WASHINGTON (AP) _ Pete Rose has a well-placed ally in his argument for reinstatement to major league baseball: President Clinton.

In an interview with People magazine, Clinton said he would like to see Rose admitted to the baseball Hall of Fame someday, because he considers Rose one of the finest to play the game.

``I think just about everybody ought to get a second chance,'' Clinton said. ``I'd like to see it worked out, because he brought a lot of joy to the game, and he gave a lot of joy to people, and he's paid a price _ God knows, he's paid a price.''

Rose agreed to a lifetime ban from baseball in 1989, after a gambling investigation. The ban made Rose ineligible for the Hall of Fame. Rose sought reinstatement in 1997, to which baseball commissioner Bud Selig has not formally responded.

Roger Makley, who has represented Rose since early in baseball's gambling investigation a decade ago, will meet in December or January with baseball's top lawyer, Bob DuPuy. Rose termed it the start of a dialogue to end his lifetime ban from the sport.

``I'd like to see what he did right, and what he did well, somehow accepted,'' Clinton said. ``And I'd like it if it happened while he was still alive.''

The interview was being published in People's year-end issue, which hits newsstands Friday.