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Shaheen faces political vulnerabilities

US Senator Jeanne Shaheen with UNH Law School dean John T. Broderick Jr. at a luncheon this week.
US Senator Jeanne Shaheen with UNH Law School dean John T. Broderick Jr. at a luncheon this week.Joanne Rathe/Globe Staff

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Jeanne Shaheen stood in a college auditorium Tuesday, her political pedigree staring down from the walls around her: An oversized snapshot of her and her husband with Jimmy Carter; Shaheen sitting next to presidential hopeful Gary Hart. The photographs offered black and white evidence of her enduring place atop the Granite State’s political peak, proof of a life, from operative to governor to US senator, spent in power. But now that position is threatened from the outside. National winds are blowing against Democrats, and Shaheen faces a potential challenge from former Massachusetts senator Scott Brown, who has already pulled off one now-legendary upset. Brown, who announced formation of an exploratory committee last Friday, has pounced on Shaheen’s vote in favor of the Affordable Care Act, tried to frame her as an “Obama Democrat,” and said she is disconnected from the concerns of her constituents.

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