The First Lady Gets Into a New York State of Mind

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Hillary Clinton will be in New York City for three days this week to talk about education and children's health, give awards to Desmond Tutu and Katie Couric, raise money for Democrats -- and no doubt fuel more speculation about her plans. Despite intriguing little gestures such as the Long Island wine that was served at the official dinner for China's Zhu Rongji, the First Lady isn't expected to give a formal inkling of her decision on the New York Senate race until June. But her advisers say that the more she thinks about it -- egged on in private by the Campaigner in Chief -- the more she likes the idea. She's unfazed by polls showing her lead shrinking in a hypothetical match with New York mayor Rudy Giuliani and advice from her strategists that her chances are about even in a race that would be largely fought upstate and on Long Island. Says an intimate: "The upsides are taking the balance right now." Meanwhile, Hillary's other post-White House options -- running a university or a think tank, sitting on boards -- seem stodgy by comparison. From all this comes one loud signal, intended not least for her own husband: "She's not interested in making money," says another friend. "That's his job now."