Bloomy to host 'Welcome back Clinton' bash

July 17, 2008 1:50:16 PM PDT
Mayor Michael Bloomberg is planning to host a party for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton to ease her transition back from the presidential campaign trail, where she waged a tough fight for the Democratic nomination.The billionaire mayor, who had toyed with the idea of his own independent presidential run, met with the New York senator in Washington on Thursday and offered to host a welcome back event for her, a spokesman said.

Clinton spent 18 months out on the campaign trail in a grueling race that she eventually lost to Illinois Sen. Barack Obama.

Bloomberg did not endorse any candidate during the primary, and has still not said whom he is supporting in the presidential race.

He has been friends with Republican John McCain for years but has also recently begun to forge a relationship with Obama.

The event for Clinton, who is still raising money to pay down her $10 million campaign debt, will not be a fundraiser, Clinton spokesman Philippe Reines said.

The unusual offer came up when the mayor and Clinton were meeting privately to discuss 9/11 health issues.

"She immediately and gladly accepted," Reines said. "She's really looking forward to it and thanks the mayor for his generosity."

A Bloomberg spokesman did not immediately comment.

Another New Yorker, former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, returned from the campaign trail nearly six months ago when his White House bid flamed out after the Florida Republican primary. Bloomberg, a Democrat-turned-Republican-turned-independent, did not host a party for his City Hall predecessor.