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N.Y. Swoons Over Hillary

In a continuing flirtation with the idea of running for U.S. Senate, Hillary Rodham Clinton began her second day of a New York visit Thursday by giving a speech at the United Nations.

In her U.N. address about the upcoming Women's Rights Day, Mrs. Clinton praised global gains in women's rights, but said that as a new century approaches, roadblocks still bar true gender equity.

"Many women around the world are finding their voices in new ways. And as we stand here together, we have to do all we can to make sure those voices are amplified. Their stories are heard and told," she told several hundred diplomats and government officials.

She also called for a crackdown on what she termed "a growing trade" in the international selling of women and girls across borders for labor, domestic servitude and sexual exploitation.

Later Thursday, she was to host a preview of an HBO documentary on women in sports at a school in a Manhattan neighborhood called Chelsea.

During her visit, Mrs. Clinton has shown a coy side to New York Democrats waiting to hear her decision on whether she will make a bid for the Senate, reports CBS News Correspondent Eric Engberg.

She told a gathering Wednesday, "I was told there were some who thought I maight have an announcement to make. But I don't."

The decision cannot be easy. Nothing in New York is easy. The city that thinks of itself as the center of the known universe insists its politicians put on a good show.

Mrs. Clinton may be an out of towner. But she has demonstrated star power.

Although Mrs. Clinton would be a formidable candidate, she also would face what looks to be a tough battle against her most likely Republican opponent, New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani.
Her lead against Giuliani, which had surged into the double digits in earlier polls, shrank to just four points, equal to the margin of error, in a survey released Wednesday by the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.

"I think, initially, this was 'Celebrity Clinton.' And then it transitioned more into 'Candidate Clinton'," says Lee Miringoff of the Marist Institute.

Until she does decide, Mrs. Clinton is a huge cash draw for the Democrats. Wednesday's luncheon raised $500,000, a record for the DNC's Women's Leadership Forum.

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