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Ex-President Clinton boosts state Democrats

– Indiana Democrats are hoping Friday’s love fest with former President Bill Clinton at North Central High School will be enough to push at least one of their top-ticket candidates to victory in a traditionally red state.

Clinton spent more than a half hour arguing that Republicans will divide the nation during a speech meant to fire up Indiana’s embattled Democrats and, almost certainly, be converted into campaign commercial fodder.

Democratic Senate candidate Joe Donnelly and gubernatorial candidate John Gregg flanked Clinton onstage, but Clinton spent most of his time talking about Indiana’s upcoming tight Senate race.

Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock’s statement that “the highlight of politics, frankly, is to inflict my opinion on someone else” made for an easy target for the former president turned full-time auxiliary campaigner for Democrats this cycle.

“I don’t understand how you could say your biggest thrill in life is imposing your opinion on someone, especially if you don’t necessarily know what you’re talking about,” Clinton said to laughs from the crowd of about 4,000 people who packed North Central’s gym Friday morning.

Indiana Democrats surprised many by delivering the state for President Obama in 2008, but that excitement receded in 2010 as Republicans retook the state’s House of Representatives, a vacant U.S. Senate seat and two congressional seats.

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