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Hillary banks on family

Manchester (New Hampshire), Dec. 23: (Reuters): Flanked by her mother and daughter, Democratic front- runner Hillary Clinton sought yesterday to shore up her support among women in the tightening US presidential race.

Less than two weeks before voting begins in the state-by-state process to select party candidates, the New York senator who would be the nation’s first female President touted her plans to expand paid family leave and boost child-care funding to help working mothers.

“We can do a better job in America in supporting families,” Clinton told about 120 voters in the lobby of the Young Women’s Christian Association offices in Manchester, New Hampshire, as her 27-year-old daughter, Chelsea, and her 88-year-old mother, Dorothy Rodham, sat in chairs beside her.

In Iowa, Democratic senator Barack Obama of Illinois, Clinton’s rival, criticised her and candidate John Edwards for failing to stand up to corporate interests or improve how government works while they served in the US Senate.

“I find it interesting when people say ‘vote for me because I know how to work the system in Washington,’” the first-term senator told voters in Indianola. “We don’t need somebody who can play the game better, we need somebody who will put an end to the game playing.”

Edwards, a former Democratic senator from North Carolina, said in a statement that Obama’s attacks “seem to increase as momentum for our campaign grows”.

The race in both early primary states has become a statistical dead heat between Clinton and Obama while Edwards is trailing not far behind in Iowa ahead of the November 4, 2008, presidential election.

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