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Every four years the sounds of political swine at the trough get louder and louder. Call it a “deal,” a “shakedown,” or — our preference — “extortion,” and you get the idea of what is taking place.

Political deal-makers in New Hampshire are busy making deals with presidential candidates, and New Hampshire Democrats are particularly hungry this time around, having gained control recently of New Hampshire’s Senate and Legislature, to go along with the Governorship they won just over two years ago.

With presidential candidates looking for party insiders to deliver a campaign infrastructure and votes, the power of these deal-makers keeps increasing. And their audacity increases with their power.

In the latest case of political extortion, Bill Shaheen, husband of the once-popular three-time Democratic governor, Jeanne Shaheen, announced his endorsement of Hillary Clinton. From a citizen’s perspective, Bill Shaheen’s public service to the people of New Hampshire has consisted primarily of sleeping next to Jeanne Shaheen and holding her hand while she squirmed over the state’s education funding crisis (which she ultimately ignored). For playing that pivotal role, Bill is considered a state Democratic party power-broker, having worked on the Carter, Gore, and Kerry campaigns. His latest mark is Hillary Clinton.

In an interview with reporters after announcing his endorsement, Shaheen was careful to say that he did not ask Hillary for an ambassadorship. Thank goodness! What he asked for and evidently got were assurances that he would be part of her peacekeeping delegation to the Middle East.

Aside from being a second-generation Lebanese, it is fair to wonder what diplomatic credentials Bill Shaheen possesses to undertake such a monumental task such as bringing peace to the Middle East? I have friends who are part-Lebanese — maybe they should talk to Hillary,too?

The point is, this a a “quid pro quo” however you want to look at it. And the taker in this deal is only in a position to take anything because of who he married. At least Hillary Clinton, after actually being elected twice to the US Senate, has earned her own credentials. If there is a reason to ditch New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary status, this type of brazen and often successful attempt at political extortion is one of them.

This is not “retail” politics, this is wholesale personal greed at its worst.

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