The Clinton report

There's good news and bad news for the once and maybe future first couple.

By Tim Grieve
Published March 8, 2005 6:29PM (EST)

There's good news and bad news for the Clinton family today.

First, the bad. The Associated Press reports that Bill Clinton will face surgery again this week. Clinton will be hospitalized for between three to 10 days after undergoing a process called decortication, which involves the removal of "scar tissue that has developed as a result of fluid buildup and inflammation, causing compression and collapse of the lower lobe of the left lung."

Dr. John LaRosa of the State University of New York Health Science Center told the AP that Clinton's problem is a relatively rare complication from the quadruple bypass surgery he had in September, but that it does not signal any future problem with the former president's health. The additional surgical procedure will take place Thursday; Clinton is proceeding with his usual schedule today, which is to include a visit to the White House.

The good news for the Clintons also involves the White House. According to a new Marist College poll out today, a growing number of voters want Hillary Clinton to run for president in 2008. In the latest poll, 46 percent of voters say they want Clinton to run and 49 percent said they don't. A Marist poll taken in December had 38 percent favoring a run and 50 percent opposed.

The poll numbers suggest that Clinton remains a highly polarizing figure -- two-thirds of Democratic respondents said they want Clinton to run, while three-quarters of Republican respondents said they don't -- but, at this extraordinarily early moment, polls are consistently showing her to be the strongest contender for the Democratic nomination. Marist's general election match-ups offer mixed news for the senator from New York. Clinton beats Condoleezza Rice by eight percentage points, comes pretty close to a dead heat with Rudy Giuliani and loses big to John McCain.

Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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