Sen. Clinton Collapses During Speech

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (search) collapsed Monday while delivering a speech to a local chamber of commerce, but quickly recovered and resumed her busy schedule.

Clinton, D-N.Y., was going to be taken to a hospital but then decided against it after being treated by an emergency crew at the scene, according to WBEN radio in Buffalo.

Her Washington, D.C., office issued a statement to the public and colleagues assuring them of her health.

"Thank you for your calls and thoughts. Senator Clinton is A-OK. She hadn't felt well and her doctors thought it was a stomach virus. When she was speaking at an event today in Buffalo, she needed to sit down, fainted briefly, then got immediate medical attention, and felt well enough to proceed with her planned schedule in that area. Again, from all she and we know, she had a bug that regularly hits us all," the statement to the Senate reads.

While at the prestigious Saturn Club in Buffalo to deliver a speech, the former first lady told the 150-person audience that she was feeling weak from a stomach ailment. She then hit the ground and briefly passed out in front of the crowd, Colleen DiPirro, president of the Amherst Chamber of Commerce (search), told WBEN.

An aide said after Clinton, 57, recovered, she ate crackers and drank water and Gatorade before going on with her schedule. She then walked out of the building under her own power and smiling, according to the club's manager.

"I saw her walk out the door by herself, she smiled and said, 'thank you'," said General Manager Vincent Tracy.

Clinton continued with her schedule Monday, arriving at Canisius College (search), a Catholic college in Buffalo, to deliver an address about health care. Hundreds of protesters had lined up at the college to demonstrate against Clinton because of her support for abortion rights.

After a 30-minute speech, Clinton commented on her spell. "It wasn't as dramatic as it sounds," she said. U.S. Rep. John LaFalce, who introduced Clinton at the college, said the senator went against doctor's advice because she was committed to talking about health care.

Clinton was to return to Washington after the speech, the last event on her public schedule.

During an earlier editorial board meeting Monday at The Buffalo News, Clinton complained about suffering from a flu-like bug that affected several of her staff members during a weekend retreat in Westchester, N.Y. Clinton lives in Westchester County.

Clinton, the first lady elected to the Senate, won her seat in 2000. She replaced Democrat Daniel Patrick Moynihan (search). She has said she plans to run for re-election in 2006 and many political pundits are betting that she will run for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination and could easily win it.

The senator's health has never been called into question. Instead, she sat by her husband's side last September as former President Bill Clinton, 58, underwent quadruple bypass surgery.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.