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Colorado Congresswoman Pondering Presidential Run

June 5, 1987

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Rep. Patricia Schroeder, the senior woman in the U.S. House, said today she is giving serious consideration to making a bid for the 1988 Democratic presidential nomination.

The Colorado congresswoman said she would try to make a decision this summer on whether to become the first woman in the already-crowded Democratic field.

″People have asked me to look at it seriously and I feel I have to look at it seriously,″ she said in an interview. ″The only reason to run is to really go out and try to win.″

Schroeder, 46, was national co-chairman of fellow Coloradan Gary Hart’s presidential bid until it abruptly ended early in May. The end of that campaign freed her to consider a run of her own.

″You look at it. How committed are people? How far along is the process? Is it too late?″ she said.

The eight-term congresswoman said raising enough money is the key question.

″That’s very serious, that’s very sobering,″ she said. ″You can have the best ideas in the world and they don’t get out unless you have the money to get them out.

One asset Schroeder said she has is strong Iowa roots.

″I am lucky enough to have relatives from Strawberry Point, Cedar Rapids, Des Moines. My whole family came out of Iowa. ... Most of them are there,″ she said. ″I really want to talk to people on the ground there.″

This weekend, much of her family will be in Denver for a graduation ceremony, giving her a chance to talk about the situation in Iowa, which holds the first Democratic presidential caucuses on Feb. 8, 1988.

Schroeder, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, said ″absolutely not″ when asked if she would run just to demonstrate that a woman can seek the nation’s highest office.

She said she was reminded by potential supporters of comments she made when Democrats were thinking of picking a woman for vice president in 1984. Former Rep. Geraldine Ferraro was eventually the choice as the first woman ever to serve on the national ticket of a major party.

″In 1984 I ... said we women have to run like men do. We have to run for president,″ Schroeder said. ″What really happened to me in all candor is that ... I had people who came to me and said ’Hart’s out. Now you have no excuse now. And remember what you said.‴

Delaware Sen. Joseph Biden will be the fifth Democrat to formally join the race with an announcement in Wilmington next Tuesday. Already in the race are Rep. Richard Gephardt of Missouri, former Arizona Gov. Bruce Babbitt, Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis and Sen. Paul Simon of Illinois.

Sen. Albert Gore Jr. and the Rev. Jesse Jackson are expected to enter the race this summer.

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