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Republicans line up the standard anti-Clinton attacks. Will any of them work?

• http://www.theguardian.com

Before Hillary Clinton could even declare her candidacy for US president this week, Jeb Bush had tied her to Barack Obama and "damaged relationships" around the world.

"Is the world a safer place because Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State?" asked Texas senator Ted Cruz. "The answer is obvious. No."

Senator Rand Paul called the former secretary of state "the worst of the Washington machine – the arrogance of power, corruption and cover-up, conflicts of interest and failed leadership with tragic consequences".

Forty-three-year-old senator Marco Rubio, in announcing his candidacy on Monday, went for a generational contrast: "yesterday is over" was his attack line.

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In announcing his bid for the presidency, the Florida senator sought to draw a line between him and his Republican opponents on foreign policy – but is it enough to simply serve up scathing critiques of Obama's failures?

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Clinton may have been short on policy and long on message en route to Iowa during the opening leg of her campaign, but her Republican rivals are busy testing attack lines to take the momentum out from under her.

Longtime GOP strategists and upstart "Stop Hillary" operatives outlined several distinct approaches to going after Clinton that may be used against her for months – if not years – to come: criticizing her record at the State Department, returning to the controversy over her personal email and lambasting the entirety of the 67-year-old's "scandal-ridden career".

What remains to be seen in the 574 days before Election Day is whether any of the anti-Clinton tricks will work – or whether Clinton can turn back around her historical disadvantages and fight back.


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