October 30, 2000

Hillary Clinton, in Interview, Looks to Road Ahead

By Frank Buckley and Phil Hirschkorn

Auburn, NY (CNN) -- Hillary Rodham Clinton says if she is elected to the U.S. Senate, she hopes to carry on the work begun by her husband.

"I think there are many of us who want to carry on the work of the Clinton administration, starting with the vice president and Senator Lieberman and going to me in my race," the first lady said Sunday in an interview with CNN.

"You know we all want to keep this prosperity and progress going and that's our highest priority," she said.

CNN interviewed Clinton on board the bus that is taking the Senate candidate on a three-day swing of the upstate region. It is the first time in her campaign that Clinton has traveled in her own bus.

She visited Ithaca, Elmira, Buffalo and towns in between on Saturday. On Sunday, she campaigned from Buffalo to Rochester and Syracuse, and Monday, she is scheduled to appear in Utica, Schnectady and Albany.

"I want the people of upstate to know that I'll go to bat for them and I'll work as hard as I can. I have a specific plan of what I think would bring good jobs," she said.

Since officially launching her campaign in February, Clinton has proposed a mix of ideas -- from targeted tax cuts to public investment in transportation and lowering utility costs -- to boost upstate areas where job growth has lagged compared to the rest of the state and the nation.

At her side for several stops over the weekend was Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer, whose successful 1998 Senate bid Clinton has tried to emulate.

"I'll work with Senator Schumer and other colleagues in the Senate to try to make a difference," she said, "so people don't have to see their children leave for better opportunities elsewhere."

Clinton declined to say which committee assignment she would seek if elected.

"I just don't think about what's going to happen until after the election is over, because I want to work as hard as I can to earn every single vote of every New Yorker between now and November 7," she said.

Clinton said that when in office, providing better job and health care opportunities would be among her top priorities.

"I'm going to keep fighting every day until the election to make sure that New Yorkers know what I stand for and what I will do in the Senate," she said.

In nine days, Clinton faces Republican congressman Rick Lazio in the race for U.S. Senate. Polls have shown Clinton in the lead.

"It took me a long time to decide I would make this race, but I'm very glad I did and I'm very excited about what I can do," she said.

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