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AP Top Political News At 9 a.m. EST

Clinton economic approach under scrutiny
WASHINGTON (AP) -- If Hillary Rodham Clinton seeks the White House again, her message on the economy could be an important barometer as she courts fellow Democrats....

Policies of GOP governors could find national play
MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- One group of potential candidates for president probably won't be shuffling off to Iowa, New Hampshire or other early campaign spots in the new year. They'll be hunkered down in statehouses across the Midwest, pushing bills through their legislatures....

Jeb Bush stepping down from Tenet Healthcare board
MIAMI (AP) -- As he takes steps toward a presidential run, Jeb Bush is resigning from the board of Tenet Healthcare Corp....

Democrats optimistic on 2016 presidential chances
ATLANTA (AP) -- Republicans crowed in 2004 that freshly re-elected President George W. Bush had established a "permanent governing majority" for the GOP. Eight years later, Democrats were touting the enduring power of the "Obama coalition" to keep their party in the White House....

Factors shaping 2016 presidential race
Key factors as the 2016 presidential race begins to take shape:...

AP-Times Square poll: Most feeling good about 2015
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Americans are closing out 2014 on an optimistic note, according to a new Associated Press-Times Square Alliance poll. Nearly half predict that 2015 will be a better year for them than 2014 was, while only 1 in 10 think it will be worse. There's room for improvement: Americans give the year gone by a resounding `meh.'...

Sanders: I'll decide on presidential run by March
BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) -- Vermont independent Sen. Bernie Sanders says he'll decide by March whether to launch a 2016 presidential campaign and, if so, whether he'll seek the Democratic nomination. Either way, Sanders says he wouldn't run just to nudge the debate to the left....

On Christmas, Obama marks end of Afghan combat
KANEOHE BAY, Hawaii (AP) -- President Barack Obama marked the end of more than a decade of combat in Afghanistan by paying tribute to America's military, telling troops on Christmas Day that their sacrifices have allowed for a more peaceful, prosperous world to emerge out of the ashes of 9/11....

After 6 years, Obama personal chef hangs up apron
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Political advisers, chiefs of staff, press secretaries and national security advisers have come and gone in the nearly six years Barack Obama has been president. Now, Obama's personal chef is waving goodbye....

Army data shows rarity of desertion prosecutions
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The U.S. Army has prosecuted about 1,900 cases of desertion since 2001, despite tens of thousands of soldiers fleeing the service in the face of deadly combat, long and multiple deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan and strains on military families....

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