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Hillary Endorses Her Pal Al

First lady Hillary Clinton on Tuesday endorsed Al Gore for president.

Mrs. Clinton was among a number of prominent women who turned up at a rally for her husband's ex-running mate at a Washington hotel.

"He (Gore) is an exceptional father and husband, a tireless advocate for children and families and he is my choice, and I hope your choice, for the next president of the United States," Mrs. Clinton said.

The vice president's wife, Tipper, provided a lighter moment.

"I came here to endorse Al, too," she said. Mrs. Gore then gave the vice president a big kiss.

In introducing the first lady, Mrs. Gore had this to say: "I wish I had a chance this morning to endorse someone for another race."

The remark was the only reference to Mrs. Clinton's possible run for a U.S. Senate seat from New York.

The vice president said: "In her [Mrs. Clinton's] honor, I make this vow: The progress we've made this century is only the beginning."

Gore rolled out a laundry list of campaign promises that included extending family leave, making preschool available to every family, putting women's health at the top of his agenda, making sure Medicare is never weakened and defending a woman's right to choose.

These familiar proposals were mixed with a special appeal that the vice president has crafted.

One of the ways Gore has been distinguishing himself from President Clinton has been to tout his 29 years of faithful marriage, his four children and the expected birth next month of his first grandchild.

By stressing his marital fidelity, Gore has been drawing a line between himself and the scandals of the Clinton years.

At Monday's rally, Gore publicly acknowledged his wife as "my very best friend and lifelong love."

The first lady also got into the act, twice referencing Gore as a "remarkable husband and father." The president's name only came up a couple of times.

©1999 CBS Worldwide Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Reuters contributed to this report

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