Bill Shaheen signs with Clinton, job keeps wife neutral
Political operative Bill Shaheen gets ready to announce his plans to co-chair Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's, D-N.Y., presidential campaign in New Hampshire, Wednesday, March 21, 2007, in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)
Hillary Clinton (D) Senator, New York
Born: 10/26/1947
Birthplace: Chicago, IL
Home: Chappaqua, NY
Religion: Methodist
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MANCHESTER, N.H. - Former Gov. Jeanne Shaheen is going "to stay home and stay quiet" during the state's presidential primary, her husband said Wednesday as he joined Hillary Rodham Clinton's campaign as a state and national co-chairman.

Bill Shaheen, one of the state's top activists, formalized his role in the Clinton campaign after weeks of telling reporters and friends he was leaning that way. His wife, who was a national chair of John Kerry's campaign, has to stay neutral because of her role at Harvard's Institute of Politics.

Bill Shaheen said he talked with his wife before choosing a candidate, but wouldn't go into details.

"I'll tell you it's not like the Carville house," Bill Shaheen said, referring to Democratic strategist James Carville's marriage to Republican consultant Mary Matalin.

Bill Shaheen ran Al Gore's and John Kerry's campaigns in the state during past elections. His wife was part of Kerry's national campaign _ a demand the duo made to make sure New Hampshire's role didn't end the day after the primary.

"She takes the role I took when I was a judge," Bill Shaheen said. "She's going to stay home and stay quiet."

The Shaheens are among New Hampshire's top-tier activists. Clinton aides distributed quotes from past reports that praised Shaheen's power, a move Shaheen dismissed.

"That idea of kingmaker, that's an image I don't need. It doesn't work," he said.

He said the key will be his ability to mobilize voters.

"The rest of it is how hard I work. People aren't going to vote for Hillary Clinton because I say to vote for Hillary Clinton. They're going to vote for Hillary Clinton because they believe in Hillary Clinton and believe she's the best candidate."