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Inside Politics

Will Clinton campaign despite surgery?


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Former President Bill Clinton addressed the Democratic National Convention in July.
SPECIAL REPORT
• The Candidates: Bush | Kerry

(CNN) -- As the clock ticks away the hours in the last few weeks of the campaign season, it remains unclear whether former President Bill Clinton will hit the campaign trail for Democrat John Kerry, a Clinton spokesman said Friday.

According to spokesman Jim Kennedy, Clinton, who is recuperating at home from his September 6 heart surgery, is in a "don't know if or when" mode about campaigning for the Massachusetts senator and his vice-presidential running mate John Edwards.

According to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-New York, her husband will heed doctor's orders and not do too much too soon. (Clinton walking hospital halls after surgery)

The 58-year-old former president also wants to get ship-shape in time to attend the grand opening of the William J. Clinton Presidential Center November 18 in Little Rock, Arkansas.

The $165 million building is the most expensive presidential library to date. President Bush; his father, former President George Bush; and former President Jimmy Carter are expected to attend the dedication.

Clinton's popularity as a former president has rebounded since his troubled days in the White House when he faced impeachment and numerous scandals, according to a recent Wall Street Journal-NBC poll.

With six electoral votes up for grabs in Arkansas November 2, Clinton could help sway undecided voters in his home state, which he carried in 1992 and 1996.

Kerry has received frequent phone calls to his campaign from Clinton, and insiders have said he is eager to help with the campaign.

An ABC News polls released Thursday showed Bush and Kerry were tied. And a poll of major international newspapers released Friday showed eight out of 10 countries surveyed preferred Kerry over Bush.


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