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Good News, Bad News, Hillary

Now that it appears that Hillary Rodham Clinton will run for the U.S. Senate out of New York state, the question is: What are her chances?

On CBS News Face the Nation Sunday, New York Newsday columnist Jimmy Breslin, who has been covering New York politics for 30 years, dismissed the "carpetbagger" issue as irrelevant.

"I think the only time that word has been used was in the movie Gone With the Wind," he observes. But, as CBS News Consultant Gloria Borger reports, there are other obstacles that Mrs. Clinton will face

"There's sort of good news and bad news," says Borger. "The good news for the Democrats is that she raises a lot of money, and she's a strong candidate. The bad news is, she raises a lot of money for the Republicans also. She's the sort of poster child, the female Newt Gingrich for a lot of Clinton haters, if you will, and a lot of Republican politicians are saying, 'She's going to raise us a lot of money in this senate race.'"

But, Borger adds, there is no doubt that Mrs. Clinton would make a formidable candidate.

"Her husband may be campaigning for her," she adds. "Whether that's a plus or minus remains to be seen."


CBS
Jimmy Breslin

Says Breslin, "It's got to be a minus. They're not going to vote for Gore because of them. You also have her coming in with the Eleanor Roosevelt aura about her. She's Eleanor Roosevelt, she wants to be, except she's for capital punishment. She wants to be Eleanor Roosevelt, and she was responsible with her husband for helping kill a cornerstone of the Roosevelt legacy, aid to
children. How can you come [to New York] and say you destroyed aid to dependent children in New York, where we have soup kitchens loaded with women and children because of cuts in welfare benefits?"

Does Mrs. Clinton now have to take responsibility for her husband's actions, both policy-wise and behavior-wise?

"I think policy-wise more than behavior-wise," says Breslin, "because, of course, her ratings went up when people thought she was graceful under the pressure of the whole Monica Lewinsky case.

"But policy-wise, I think it's very legitimate for journalists to raise questions like, 'Well, your husband's welfare reform bill did x, y, z to New York state. How do you defend that? If there's a budget deal, how does that affect New York state? I'm sure journalists are going to be asking those questions."

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