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POLITICAL BREW: Maine & NH primaries, politics & justice, and sports betting

No shortage of topics for this week's Political Brew

PORTLAND, Maine — The New Hampshire primaries added a little clarity to the Democratic race for president.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg finished a close one-two, representing the progressive and more centrist wings of the party respectively, and building on their finishes in the Iowa caucuses.

But our NEWS CENTER Maine political analysts thought the third-place finisher in New Hampshire made a big impression too.

Republican analyst Phil Harriman thinks Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar "looks more moderate, more approachable, more collaborative" than the rest of the top tier.

Democratic analyst John Richardson says Klobuchar is showing voters some much-needed empathy.

Looking ahead to Maine's primary on March 3rd, both men say former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg is likely to be a factor here. Bloomberg has 20 paid staffers at work in Maine and the support of a number of political figures.

When asked whether Maine Democrats are ready to embrace Bloomberg, Richardson says "I think they're willing to give him a look."

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Richardson thinks Sanders and Warren will do well in Maine, with Bloomberg and Klobuchar fighting for third.

As for Joe Biden, long seen as the national front runner, Harriman wonders if his anemic performance in the Granite State means Biden has "lost his connection with working-class voters."

Our analysts also talk about the comments from Attorney General William Barr, who said President Trump should stop tweeting about Justice Department cases, and Trump's response that he has the legal right to seek intervention in criminal cases.

"It's troubling," says John Richardson, because ours is a nation of laws, not of men. He adds "If you allow the president to step in, as he believes he has the right to do, then you get into whether there are political considerations as to what happens to an individual."

Closer to home, Harriman and Richardson weigh in on the legislature's failure to override Gov. Janet Mills' veto of a sports betting bill.

Richardson says "The vote to sustain the governor's veto was hypocritical. We already have gambling here. So we're losing millions of dollars that will go to New Hampshire or Massachusetts."

Phil Harriman asks "Why are we discriminating against one form of gambling over another?"

Political Brew airs Sundays on the MORNING REPORT.

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