Pythonic way to trim and keep leading and trailing whitespace

python at python at
Tue Mar 23 23:09:36 CET 2010

I'm looking for a pythonic way to trim and keep leading
whitespace in a string.

Use case: I have a bunch of text strings with various amounts of
leading and trailing whitespace (spaces and tabs). I want to grab
the leading and trailing whitespace, save it, surround the
remaining text with html tags, and then add back the leading and
trailing whitespace.

The only solution I can think of is regex, and that makes me
think of the 2 proverbial problems that come with that :)

Is there a 'better' solution than regex for this scenario? (Seems
like this would be a common type of string processing).

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