Hillary On Kerry, Her Own Future

Dan Rather spoke with former First Lady, and now senator from New York, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Sen. Clinton told Rather she's going to try to convince Americans it's time for a change when she introduces her husband at the Democratic Convention.

Clinton: I know that right now the American public, in my view at least, has decided that they want an alternative to President Bush and this is the opportunity for those of us who know and admire John to help convince a lot more of our fellow citizens to support John Kerry.

Rather: And what about those who don't wish him well? They say he's "Senator Flip-Flop" and always has been and would be as president.

Clinton: Oh I think that's a Republican propaganda. What I think about the case about John Kerry is that he has a very steady core. He's a man of a lot of personal strength and he understands what it takes to lead. And because he thinks through issues and he asks questions. Apparently in some quarters of American politics today that's considered inappropriate, (laughter) whereas for me it's very reassuring.

Tonight it's Senator Hillary Clinton's job to rally the crowd for John Kerry. But for months she was the center of serious speculation.

Rather: Your husband, President Clinton, has said in interviews that you considered running for president this time.

Clinton: Well, that's not accurate. You know, I think that a lot of people considered it for me. It was just not anything I wanted to do or thought was right to do for me and I'm very much at peace with that.

Rather: Well, you and your husband helped get John Edwards elected senator from North Carolina, but now he is -- correct me if I'm wrong -- but he's a future competitor of yours for stardom in the Democratic party.

Clinton: I don't see it that way. You know I don't see politics as a zero sum game where you know if someone's up, you're down and vice versa. I don't see it like that. To me we're all part of a team.

Rather: And to those who say, listen down deep, the Clintons did not want John Edwards to be on the ticket because it might harm Senator Clinton's chances in the future, you say what?

Clinton: I say that's just not true. I say that from my perspective, both my husband and I have done everything we can to help this ticket and we're going to continue to do it. I want to be there on January 20 when John Kerry and John Edwards are sworn in on behalf of our nation.

I cannot imagine four more years of the Bush-Cheney administration. I think it has been a real setback for our nation and for the world, and I don't think there's any about-face that the president can perform that will change that. We need a new leader.