Hillary Clinton says marriage to Bill worth it

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WASHINGTON, Oct 24 (Reuters) Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton says it has been worth it to stand by her man, Bill Clinton, despite the marital challenges they have faced.

Their marriage was rocked in 1998 when it was revealed that President Bill Clinton had had an affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky, which set off an extended drama that led to his impeachment and a failed attempt to remove him from office.

Hillary Clinton, a senator from New York, talked about her relationship with Bill in an interview with Essence magazine for its November issue. Some people have wondered over the years why she has stood by Clinton, who also had been accused of sexual improprieties by other women.

''I know the truth of my life and of my marriage, my relationship and partnership, my deep abiding friendship with my husband,'' Clinton said, according to interview excerpts published on www.essence.com. ''It's been enormously supportive to me through most of my life.

''Now obviously we've had challenges as everybody in the world knows. But I never doubted that it was a marriage worth investing in, even in the midst of those challenges, and I'm really happy that I made that decision.'' Clinton said it was ''not a decision for everybody. And I think it's so important for women to stand up for the right of women to make a decision that is best for them.'' Many Republicans believe Americans will not want to return the Clintons to the White House and will take the Lewinsky scandal into account when voting for a president in November 2008.

A new Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll suggested that at least among Democrats, the issue is not that big a deal.

The poll found that 42 per cent of Democrats agreed that it was the ''right thing'' for Clinton to stick with her husband after the Lewinsky affair, compared with 5 per cent who said it was the wrong choice.

More than seven in 10 Democrats and about half of all voters said they would welcome a White House advisory role for Bill Clinton, the poll found.

The poll also said Hillary Clinton remained a polarizing figure, viewed unfavorably by 44 per cent of respondents and favorably by 48 per cent.

Reuters AK VP0112

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