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President Obama shuns negotiations over shutdown as Democrats claim political advantage

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As Washington marched steadily toward its shutdown deadline Monday, President Obama remained on the sidelines, avoiding any direct negotiations with Republican lawmakers and seeking to remain above the fray. His seeming willingness to allow a government shutdown without direct intervention helped illustrate how Democrats remained unified to the end around the political belief that Republicans would suffer the greater backlash -- that the GOP’s tactics could help the Democratic Party in 2014 and perhaps beyond.

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