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On 'listening tour,' first lady's attention turns to business issues

July 9, 1999
Web posted at: 5:39 p.m. EDT (2139 GMT)

ROME, New York (AllPolitics, July 9) -- Business issues were Friday's focus of first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton's "listening tour" of New York, and the potential Senate candidate said the state had to address the high cost of doing business in the upstate region.

Mrs. Clinton is finishing a three-day trip that followed her creation for an exploratory committee for a Senate bid in New York. The day's events focus on issues not normally associated with the first lady -- including the effects of taxes on businesses.

hillary clinton graphic

The day's major event was a forum held at the Griffiss Business & Technology Park, at the site of the now-closed air force base where Woodstock '99 will be held later this month.

Mrs. Clinton told more than 50 central New York residents invited to the forum that "those are some of the things that I've already been told about, that I think ought to be addressed if the opportunities are going to be as plentiful as they should be."

Mrs. Clinton said she was particularly concerned that New York had the second highest power costs in the nation given its hydroelectric power facilities.

Her husband, President Bill Clinton, said Friday he thought the first lady was doing a jood job with her tour. "She's having the time of her life in New York this week and people have been good to her," Clinton said in an interview for CNN's "Both Sides with Jesse Jackson," to be broadcast this weekend. "I think she's done really well. I'm really proud of her."

Despite the scattering of protesters that show up at her events, Mrs. Clinton said she is enjoying life on the Senate campaign trail. "You know yesterday was the first time I had ever done it, so talk to me in a month or two. But I had a great day yesterday. I loved what I did," the first lady told reporters in Utica on Thursday.

The first lady is considering the bid even though she never has lived in New York, which has liberal residency requirements for Senate candidates. She faces no apparent strong opposition in the Democratic primaries, and incumbent Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who is retiring at the end of his term, endorsed her Wednesday.

After taking the weekend off from campaigning, Mrs. Clinton plans to be back in New York next week, visiting the politically crucial suburban counties surrounding New York City.

On the Republican side, New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani formed a Senate exploratory committee in April. Also eyeing the GOP nomination are two congressmen from Long Island, Rick Lazio and Peter King.

Polls have shown Mrs. Clinton either tied with or trailing Giuliani, her apparent strongest Republican rival.


CAMPAIGN 2000

Hillary Clinton 'listens' to New York health care concerns (7-8-99)

First lady sets off on 'listening' tour (7-7-99)

First lady forms exploratory committee (7-6-99)

First lady to form exploratory committee Tuesday (7-5-99)

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