ALBANY, N.Y. – Claiming Hillary Rodham Clinton (search) is hiding behind her husband, possible Republican challenger Jeanine Pirro (search) renewed her effort Monday to get New York's junior senator to take a pledge to serve a full, six-year term if re-elected.
A major thrust of Pirro's campaign has been that Clinton wants to be the Democratic nominee for president in 2008 and will be an absentee senator if she is re-elected.
Thus far, the former first lady has refused to address the full-term pledge issue, although her husband said Sunday she shouldn't make such a promise again because she might become a presidential contender.
The former president told NBC's Tim Russert on "Meet the Press" that "for figures that are large figures in their parties, who honestly don't know and can't know this early whether they're going to run — we have no idea what facts will unfold — I don't think they should make commitments. President Bush didn't make a commitment when he ran for re-election as governor of Texas and he was remarkably candid."
Clinton himself pledged in 1990 to serve a full, four-year term as governor of Arkansas then broke the promise to run for president in 1992.
At a state Capitol news conference, Pirro took the Democratic senator to task, questioning why "Hillary Clinton needs her husband to come out and speak on her behalf."
Responding for the Clinton camp, state Democratic Chairman Herman Farrell dismissed Pirro as a "flailing candidate" who "should try offering New Yorkers a positive vision instead of the same old tired attacks."
Besides Pirro, several other Republicans are eyeing the GOP Senate nomination, including Edward Cox (search), a Manhattan lawyer who is a son-in-law of the late President Nixon.