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The Democrat is grappling with recent failures of government oversight, a lackluster economy, a Cabinet shake-up and increasing speculation about who might take his place.

But Mr. Patrick remains upbeat. He dismisses chatter about his lame-duck status and vows to push ahead with what he says is the unfinished business of his administration, including transportation funding measures and gun control legislation.


Christie orders flags lowered for Schwarzkopf

TRENTON — Gov. Chris Christie has ordered flags at all state buildings to be flown at half-staff on Wednesday to honor New Jersey-born Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf.

Gen. Schwarzkopf died last week at age 78 from complications from pneumonia. He was born in Trenton and raised in Lawrenceville.

He served two tours of duty in Vietnam, earning three Silver Stars for valor, a Bronze Star, a Purple Heart and three Distinguished Service Medals. But he was best-known for commanding the U.S.-led international coalition that drove Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi forces out of Kuwait in 1991.


Little bipartisan support exists for Hagel selection

If President Obama is hoping to attract bipartisan support by nominating a Republican for defense secretary, he may be disappointed in the result.

A top Republican senator said Sunday that there is “very little” GOP backing to install Chuck Hagel as Pentagon chief when current Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta steps down after the new year.

“There would be very little Republican support. At the end of the day, there will be very few votes,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican, said on “Fox News Sunday.”

Mr. Hagel, a Nebraska Republican who served two terms in Senate before stepping down in early 2009, likely will be put forth by the White House as Mr. Obama’s choice to lead the Defense Department.

The appointment would be a rare bipartisan move by the Obama administration, which has nominated very few Republicans to leadership positions. The most notable exceptions have been Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, a Republican who spent more than a decade in the House, and former Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, a holdover from President George W. Bush’s administration who stayed on during the early years of the Obama presidency.


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