Spin Cycle

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In 2000, Sen. Charles Schumer so feared being upstaged by Hillary Clinton that he coached her GOP opponent for senator from New York, Rick Lazio.

That's the claim of Lazio, according to a new anti-Clinton book to be published July 22 -- and Schumer denies it.

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Lazio has not responded to an email query.

The book is "Clinton, Inc.: The Audacious Rebuilding of a Political Machine, " by Daniel Halper, the online editor of the neocon Weekly Standard.

According to the NY Post story by  its Washington bureau chief Geoff Earle, Lazio said: "I thought he was generally . . . He was supportive. Quite helpful to me behind the scenes and encouraging."

Not so, said Schumer spokeswoman Meredith Kelly.

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"Sen. Schumer was a die-hard Hillary supporter from the moment she announced she was running for the Senate. He and Mr. Lazio had a fine relationship and worked well together in the New York delegation, but Mr. Lazio’s recollection of the campaign just doesn’t match reality," she said.