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 TIME on politics Congressional Quarterly CNN/AllPolitics CNN/AllPolitics - Storypage, with TIME and Congressional Quarterly

Hillary confirms she is considering Senate bid

Sources say the president is encouraging her to run

February 17, 1999
Web posted at: 10:35 a.m. EST (1535 GMT)

WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, February 16) -- First lady Hillary Rodham Clinton confirmed Tuesday she is considering running for the New York Senate seat being vacated by Democratic Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan.

Hillary Rodham Clinton
First lady Hillary Rodham Clinton
is considering a Senate bid in
New York

In a statement, Mrs. Clinton said she was "deeply gratified" by the interest her potential candidacy had generated and would decide later this year whether to make the run.

"Up until now, I have not been able to do so, but I will give careful thought to a potential candidacy in order to reach a decision later this year," Mrs. Clinton said in her statement.

Meanwhile, the first lady's potential bid is receiving some encouragement from an influential source: her husband.

A day after predicting his wife would be a terrific New York senator, President Bill Clinton is now described as actually encouraging her to run next year.

"At bottom," says one source, "he wants her to run. It would be another form of redemption."

A second source says, "He'd love her to do it. She's always played second fiddle to him and sacrificed for him. Now it's her turn to do what she wants."

Mrs. Clinton is scheduled to be in New York in early March and is expected to discuss the pros and cons with political leaders there.

Her major concerns include whether she would be more influential outside the Senate and the potential hostility of the New York news media.

Another factor for the first lady is her family's long-term financial situation, including enormous legal bills.

"She's always been concerned about the financial security of her family," said Mandy Grunwald, a former Clinton aide. "I think that will continue to be a concern and I assume that will continue to be one factor in how she makes up her mind about this."

Mrs. Clinton might replace retiring
Democratic Sen. Daniel Patrick

Mrs. Clinton's friends say 19-year-old daughter Chelsea, a student at Stanford University, is "not against" her mother running for Senate.

The first lady was described as encouraged by remarks last Sunday by Moynihan, who predicted she would win.

At the same time, New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who's seen as the leading Republican candidate, says he too has not yet decided whether to run. "It's all hypothetical. She hasn't decided to run. I haven't decided to run," he said Tuesday.

But a Giuliani aide tells CNN the mayor would be more encouraged to jump into the race if the first lady does. "It would be tough to say no. Mrs. Clinton would be the number one unifier of the Republican Party in New York State and probably nationally."

New York Democratic politicians are telling the first lady she would have no trouble raising the millions necessary to run and would not face serious opposition in the Democratic primary.

They also say the first lady could win the general election against Giuliani or any other Republican candidate.

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-New York) predicted, "If it's a matchup with Giuliani, it would be a battle of the Titans but I'd give the edge to Hillary."

CNN's Wolf Blitzer contributed to this report.


Hillary Rodham Clinton weighs N.Y. Senate bid (2-10-99)

What's next For Bill and Hillary? (TIME, 2-8-99)

Clintons decry magazine's feature on daughter (2-4-99)

Poll: Hillary Clinton leads Rudolph Giuliani (2-3-99)

The once and future Hillary (TIME, 1-11-99)


CROSSFIRE Highlight: N.Y. Mayor Giuliani discusses his options for running for the N.Y. Senate seat in 2000 (2-18-99) Windows Media: 28K | 80K

CROSSFIRE: Rudy Giuliani, Mayor of New York, discusses running for the U.S. Senate in 2000 (2-18-99) Real: 28K | 80K, Windows Media: 28K | 80K

CROSSFIRE: Giuliani discusses running for Senate (2-18-99) Real: 28K | 80K, Windows Media: 28K | 80K

A new role for the First Lady? (2-17-99) Windows Media: 28K | 80K

Larry King Live Highlight: The panel comments on the prospect of Hillary Clinton running for Senate (2-17-99) Windows Media: 28K | 80K


White House Web site

Senate Web site


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


Senator Hillary Clinton?


Tuesday, February 16, 1999

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