Councilwoman Asks Clinton to Quit Senate Race
November 22, 1999
NEW YORK (Reuters) - A New York City councilwoman
representing Manhattan's liberal Upper Wide Side on Sunday
called on first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton not to run for the
U.S. Senate representing New York.
Councilwoman Ronnie Eldridge said that Clinton's exploration
of a Senate run was fraught with miscalculations, and that she
should step aside and let a stronger candidate face presumptive
Republican nominee, New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani.
"She's not from the state, and she doesn't have this
instinctive feeling for New Yorkers," Eldridge, who represents
one of the city's most progressive neighborhoods, told WCBS
Eldridge became one of the first elected Democrats to call
on Clinton, who has formed an exploratory committee but has not
yet made a formal declaration, to withdraw from the Senate race.
Democratic state Assemblyman Dov Hikind also expressed
reservations about her prospective candidacy.
A new Zogby/New York Post poll said on Sunday that a
majority of New Yorkers do not want the first lady to even run
for the seat being vacated by Democratic Sen. Daniel Patrick
Fifty-three percent of 908 state residents polled on
Thursday and Friday said Clinton should not run for the Senate
from New York, while 45 percent said she should. The poll had a
margin of error of 3.3 percent.
Eldridge, who said Clinton also faced the difficult task of
balancing her duties as first lady with a grueling Senate
campaign, said there were several stronger candidates for the
Democrats, including state Comptroller Carl McCall, the state's
highest black elected official.
Other prominent Democrats weighing in on the Clinton
candidacy in recent days included black activist Rev. Al
Sharpton, who said this weekend that if Clinton does not declare
by January he would likely announce his candidacy.
But Sen. Charles Schumer, for whom Mrs. Clinton campaigned
during his Senate race last year against incumbent Republican
Alfonse D'Amato, said the first lady should be given time.
"You have to give your candidate a little slack," he said
on Sunday morning news shows. "There's going to be a time when
the mayor is down, and there is going to be a time when (Clinton