The news that Hillary Rodham Clinton may run for senator from New York has been greeted with fervor in her home town of the Bronx.

Charlotte Canterlever, a childhood companion of the first lady, said: "It was always Hillary's dream to run for something above the Mason-Dixon line. I recall walking with her along the Hudson River when she said, 'Someday I will have my own staff and my own office in Washington, D.C., and everyone will have to address me as "Madame Senator." '

"One day, as we watched Niagara Falls, I told Hillary that I believed in her because she believed in the New York Yankees, and the New York Knicks, and the New York Rangers. Hillary was the first person I knew from Little Rock who wanted to take a bite out of the Big Apple."

In my search for Hillary's roots I went down to Greenwich Village, where she had taken remedial courses at NYU about the Civil War.

The people in the neighborhood were bubbling with excitement. "She's one of us," said Renata Hornstein, as she made a hero sandwich at her deli. "For a year we have tried to get her to run for something, but the White House was always in her way. Now that doesn't seem as much a problem as it used to be."

Hillary Clinton's high school soccer coach said: "She was one of the best goalies I have ever known-- determined, fast and smart. I remember once when Hillary asked me what she should do when she grew up, I said, 'Why don't you run for mayor of New York City?' And she said, 'I have my sights on higher things.' "

The big question in the Bronx was, will Bill Clinton campaign for Hillary now that she has all but announced?

The word on the street (Pennsylvania Avenue) is that the president is prepared to give New Yorkers anything they need if they elect his wife their senator. Harold Ickes, who is running the campaign, said, "We're talking budget surpluses that will make even Wall Street's eyes boggle."

There is now talk of building the Clinton Library next to Grant's Tomb.

Originally the president's papers were going to be preserved in Arkansas, next to Bill Clinton's birthplace. But Hillary insisted that she owes it to her people to build the library in the state that has done so much for her.

She told Chelsea, as she looked across the East River from Queens, "Someday, my child, all of this will be yours."