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Political opposites Shaheen and Rubio share issue

File this one under “Politics makes strange bedfellows”.

U.S. Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Marco Rubio are at polar ends of the political world. Shaheen is a moderate Democrat from New Hampshire; Rubio is a conservative Republican from Florida. What she is for, he is generally against. And vice versa.

But Shaheen’s office announced this week that the pair have introduced what they are calling the Hezbollah International Financing Prevention Act of 2014, described as a” bipartisan effort to block the terrorist organization’s financing and limit the group’s access to logistical support. Hezbollah has been a dangerous and destabilizing force in the Middle East and around the world for more than three decades, committing countless acts of terrorism, violence and intimidation.”

The measure broadens financial sanctions against Hezbollah by holding responsible the foreign financial institutions that enable its activities, which are said to revolve around terrorism and the elimination of Israel.

The legislation is cosponsored by Senators Bob Casey (D-PA), Ben Cardin (D-MD), James Risch (R-ID), Ed Markey (D-MA), John Cornyn (R-TX), Kristen Gillibrand (D-NY), Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and New Hampshire’s other senator, Republican Kelly Ayotte.

But here in New Hampshire, when it comes to the 2014 and 2016 elections, Shaheen and Rubio will be working hard against each other.

Shaheen is running for re-election in 2014 and don’t be surprised to see Rubio in the Granite State on behalf of whoever Shaheen’s Republican opponent might be. The frontrunner there is Scott Brown, the U.S. senator from Massachusetts who is now calling New Hampshire his home. He’s in a three-way GOP contest that includes former state Sen. Jim Ruben and activist Karen Testerman.

Rubio’s likely political activism here in 2014 is directly related to his plans to run for president in 2016. He’s been making his presence known (he was here mid-month) making no secret of his presidential ambitions.

And on that score, Shaheen and her husband Bill will be out front and working hard on behalf of Hillary Clinton, the likely Democrat frontrunner in the presidential sweepstakes if and when she announces her candidacy.

Shaheen and Rubio will be united against Hezbollah but not when it comes to their own political self interests.

Paul Briand is an editor for the Live Free or Die Alliance, a non-profit, non-partisan organization that encourages the discussion and analysis of New Hampshire politics and policies.

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