Cherie lauds Hillary for paving way for women leaders

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New Delhi, Jun 9 (UNI) Former British First Lady Cherie Blair lavished praise on Hillary Clinton's ''determined and persistent'' campaign for the presidential nomination, saying it dispelled all doubts about a woman's ability to handle the US' top job and paved the way for a future woman American President.

''Though in 2009, we are not going to see a woman being sworn in as the US President, one day we will see a woman being sworn in as the President and she will say then that I am here today because of Hillary Clinton and the campaign she fought in 2008.'' Commenting upon her role model, Ms Blair said, ''Until now every time we talk of an American President we've seen a man. Hillary has absolutely proved that a woman can do that job, that she has the persistence, the determination, the character to do that job.'' In an exclusive interview to NDTV, she talked about the reference to British Prime Minister Gordon Brown in her memoir 'Speaking for myself'.

''He is mentioned in my book in relation to Tony and because of the impact he had on my husband. In 1994, Tony was always the frontrunner. He was the person from the beginning; he was ahead in the polls to be leader of the party. It was a difficult battle for both him and Gordon,'' she said, accepting that being the President's wife coloured her perception.

Talking about her relationship with the media, the Barrister said, ''I was naive and did not think that when Tony became Prime Minister, the children and my lives would change. On the very first day, I came down in my nightwear to open the door to collect flowers, and saw flashing light bulbs, I shut the door, and thought Tony will kill me... and those photos were shown around the world.'' UNI SYU RR BD2251

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