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President Clinton Needs Heart Surgery

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He's like the brilliant, lecherous uncle I never had - as opposed to the merely lecherous uncles I DO have...

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Former President Bill Clinton will undergo heart bypass surgery early next week, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton said Friday evening.

Bill Clinton was in New York-Presbyterian Hospital on Friday after complaining the previous day about chest pain and shortness of breath.

Senator Clinton said there would be no further reports on his health until after the surgery.

"He's going to be fine," she said. "He's going to be back in fighting form before very long."

Clinton said her husband was grateful for the "outpouring of concern." She also asked that anyone wishing to offer support should send a personal message through his Web site,

Earlier, Clinton's office issued this statement:

"Former President Bill Clinton is being admitted to New York-Presbyterian Hospital today and is scheduled to have bypass surgery.

"The former president went to Northern Westchester Hospital yesterday afternoon after experiencing mild chest pain and shortness of breath. Initial testing was normal and he spent the night at home in nearby Chappaqua, New York. After undergoing additional testing this morning at Westchester Medical Center, doctors advised he should undergo bypass surgery.

"Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and (daughter) Chelsea Clinton will be with the president in New York City."

The Clintons had been scheduled to tour the New York State Fair in Syracuse on Friday afternoon.

Senator Clinton cut the fair visit short. She said the former president had expected to join her, but after the tests, his doctors had advised him to have the bypass surgery "as soon as he could."

She said her husband felt fine Friday morning, but added, "We have to really follow through on the recommendations the physicians have made. He's in excellent hands and he's at one of the great hospitals in the world, but I'm going to leave now to go and be with him."

President Bush and his Democratic rival, Sen. John Kerry, both wished Clinton well from the campaign trail.

"He is in our thoughts and prayers. We send him our best wishes for a swift and speedy recovery," Bush told an audience in West Allis, Wisconsin.

"Every single one of us wants to extend to him our best wishes, our prayers and our thoughts," Kerry said during a rally in Newark, Ohio. "And I want you all to let a cheer out and clap that he can hear all the way to New York, all the way to New York."

[U]Above-normal cholesterol in 2001[/U]
Clinton, 58, has been in good health with no known history of heart problems.

A medical report in January of 2001 showed he had an above-normal cholesterol level and borderline high blood pressure.

During his presidency, Clinton had a reputation for eating fast-food meals.

Since leaving office, Clinton has lost weight, and he told talk show host Oprah Winfrey that he had gone on The South Beach Diet.

Sunday, Clinton delivered what was described as an energetic and forceful speech at the historic Riverside Church in Manhattan.

Clinton was on the campaign trail Monday in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, stumping for Rep. Joe Hoeffel, the Democratic U.S. Senate candidate running against incumbent Arlen Specter. [Ozy note: he's the swell guy who gave us the Magic Bullet theory :)]

And Wednesday, Clinton attended a book signing in New Orleans, Louisiana.

During that appearance, Clinton was asked about his weight loss after leaving office.

"I work out a lot, and I went on The South Beach Diet for a while, that helped, but the combination -- I have a wonderful man that comes in two or three times a week and we work out," he said.

"You know when you get older you really got to watch it. It gets harder. The older I get, the harder it is [to watch my weight]."