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Hillary Clinton associates believe she will run for Senate in 2000

By Wolf Blitzer/CNN

March 11, 1999
Web posted at: 5:31 p.m. EST (2231 GMT)

WASHINGTON (March 11) -- Several close associates of Hillary Rodham Clinton tell CNN they now believe, based on recent conversations with the first lady, that she will run for the U.S. Senate from New York in 2000.

These sources caution she will not make a final decision before the fall, perhaps as late as November, because becoming an official candidate would interfere with her duties as first lady.

Moynihan, Clinton
Hillary Rodham Clinton is considering a run to replace Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan  

"She takes her first lady responsibilities very seriously," says one source.

Mrs. Clinton was in New York last week hinting broadly about running. "Women have begun to take their rightful places in the political landscape," she said at one appearance.

In recent weeks, the first lady has been encouraged to run because of assurances that the president's legal defense fund would come up with the millions of dollars necessary to pay off his and her legal bills.

Also, the first lady has been assured that the president, after leaving office, would have no trouble securing the family's finances, including potentially lucrative sums from book contracts and speaking engagements.

"He has a great capacity to make a lot of money," one family friend told CNN, "and the first lady now knows that."

Mrs. Clinton has been meeting with New York Democrats reviewing possible campaign issues and analyzing state politics.

New York State Democratic Party Chair Judith Hope said, "She is reaching out to people all over New York state. She is making hundreds of phone calls. She is calling county chairs, she is calling elected officials. She's calling leadership of the Democratic party."

Mrs. Clinton's associates insist a recent narrowing of the polls has not discouraged her. One possible opponent, New York's Republican Mayor Rudy Giuliani, is already taking some digs.

"Certainly if I were to run, I would remind people of the fact that not only have I lived in the state of New York most of my life, but that I have worked in many of the communities in upstate New York," Giuliani said Wednesday.

Sources say Mrs. Clinton has assured New York Democrats, including Rep. Nita Lowey, that if in the end she decides not to run, she would work "night and day," campaigning to help the Democratic candidate raise money and win the election.

The first lady's press secretary, Marsha Berry, told CNN, "The speculation about her running continues, and she is giving it very serious consideration. That's where we are right now."

Close associates of Mrs. Clinton cite several reasons why she wants to run for the Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan. They say she wants to change policy; she loves fighting for legislation involving children, health care and other issues close to her heart; she believes it's "time for her" to step out of her husband's shadow; and she knows she would not be a "normal" senator.


HEADLINES

TIME: A Senate candidate waiting in the wings? (3-15-99)

Hillary Clinton meets with New York Democratic leader (3-11-99)

Hillary Clinton associates believe she will run for Senate in 2000 (3-11-99)

First lady courts New Yorkers without confirming Senate bid (3-4-99)


VIDEO

CNN's John King is traveling with the first lady (3-4-99) video Windows Media: 28K | 80K


TRANSCRIPTS

Pataki wants a New Yorker to run for Sen. Moynihan's seat (2-22-99)


'TOONS
Diplomatic issues

Mike Luckovich: "Diplomatic issues" (2-24-99) more

Bill Mitchell: "Godzhillary" (2-17-99) more


POLLS

First lady leads in hypothetical New York Senate race (2-20-99)


MESSAGE BOARD

Senator Hillary Clinton?

Goodwill tour



MORE STORIES:

Thursday, March 11, 1999

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