First lady appears in ad for N.Y. Democratic Party
By Phil Hirschkorn/CNN
November 9, 1999
Web posted at: 11:33 a.m. EST (1633 GMT)
NEW YORK -- First lady Hillary Rodham Clinton is appearing in her first campaign 2000 political commercial in the Empire State.
Although the 30-second television advertisement is produced on behalf of the New York State Democratic Party -- not for Mrs. Clinton's expected Senate race from New York -- the first lady is prominently featured.
The ad, called "Future," describes "a conversation going on about the issues and concerns closest to our hearts" and shows Mrs. Clinton listening and talking to people.
The ad shows her again talking to workers when it refers to "jobs for a secure future right here." The ad shows her a third time, shaking hands, when it refers to "leadership that's on our side."
The commercial's tag line -- "Call Hillary. Tell her to keep fighting for our children, for families, and for our future" -- is heard over more images of Mrs. Clinton.
The commercial ends with a telephone number on screen for the state party headquarters in Albany. State party spokesman Matthew Hiltzik said the ad was designed to encourage people to become active in the party.
The ad starts running in eight upstate media markets on Tuesday, including Albany, Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse, and will run for at least a week, Hiltzik said.
Mrs. Clinton's Senate exploratory campaign committee was consulted about the ad but did not have final approval over its script or editing.
"It is a party building ad that portrays the priorities and values of the Democratic Party," said Hillary 2000 spokesman Howard Wolfson.
"It's not unusual for party building ads to feature a prominent member of the party," Wolfson said.
Mrs. Clinton is actively considering a race for the Senate to replace retiring Democratic Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan. She has not officially announced but has formed an exploratory committee.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Clinton was in Manhattan Monday to speak before the New York Biotech Association, a non-profit trade association representing 230 bioscience companies.
In 25 minutes of prepared remarks, Mrs. Clinton spoke of ways government could underwrite efforts to turn laboratory research into consumer products.
Specifically, she advocated expanding congressional support for the Research and Experimentation Tax Credit, which allows companies to claim tax credits for research beyond what they would normally do.
The credit, which is reviewed annually, has been worth $10 billion to the industry over the past five years, according to Greg Crist, deputy spokesman for the House Ways and Means Committee.
"The research credit, I believe, is an essential part of the success of the industry and should be made permanent, so biotech companies can count on it and make better investments on their own in the future," Mrs. Clinton said.
Mrs. Clinton also advocated increasing federal funding for the National Institutes for Health (NIH), the government's leading source of funds for medical and scientific research.
"I agree with the president's proposal to increase the NIH budget by 50 percent over five years and the vice president's proposal to double the budget for cancer research," she said.
Mrs. Clinton told the luncheon audience of more than 200 people that New York used to lead the nation in NIH funding, with 15 percent of the total grants in 1981. But by 1996, the state was receiving only 10.9 percent of NIH funds, falling behind Massachusetts and California.
"We need to increase the amount of NIH funding and the amount of NIH funding coming to New York," Mrs. Clinton said. "Had New York kept pace with its peers, it would have added an additional $350 million in 1996 alone."
Mrs. Clinton said New York's 25 major medical centers and 175 hospitals, research centers and laboratories were at the forefront of discovering new products, but New Jersey is where a majority of the nations's top pharmaceutical companies are located.
"There is much to be done to translate the state's leadership in research to leadership in commercial applications and to create the high wage jobs throughout the state that the biotech industry can do," Mrs. Clinton said.
Mrs. Clinton travels Tuesday for an official visit to Israel and Jordan.