Bill Clinton Makes Rare Fundraising Pitch for Hillary

ByABC News
March 19, 2007, 6:42 AM

March 19, 2007 — -- At the center of a sea of hundreds of tables Sunday evening, former President Bill Clinton and Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., stood side-by-side on a tiny stage while he told a crowd of more than a thousand why they should continue to support his wife's bid for the White House.

The packed ballroom at a Sheraton in midtown Manhattan was the first big fundraiser for Hillary Clinton's campaign to be hosted by her best known supporter. It was one of the few times the two have been seen in the same place in public since she announced she would run for president.

"We elect a president if the person running would be the best president," Bill Clinton told the crowd. "You will never find anybody that will do it better than her."

Clinton spoke about his wife's work with children over the years and her popularity overseas as a strong proponent of women's rights.

"I still find myself in small places in Africa, Asia, Latin America," he said, "and a woman will come up and say 'I'll never forget when she said women's rights were human rights."

The former president kept his remarks short -- no doubt to avoid overshadowing the woman actually running for election.

Hillary Clinton spoke for about 20 minutes, on topics ranging from education to health care to Iraq and the need for better leadership in the country.

"It has been a difficult time for America because we haven't had leadership that has asked us to think to reach higher, to be more than we can be individually and we've been without the kind of guidance that leadership should provide to set goals for our country. We used to set goals in America," Clinton told the crowd.

She said that following the Sept. 11 attacks "people were looking for some direction. What were we going to do together? How were we going to respond?And what were we asked to do?" She paused and then said, "Go shopping."

"I think America is ready to be asked to do something besides go shopping," were her final words at the event.