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Virginia, NYC Races Pose Distractions For Clinton

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File photo of Hillary Clinton. (credit: PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)

File photo of Hillary Clinton. (credit: PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Hillary Rodham Clinton’s effort to carefully craft her post-Cabinet image has hit a few bumps.

A sexting scandal in the New York City mayoral race and a federal investigation that’s roiling the Virginia governor’s contest are recalling politically problematic chapters of her past.

Republicans are amplifying the parallels while also making a separate stink about television programs that CNN and NBC are developing about the former first lady and secretary of state. The GOP contends that the media are promoting Clinton’s image ahead of a potential White House campaign.

It all adds up to unwanted attention, if not a distraction, for someone trying to maintain a golden image among Democrats during a respite that could precede a second presidential bid.

While Clinton has tried to keep a relatively low profile this summer, her aides have found themselves having to answer for her family’s connections to the two campaigns.

An electric car company started by Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe, a longtime Clinton friend and former Democratic National Committee chairman, is under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission along with a firm led by Anthony Rodham, Clinton’s brother. The investigation centers on how they sought visas for foreign investors to McAuliffe’s company.

In New York, former congressman Anthony Weiner’s campaign for mayor has faltered since revelations that he continued to exchange sexually explicit online messages with women after he resigned from Congress in 2011 because of a sexting scandal. Weiner is married to Huma Abedin, a longtime aide to Clinton.

For all the Republican-fueled promotion of the links to Clinton, the two campaigns probably will not have a lasting impact on her political profile after two decades in the spotlight. Still, opponents are using them to recall Clinton’s own past personal and professional troubles.

Her supporters dismiss the connections, but that hasn’t stopped Republicans from trying.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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