Associated Press
August 8, 2000


Hillary Clinton Talks With Lieberman


By Marc Humbert

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- Hillary Rodham Clinton, trying to court New York's crucial Jewish electorate in her Senate race, said Tuesday she has already asked Democratic vice presidential pick Joseph Lieberman to campaign with her.

The first lady said she and the Connecticut senator talked by phone Monday after he was selected as Al Gore's running mate.

''We were talking about him coming to campaign for me here in New York ... I think it's going to be fabulous,'' Clinton told WROW-AM in Albany. ''Here in New York, it's going to drive up the vice president's numbers which will be great for the ticket.''

''I hope he'll be here, but I can't be greedy because he's got a lot of ground to cover,'' she added.

Polls have shown Clinton and Republican Rep. Rick Lazio running a tight Senate race, with the first lady falling below the 60 percent level among Jewish voters that is traditionally thought necessary for a Democrat to win in New York. Jews generally make up about 12 percent of the vote in statewide races in New York.

Lieberman is the first Jew to ever run for vice president on a major party ticket.

The first lady has been fighting a perception that she is overly sympathetic to the Palestinians, and Lieberman has already tried to aid her credibility on that front. In December, he accompanied her to a meeting with the Orthodox Union, which represents Orthodox synagogues.

Last month, Lieberman joined other Jewish legislators in Washington to defend her against an allegation that she used an anti-Semitic obscenity in an argument in 1974.

Lieberman's friendship with the Clintons goes back to 1970, when Bill Clinton -- then a Yale Law student -- campaigned for Lieberman's state Senate campaign.

While admitting she had differences with Lieberman on such things as school vouchers -- he favors them, while she does not -- Clinton said Tuesday that she was ''thrilled'' he had been chosen by Gore.

Asked about Lieberman's criticism that her husband had engaged in ''disgraceful'' conduct during the Monica Lewinsky sex scandal, Clinton said, ''People will remember that when Joe said that, the president said he agreed with him.''

Lazio spokesman Dan McLagan criticized Clinton's approach, saying ''Mrs. Clinton is trying to hitch her rickety campaign wagon to Senator Lieberman's fine reputation.''

While in Albany, the first lady picked up the expected endorsement of the state's largest union, the New York State United Teachers. Meanwhile, Lazio was making stops in Denver and California as part of a fund-raising trip.

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