HILLARY CLINTON'S reelection campaign for the United States Senate in 2006 may be tougher than expected. On Monday, May 2, the New York Observer reported that Clinton might face a challenge from Richard Nixon's son-in-law Ed Cox.

Cox, who has declined to make a statement on his intentions, has made steps toward running for Clinton's New York Senate seat, including launching an exploratory committee. Associates to Cox believe that he will win the endorsement of New York Governor George Pataki.

By the time Hillary Rodham married future president Bill Clinton in 1975, Ed Cox had been married to the daughter of then current president Richard Nixon for four years and had been making valuable in-roads within the Republican party. He became a loyal intimate to his father-in-law, standing by him through Watergate and regularly traveling abroad with the former president.

While Cox's Rose Garden wedding to Tricia Nixon brought him into the Nixon family, and in some ways the administration, Hillary was trying to bring it down. While on the staff of the House Judiciary Committee, she helped to write articles of impeachment against the president.

Those close to Cox are certain that he will embrace the Nixon legacy if he decides to run. But Cox has more to offer than that. Besides traveling to more than 30 countries with Nixon, Cox has traveled extensively on his own. He is chairman of the State University of Construction Fund, trustee of the State University of New York, chair of the New York State Council of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, and commissioner of the New York State Commission on Judicial Nomination. In addition, Cox has written pieces for the New Republic and the New York Post.

Cox supporters realize that defeating Clinton is a long shot, but they also recognize that a Cox candidacy may be the only shot at stopping Clinton's reelection.

Michael R. Potts is a staff assistant at The Weekly Standard.

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