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Hillary Rodham Clinton launches re-election Web site

Right-wing attacks cited

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is turning her fund-raising talents to her own re-election.
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is turning her fund-raising talents to her own re-election.

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NEW YORK (CNN) -- With a slap at "right-wing" personal attacks, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-New York, on Monday launched a Web site to promote her work in the Senate and help raise money for her 2006 re-election campaign.

"I am very excited to launch this new Friends of Hillary Web site," Clinton, a freshman senator and former first lady, said in a written statement. "So many people have asked me where they can get more information about my work in the Senate, and about how to help out -- this site can answer those questions."

The Web site includes an extensive photo gallery, flattering news about Clinton's work in the Senate and plenty of opportunities for people to contribute money to her 2006 re-election effort.

Clinton has not made a formal announcement regarding running for a second term, but she has filed fund-raising papers with the Federal Election Commission. And the Web site leaves little doubt about her intentions.

It invites Clinton's supporters to become one of "Hill's Angels," getting involved in the campaign by sending e-mails to friends or donating money.

"While Hillary is fighting for the values and policies we care about, the right wing is waging a personal attack against her. They've already launched their campaign to defeat Hillary in 2006, using the same old politics of personal destruction, sending out hate-filled mail charging she is 'anti-woman, anti-child, anti-family,' " the Web site says, adding that it's critical to "take action now."

Clinton once blamed a "vast right-wing conspiracy" for the scandal surrounding her husband's affair with onetime White House intern Monica Lewinsky, and, in her book, she also writes about attacks from conservative critics.

Spokeswoman Patti Solis Doyle said the re-election campaign had raised only $386,000 as of June 30. A separate leadership political action committee, HilPac, has raised more than $3 million since she took office in 2001, Doyle said.

Should Clinton follow through on her re-election intentions, the 2006 race promises to be a fierce fight as the former first lady elicits strong feelings on both ends of the political spectrum. She spent more than $41 million in her 2000 race.

Clinton has ruled out a run for the White House in 2004 and has said she has no intention of launching a presidential campaign for 2008. Many Republicans, however, believe she is interested in running for president, and her political ambitions are the subject of much commentary.

A popular and effective fund raiser for Democrats, Clinton also hawks her best-selling memoir on the site. More than 1.2 million copies of "Living History" have been sold, according to publisher Simon & Schuster.

Donors who contribute $150 will receive an autographed copy of "Living History." Those contributing $500 may receive a personally inscribed copy of the 528-page work, while $1,000 donors are promised a personally inscribed, limited edition, leather-bound volume.

For smaller campaign contributions, the Web site promises a "Living History" bookmark or coffee mug.

New York's other U.S. senator, Democrat Charles Schumer, has raised $16 million for his 2004 race.

-- CNN Senior Producer Phil Hirschkorn contributed to this report.


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