SYRACUSE, N.Y. — President Clinton and Hillary Rodham Clinton kicked off two days of fund-raisers Friday in upstate New York for the first lady's U.S. Senate bid.
Hundreds of well-wishers greeted the first couple at Syracuse Hancock Airport, some waving banners, before the two headed off to a barbecue, the first of the weekend's fund-raising events designed to boost the coffers of Mrs. Clinton's Senate campaign.
Clinton raised more than $100,000 at the gathering of local supporters, where guests dined on pulled pork, spare ribs, salt potatoes and baked beans for $1,000 a plate.
The Clintons mingled with their supporters at the barbecue, held in a modest suburban neighborhood, where the president joked with onlookers who stood across the street from the party.
"If you can hear my pitch for free," he quipped, "I want you to vote for Hillary too."
Launching into a tribute to his wife, Clinton said she had played a substantial role in his administration.
"There is a reason that the people that are running against her spend all their time trying to run her down, because they know if the people of New York ever figure out who she is, what kind of person she is, what she has done and what she can do for them, she'd win in a walk."