win the nomination. He is their only hope of keeping the white house. Get smart America. Nothing against Obama. I am sure he is a nice guy. He just has no experience, no record and not even a valid argument about change. Change to what?? He has turned into the most negative candidate. His one year in the senate and his sexist remarks about Mrs Clinton shows that he needs more time. I am still undecided but one thing I am sure of is not Obama.

Posted by: luckydad | January 2, 2008 8:17 AM | Report abuse

OBAMA = HOPE + UNITY + RESTORING OUR BELIEVE IN THIS GRAET NATION = CHANGE

imagine this race without Obama

LOL!!! ALL THE PAID CLINTON INTERNET THUGS ARE REALLY OUT TO EARN THEIR SALARIES

Posted by: jsu4193k | January 2, 2008 7:16 AM | Report abuse

Kucinich chose the candidate who doesn't have to apologize for supporting the Bush/Cheney assault on Iraq for oil.

"Progressives" like to forget that Edwards didn't just vote for the Iraq War; he co-sponsored it.

Environmentalists like to forget Edwards had a 32% rating from the League of Conservation Voters - Obama has 100%.

Living Wage supporters like to ignore that Obama is committed to raising the minimum wage with the cost of living, not leaving it out as a political football while workers' literally go hungry if they don't over-produce for investors in two jobs instead of only one.

Open Government supporters, Net Neutrality supporters and Corporate Media Monopoly opposers like to forget Obama's plan for technology opens the airwaves to communities, ends paid campaign ads thereby eliminating millions in campaign costs, and guarantees equal time to all candidates. It also makes all donations to all government officials and all earmarks traceable, online, for everyone to see. It also ensures net neutrality, but also will wire the most poor and rural areas cheaply or for free, to connect everyone.

Oh, and let's just all pretend we didn't notice when Obama promised to never sign a non-emergency bill without presenting it to viewers first, online and on C-SPAN (which streams live online so it's not a gift to cable companies) with days to actually comment on the bill - and he's already set up to read and incorporate suggestions on his website, and he's done it.

I supported Dennis as 1st choice in 2004 for his anti-Iraq War stand, so did Alice Walker, I recall. I've supported Obama from the start this time, so has Alice Walker. So should any true Progressive Voter, from any party or Independent/Unaffiliated.

It's time to stop dividing because some of us have such a self-righteous but rather faulty view of America as a pack of racists who can't possibly recognize a great candidate because he's black. We're better than that. Let's not even pretend we're still in the 80s or even 90s.

Progressives like to forget that Edwards, like Gore, Clinton I and want-to-be Clinton II, as well as Gore, Biden, Richardson, and Dodd, and Lieberman of Connecticut, were all DLC members, some very active, some former Chairs; none have renounced the most anti-progressive group among Democrats.

Progressives like to forget Obama's work for the poor, the unemployed, seniors, the working poor, the uninsured, the veterans, the single parents, the innocent on Illinois' Death Row, the thousands who, when not if they are race-profiled, will have it fully documented - by police themselves. They like to forget Obama is a constitutional law lecturer who registered 150,000 new, poor voters and defended their right to vote and be counted.

It's time we stop complaining and use some sense. Obama can and will win. Just use your head and your feet. America's ready to judge the man's record, character, advisers and supporters and say Yes! Are you?

Posted by: VCubed | January 2, 2008 6:59 AM | Report abuse

I am a Kucinich supporter and I was really shocked to read this. I despise Obama. He positions himself to the right of Clinton on the issues, and unlike her I believe he knows better. Therefor he comes across as the lowest sort of self-promoter.

I heard though that this was a misguided tactic by the Kucinich team to attract support in a subsequent primary where Obama is not running. Is that an excuse? You tell me.

Posted by: paul1.easton | January 2, 2008 4:24 AM | Report abuse

By the way, I mean polls of ALL American voters, not just Democrats.

Posted by: julieds | January 2, 2008 12:27 AM | Report abuse

lylepink,

Your Republican conspiracy theory is so tired and worn out. National polls have shown-OVER AND OVER- that Hillary is the least electable candidate. Polls that include Americans that are "right, left, and center". You have the right to your own opinion, but you don't have the right to your own facts.

Here are the three latest polls, showing Hillary does worse than Edwards and Obama- released Dec 20th and Jan. 1st.


http://www.angus-reid.com/polls/view/29506/obama_leads_five_republicans_in_us_race

http://blogs.usatoday.com/onpolitics/2007/12/zogby-obama-is.html

http://www.gallup.com/poll/103396/Hillary-Clinton-Electable.aspx

Can you sight any polls from the month of december that show Hillary winning against all the republicans, OR any polls that show her doing as well as Edwards or Obama?

Didn't think so.

Posted by: julieds | January 2, 2008 12:25 AM | Report abuse

Would have been nice for Ms Murray to provide a source on "an arrangement that political observers believe may have contributed to the former North Carolina senator's strong second-place finish."

But, it's just a blog. And blogs have no standards of journamalizm, right?

For the record, Edwards' campaign says that the 2004 arrangement with Kucinich may have cost them delegates in very liberal districts as JRE supporters felt it was OK to caucus with Dennis' folks. But we can't expect Shailagh to delve, especially not on a blog, right?

Devil.

Posted by: TeddySanFran | January 1, 2008 11:56 PM | Report abuse

The funny thing is that I LOVE LOVE LOVE Dennis and I wish he could win, but since he can't, my second choice has always been Barack. Thanks Dennis!

Posted by: shahpesareh | January 1, 2008 11:06 PM | Report abuse

Would Kucinich help or hurt Barack Obama if he were to run as his Vice President?

http://www.youpolls.com/details.asp?pid=1418

.

Posted by: PollM | January 1, 2008 10:25 PM | Report abuse

As yet, I have no opinion on Mr. Obama. My focus, my hope, my money, and my vote (were I a caucus-goer in Iowa) lays with Mr. Kucinich. To me it's a shame that the ideas making up his platform have not received the media attention I believe they deserve. Were he to garner this press, the entire question of directing his supporters to Mr. Obama would be moot. Is Mr. Kucinich electable? As the congressman himself said in a talk here: "I am if you vote for me!" Organic, visceral, and true change takes courage. Mr. Kucinich has that courage. Moreover, he has the ideas and intellect to bolster such political audacity.

Posted by: lexdenovo | January 1, 2008 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Funny (ha-ha) how the Republicans would rather see 50 million without health insurance than risk tampering with "the marketplace" or risking the "socialized medicine" that provides good care at lower cost in so many other countries.

These alleged people deserve to lose and lose big. They've become intolerably stupid.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | January 1, 2008 9:11 PM | Report abuse

The far right(notice little "r") is already crying socialist trying to label Obama. Obviously, supply-side economics with a few getting rich while the rest of America is working service industry jobs, is not working. Ignore the rhetoric. Capitalism will not fall if a Democrat is elected President.

Posted by: rogden71 | January 1, 2008 8:15 PM | Report abuse

sgoewey:

What makes you think Edwards would take the second spot again? Why not Edwards/Obama?

Posted by: JakeD | January 1, 2008 7:39 PM | Report abuse

One can only wonder what unlikely combination of foolishness, paranoia, delusion, and ignorance mnust all come together at once and in the right proportions ...

... for someone to believe that "leftist" or "socialilst" politics have so much as a toehold in American politics.

Drop enough people on a bell curve though and you can get just about anything. And right here in this thread we have our very of pest rat-the, seeing monsters again.

Boo! Watch out for the COMMUNISTS!!

Posted by: chrisfox8 | January 1, 2008 7:29 PM | Report abuse

No, no I'm afraid Hillary is the only Dem who could lose in 08. The Repubs WANT to run against her, they are holding their fire.
I can't wait to vote for Obama/Edwards in 08 ...

Posted by: sgoewey | January 1, 2008 7:23 PM | Report abuse

I have been wondering how many Repubs will caucus in support of Obama. The reason is that Repubs know he is the "Weakest" of the Dems, with the exception of Gravel and Dennis. A thought came to me about a quotation that goes something like this--"There's no fool like an old fool-you can't beat experience." This seems to be the thought of so many of the political pundits these days. I surely hope the good folks in Iowa see this for what it really is, An all out effort to stop Hillary, because the Repubs know she is the only Dem that can beat them in 08.

Posted by: lylepink | January 1, 2008 7:02 PM | Report abuse


With all do respect COngressman Kucinich.
Obama is merely a sound bite and hasnt shown any substance to date.
At least Clinton has done much for the nation and New York which the Republicans take pleasure in attacking.
Although Im proud Obama is running I dont think he deserve election at this time.


Posted by: hhkeller | January 1, 2008 7:02 PM | Report abuse

And the First Socialist Lemming yells Obasama as he goes running over the Cliff on the Left!

Soon to be followed by Richardson, with Edwards Claiming the title of "Number Two!"

Clinton and Biden Moderates, will eventually need to decide if they want to be with the World Labor Party, or America, and Capitalism!

Posted by: rat-the | January 1, 2008 6:26 PM | Report abuse

I thought it was "Fired Up and Ready to Go"?

Posted by: JakeD | January 1, 2008 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Good for you Kucinich !
Good for Iowa !
Great for America !

Barack Obama for President .

It's time to Rise and Shine again.

Posted by: PulSamsara | January 1, 2008 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: JakeD | January 1, 2008 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Always watch out for what Kucinich pulls out of his pocket(s).

Posted by: JakeD | January 1, 2008 5:36 PM | Report abuse

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