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Bill Clinton Touts Wife In Faeroe Islands

Former President Bill Clinton shook hands with locals and stayed on message Monday during a visit to this North Sea archipelago, proof that no corner of the globe is too obscure to be beyond the notice of a determined campaigner.

During his one-day visit to the wind-swept islands located halfway between Iceland and Norway, Mr. Clinton put in a plug for his wife, Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton.

"No one has voted yet but I think she has a good chance," Mr. Clinton told reporters.

Asked whether he believed the United States was ready for a woman president, Mr. Clinton replied, "I think so. Hillary is the right one, and I think the American people are ready."

Mr. Clinton was appearing with former U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix later Monday to address some 500 Faeroese business leaders. Both were to speak in Copenhagen on Tuesday.

Earlier, Mr. Clinton strolled through the capital, shopping, stopping for coffee and shaking hands with residents.

Mr. Clinton, who has said his mother descended from an 18th-century Northern Ireland farming family, said he found the Faeroes interesting because the archipelago's first settlers are believed to have been Irish monks.

"The very first settlers here were Irish monks and then the Nordic peoples came. All my people came from Ireland," he said.

Irish monks briefly settled on the Faeroes in the middle of the seventh century. However, most of today's 48,000 islanders are descendants of Norse settlers.

It was the first time that a former U.S. president visited the 18-island archipelago, which is now a semiautonomous Danish territory.