Don't Expect Hillary to be Borrowing Sugar Just Yet

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Not content with disturbing the peace in the glitzy Hamptons, the Clinton juggernaut is setting up shop in the almost equally tony Westchester town of Chappaqua. The First Family announced Thursday they’d paid $1.7 million to acquire a five-bedroom house built in 1889, giving Hillary Rodham Clinton a place to unpack her carpetbag and get busy on her bid for New York’s Senate seat. But residents of the tranquil New York City suburb needn’t fear being turned into an extension of Pennsylvania Avenue. "As long as Bill Clinton is in the White House, this house will remain strictly an occasional weekend getaway," says TIME White House correspondent Jay Branegan. "And once he’s out of office, Clinton has made clear that he plans to spend a lot of time in Arkansas building his presidential library. And if the First Lady does get elected to the Senate, of course, she’s going to have to set up a new home in Washington, D.C., too." All of which will leave Chappaqua’s peace relatively undisturbed.

It’s not her realty choices that have Mrs. Clinton’s political foes up in arms at the moment, though; it’s her husband’s recent decision to grant clemency to 16 members of a Puerto Rican separatist guerrilla group responsible for terrorist attacks in New York City. The New York Post, for example, accuses President Clinton of freeing the prisoners "for the sole purpose of helping his wife's Senate campaign attract Hispanic votes." But that may be reaching. "Do you see the Puerto Rican community getting excited about this or rushing out to support Hillary’s campaign? Hardly," says Branegan. Armed struggle for independence isn’t exactly a mainstay of New York Puerto Rican politics. "These guys were released because of years of pressure from human rights groups," says Branegan. So special interest groups who want to make cases such as the release of Jonathan Pollard, jailed for spying for Israel, an issue in the First Lady’s campaign may end up shooting themselves in the foot. "If anything," says Branegan, "the First Lady’s candidacy will make President Clinton even more cautious about taking any decisions that could be construed as motivated by her campaign."