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Hillary Says No '08 Prez Plans

In her much-anticipated broadcast interview on Sunday, former first lady and New York Sen. Hillary Clinton launched a book-selling blitz — and not a run for the White House.

"I have no intention of running for president," Mrs. Clinton said when asked about the 2008 race in the ABC interview in which she promoted her new book, "Living History," about her time in the White House.

Mrs. Clinton also said she and former President Clinton are "looking forward, that their marriage has been "tried and tested," and she hopes to grow old with her husband.

The publicity blitz will include other T.V. appearances later in the week. Time magazine is running excerpts from the book and an interview with Mrs. Clinton, who plans summer-long book tour of major American cities.

As her book went on sale Monday, store managers at the senator's first promotional event in Manhattan will distribute wristbands to the first 250 people seeking autographed copies.

In the book, Ms. Clinton revisits the public and private turmoil from her husband's relationship with intern Monica Lewinsky. She concludes that what Mr. Clinton did was morally wrong, but not a betrayal of the public.

According to Mrs. Clinton's former press secretary Howard Wolfson, the book also revisits the policy battles of her husband's presidency.

"I think this book is going to make the case that the Clinton years were good years for this country, and this the Bush years have taken us backwards," Wolfson told the CBS News Early Show.

Mrs. Clinton's publisher Simon and Schuster agreed to pay her $8 million dollars. The company is printing one million copies, betting on major public interest.

Barnes and Noble predicts "Living History" will be its top-selling nonfiction book of the year.

Dorothy Evans, a bookseller at Waldenbooks in downtown Chicago, said she's already seen "tons of interest" from customers.

"It's not even out yet, and there's already a lot of people asking for it," said Evans.

Wietrack believes there will be "a giant two or three week pop" of sales as Mrs. Clinton shows up all over broadcast and in print promoting the book.

Many in the industry believe the Harry hysteria will generate additional sales for Mrs. Clinton by drawing more parents into stores. Scholastic Inc., the American publisher of "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," has planned a $3 million to $4 million marketing campaign, and commissioned a record 8.5 million copies.

"Customers are going to come in buying Harry Potter, and what we've seen in the past is that those crowds also buy books for themselves," said Wietrack.

After Monday's New York event, Mrs. Clinton will have two other signings during the week in Washington, before she heads to her New York home of suburban Chappaqua for a weekend appearance.

During the summer, she will sandwich more book-signing visits in between her Senate work schedule, but Simon & Schuster spokeswoman Victoria Meyer said the company is not releasing the tour itinerary for logistical and security reasons.

"It's fair to say it will be all parts of the country," Meyer said.

Simon & Schuster is threatening a lawsuit over pre-publication excerpts from a leaked copy of the book quoted by the Associated Press.

Simon & Schuster had carefully withheld details about Clinton's book, "Living History," in order to set up the media campaign to promote the book. (Simon & Schuster and are both owned by Viacom.)

The AP ran passages Wednesday describing, among other things, Mrs. Clinton's pain upon learning of her husband's affair with Lewinsky. Numerous other media outlets then picked up the story from the AP.

Simon & Schuster, in a letter to the AP, objected to the AP's report on the book, claiming that it amounted to copyright infringement.

In the book:

  • Mrs. Clinton takes some responsibility for "botching" health care reform and not being sensitive enough to people who thought she should be a traditional first lady. "I knew people were saying, 'This is Hillary's fault. She blew it with health care and lost us the election,'" she writes.
  • Mrs. Clinton says that after her husband finally confessed to a sexual relationship with Lewinsky, after denying it, "I didn't know whether our marriage could — or should — survive such a stinging betrayal. ... This was the most devastating, shocking and hurtful experience of my life."
  • She wrestles with the question of why Vince Foster killed himself when he did not seem out of sorts. She says that as she learned more about clinical depression, "I began to understand that Vince may have appeared happy because the idea of dying gave him a sense of peace."
  • Of her description of a "vast right-wing conspiracy" dogging her and her husband, she says she might have phrased her point more artfully. But she stands by its essence, as it related to independent counsel Kenneth Starr's investigation. "I do believe there was, and still is, an interlocking network of groups and individuals who want to turn the clock back on many of the advances our country has made," she says.