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Democrats sticking by Clinton in email row

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Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks during a keynote address at the Watermark Silicon Valley Conference for Women in Santa Clara, California. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks during a keynote address at the Watermark Silicon Valley Conference for Women in Santa Clara, California. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

AP

Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks during a keynote address at the Watermark Silicon Valley Conference for Women in Santa Clara, California. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Democrats have closed ranks around Hillary Clinton after her public explanation of her email practices.

However, party officials in important election states appeared resigned to the fact that her all-but-certain presidential campaign will be saddled with drama and controversy.

The mood among Democrats around the country suggested the former Secretary of State has work to do to bolster party enthusiasm as she nears the launch of her 2016 campaign.

Based on the evidence there is no immediate appetite for a robust primary challenge.

Brady Quirk-Garvan, the Democratic Party chairman in Charleston, South Carolina, said the intense focus on Clinton's use of her private email account as secretary of state leaves him concerned that side issues could overshadow the party's message. "Every time we talk about emails, we aren't talking about how to grow the economy and the fact that President Obama has created jobs for the last 60 months straight," Quirk-Garvan said.

Ms Clinton's closest advisers have been quietly reaching out to Democratic leaders and other lawmakers on Capitol Hill, as well as influential progressive groups, in an effort to allay concerns. In conference calls over the past week, supporters in turn pressed Ms Clinton to break her silence on the email disclosures, which she eventually did Tuesday in a 20-minute news at the United Nations.

Even as Clinton's advisers do status checks with wary Democrats, her team has been moving forward with plans to formally announce her candidacy next month. New staff members are moving to New York, where the campaign will be headquartered.

Attacks

Still, the email issue has essentially served as the Clinton campaign's opening act, thrusting her squarely onto the political playing field she has been trying to avoid. It's also provided fresh fodder for congressional Republicans who want to keep their investigations into the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya, alive through the presidential campaign.

Representative Trey Gowdy, the South Carolina Republican who chairs a House committee investigating the attacks, said that he wants an independent review of Ms Clinton's email server. The House Oversight Committee also said it will seek access to the electronic versions of Clinton's emails, not just printed copies, and was prepared to issue a subpoena if necessary.

Irish Independent