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Until now, Hillary Clinton’s strategy regarding Bernie Sanders was to either ignore her challenger in the Democratic presidential nominating race, or snuggle closer to his far-left ideas in an attempt to steal back the hard liberal base.

Now she’s on the attack, through her campaign surrogates, trying to link Sanders to Venezuela’s late President Hugo Chavez, saying the two socialists shared the same political philosophy and policies.

It’s a sign Clinton is starting to worry about her fading poll numbers, and Sanders’ broadening appeal to Democratic voters. Going left didn’t work to stem her slide, so now she’s going pit bull.

That should be informative for Vice President Joe Biden as he contemplates entering the race. If he gets in, the Democratic primary will be a mean and messy affair. Biden only has to ask his boss, President Barack Obama, what it’s like to do battle with Hillary Clinton.

Biden won’t have the luxury of taking the high road, as Sanders is doing, choosing not to exploit Clinton’s email or Benghazi controversies. The vice president can expect to be hit, and he’ll have to hit back.

My prediction: If Biden gets in, the coming Democratic slugfest will finally tilt the spotlight away from Donald Trump and his disruption of the Republican race.

The GOP better make the most of the attention while it’s still available.

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