ALBANY, N.Y. – Democratic Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is getting her bid for a second term under way with a sometimes emotional 18-minute video that features praise from her husband and even some New Yorkers who opposed her candidacy six years ago.
"I didn't vote for her. I think I will this next election," says Tim Damon, owner of Damon Rods in Potsdam, N.Y., whose company's Web site shows former President Bush with a Damon fishing rod.
The video, previewed for The Associated Press, will be shown Wednesday at the state Democratic convention in Buffalo as the former first lady and potential 2008 presidential candidate marks the start of her re-election campaign.
While there is plenty of praise for Clinton in the video, there is no mention of her past in the White House or 2008.
This version of the Clinton story begins with a clip of then-presidential candidate George W. Bush proclaiming on July 14, 2000: "It's going to be quite a moment when the sitting vice president performs his last official duty and that is to swear in the new United States senator from New York, Rick Lazio." The little-known congressman from Long Island wound up losing to Clinton by 12 percentage points.
Then there is a shot of Sen. Clinton, laughing. And then one of Bill Clinton, smiling.
"The so-called experts counted her out a lot of times," the former president says.
There are shots of crowds chanting "Go home, Hillary!" and Lazio physically looming over her during a debate encounter in Buffalo.
"You really can't care what people say about you. And, in New York, they say it in every language," Clinton says.
"She could have had a much easier and more lucrative life, but it wouldn't have been her life," her husband says.
Over the next 15 minutes there is much talk of her work in the Senate — on health care, the Armed Services Committee, post-Sept. 11 efforts.
"She gets it and she gets it done," said Laureen Manning, a burn victim who survived the attacks that brought down the World Trade Center towers. "That's someone who can really rock."
In the video, Clinton makes no mention of her potential GOP Senate opponents — former Yonkers Mayor John Spencer and Reagan-era Pentagon official Kathleen Troia "KT" McFarland are seeking the Republican nomination — but does berate the current president.
"The George Bush Social Security privatization plan may be one small step for a Republican man, but it would be one giant leap backward for the United States of America," Clinton says.
Some of the praise for Clinton fits into the gushing category.
"I think of Hillary as a lioness protecting children," proclaims Linda Fairstein, a former New York City prosecutor.