Eyes on the Senate, Hillary Shares Her Pain

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Painting Bill Clinton as the emotional equivalent of a troubled four-year old wont do much for the Leader of the Free World, but it may help the First Ladys Senate campaign. In a far-reaching interview with Tina Browns new magazine, Talk, Mrs. Clinton says the roots of her husbands infidelities lay in his loyalties being divided at age four by a conflict between his mother and grandmother. Although some of the media speculated that the White House had been blindsided by the interview, TIME Washington correspondent Jef McAllister believes thats highly unlikely. "This was a carefully thought-out decision," says McAllister. "The writer persuaded her to do the interview on the ground that it would help defuse the issue in her New York Senate race, and the First Lady knows that her own popularity ratings were at their highest during the Lewinsky scandal when she was a woman wronged by her husband."

Although the interview may make the debut issue of Ms. Browns new venture the hottest item on this weeks newsstands, its not entirely clear that itll bounce her clear of New York mayor Rudy Giuliani in whats shaping up to be a closely-contested Senate race. "Her enemies like to cast her as cold, calculating and ambitious, and sharing her own pain in this interview helps to humanize her," says McAllister. "But that wont necessarily change anyones mind about whether or not they want her representing them in the Senate." And -- wouldnt you know it -- just as the spotlight falls on Hillary, that Monica Lewinsky goes and gets in a headline grabbing fender bender.