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“I find it interesting he’s so obsessed with me,” Mrs. Clinton said. “I think the reason is because we know how to win. …… I have been fighting against these people for longer than anybody else up here. I’ve taken them on, and we’ve beaten them.”

Mr. Rove, who is stepping down at the end of the month as White House deputy chief of staff, said the top Republicans presidential candidates are more in keeping with the attitudes, values and views of most voters.

“With the strong candidates we’ve got — [Arizona Sen. John] McCain, [former Tennessee Sen. Fred] Thompson, [former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt] Romney, [former New York Mayor Rudolph W.] Giuliani and others — we’ll have an excellent chance to keep the White House,” Mr. Rove said on “Fox News Sunday.”

“At the same time … take a look at the very sharp decline in popularity of the Democratic Congress, which was at very high levels seven months ago and has plummeted way below where the president has.”

Mr. Rove brushed aside concerns about Republicans’ own low polling numbers, saying that “there’s plenty of time” to win over voters.

“There are several geological ages that are going to come and go before the 2008 election,” he said.