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Top 4 Political Stories of the Day

Just over a year after leaving her job as secretary of state, Hillary Clinton has offered views on foreign policy that analysts said seem part of an effort to distance herself from the Obama administration as she prepares a possible 2016 White House run. In appearances this month, Clinton struck a hawkish tone on issues including Iran and Russia, even while expressing broad support for the work done by Obama and her successor as secretary of state, John Kerry. Clinton said in New York on Wednesday night she was "personally skeptical" of Iran's commitment to reaching a comprehensive agreement on its nuclear program. The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control on Thursday authorized sanctions on 20 Russians, including sixteen government officials and four billionaires, for their roles in the nation’s Ukrainian exploits. According to a press release, the individuals are designated for supporting senior Russian government officials. The billionaires are known to be personal friends of Putin and have gotten richer under his regime, though their luck appears to be changing. Under the U.S. Treasury’s ruling, assets belonging to designated individuals within U.S. jurisdiction will be frozen, and business between U.S. entities and the Russian parties in question will be halted. President Barack Obama used a speech at a community college on Thursday to begin a series of events highlighting economic issues affecting women such as the gender pay gap in which women earn three-quarters as much as their male counterparts. Obama spoke at the Orlando campus of Valencia College, a two-year institution that has been recognized for placing students in jobs and sending them on for higher degrees. The President said that women are "facing unfair choices or outdated workplace policies that hold all of us back, and that has to change." Democratic officials and candidates, understandably worried about ObamaCare’s impact on their electoral fate, are getting a boatload of free advice from strategists in their party. Former Al Gore strategist Carter Eskew says Democrats need to launch a full-throated defense of the Affordable Care Act and cast its opponents as having no plan to address the nation’s health-care needs. Eskew added that the Democrats are lashed to the President’s mast on healthcare. Mother Jones blogger Kevin Drum also urges Democrats to stand up and fight saying nobody likes candidates who won’t stand up and defend their own party’s achievements.”

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