Hillary Clinton's new 2016 answer?
January 29th, 2013
11:54 AM ET
2 years ago

Hillary Clinton's new 2016 answer?

Washington (CNN) - It's the biggest question in campaign politics: Will Hillary Clinton run for president again, in 2016?

We heard from Clinton later Tuesday, as she sat down for an interview with CNN's Foreign Affairs Correspondent Jill Dougherty and Foreign Affairs Reporter Elise Labott for "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer."

"I am lucky because I've been very healthy. I feel great. I've got enormous amounts of energy that have to be harnessed and focused, so I'm very fortunate," she said. "I'm looking forward to this next chapter in my life, whatever it is."

"I don't know everything I'll be doing. I'll be working on behalf of women and girls, hopefully writing and speaking, those are the things that I'm planning to do right now," she added.

As Clinton gets ready to leave public service and enter private life, the outgoing secretary of state appears to be changing her answer. Her comments in the CNN interview were in line with remarks she made earlier Tuesday.

"Well I'm not thinking about anything like that right now. I'm looking forward to finishing my tenure as secretary of state and catching up on 20 years of sleep deprivation," Clinton said Tuesday morning at a global townhall style forum at the Newseum in Washington.

In the event, she answered questions from Africa, Europe, Asia, South America as well as from questioners in the audience. The event was also live-tweeted in eleven different languages on Twitter, with people also participating through Facebook, YouTube and Skype.

Those answers sound different than her responses to such questions about her political future last year.

"Look, I'm flattered. I am honored," she told CNN's Wolf Blitzer last April, when asked about the chorus of Democrats who want Clinton to make another bid for her party's presidential nomination. "That is not in the future for me, but obviously I'm hoping that I'll get to cast my vote for a woman running for president of our country."

As late as last month, Clinton continued to downplay talk of another White House run, telling ABC's Barbara Walters that "I really don't believe that that's something I will do again. I am so grateful I had the experience of doing it before."

A Democratic strategist close to Clinton tells CNN not to read much into the change in language, and dismissed talk that Clinton's latest comments are any indication she's now more serious about mounting another presidential campaign. The strategist asked to remain anonymous to speak more freely.

Clinton's comments Tuesday came as the Senate confirmed Sen. John Kerry as secretary of state.

Kerry, the longtime senator from Massachusetts and 2004 Democratic presidential nominee, has served on the committee for decades and has served as the panel's chairman the past four years. Obama last month nominated Kerry to succeed Clinton as the country's top diplomat.

The joint interview with the president was Obama's idea.

"I just wanted to have a chance to publicly say thank you, because I think Hillary will go down as one of the finest secretary of states we've had. It has been a great collaboration over the last four years. I'm going to miss her," Obama said in the CBS interview.

It was the first time Obama had given a joint interview as president with anyone other than the First Lady. Was the interview a subtle endorsement by the president of Clinton, if she decides to run again in 2016?

The Democratic strategist close to Clinton says no.

"The interview was President Obama's way of putting a capper on Clinton's tenure as secretary of state, and of taking some credit for it," says the adviser. "The president's very proud he went this route of appointing his chief top rival an extremely important and high profile cabinet position and he sees her years as secretary of state as an important part of his legacy."

When asked about 2016 in the interview, the president chuckled, saying "you guys in the press are incorrigible. I was literally... [laughs] ...inaugurated four days ago, and you're talking about elections four years from now."

Obama and Clinton battled each other in tough and historic 2008 Democratic nomination battle, with Clinton dropping out in June of that year, at the conclusion of the primary and caucus calendar. After winning the general election that November, Obama asked his former rival to serve as secretary of state.

Vice President Joe Biden is also considering a 2016 bid. The vice president met with Democratic Party delegates last week, capping a number of moves he made over inauguration weekend that could be considered early signals that Biden may be laying the groundwork for a possible 2016 run for the White House.

Biden, who served nearly four decades as a senator from Delaware, unsuccessfully ran for the Democratic nomination in 1988 and 2008. On Election Day 2012, when asked if it was the last time he'd vote for himself, the vice president said "No, I don't think so."

But when asked last week in an interview with CNN Chief Political Analyst Gloria Borger if there were any reasons why he wouldn't run in 2016, Biden said "there's a whole lot of reasons why I wouldn't run. Um, I haven't made that decision. And I don't have to make that decision for a while."

A Democratic strategist close to Biden sees the Obama-Clinton interview as a parting gift to the secretary of state, and doesn't see the teaming up on TV as any threat to Biden. The strategist also asked to remain anonymous to speak more freely.

According to a CNN/ORC International poll conducted last month, 85% of Democrats and independents who lean towards the Democratic Party said they'd be very or somewhat likely to support Clinton if she makes another bid for the Democratic nomination, with two-thirds of Democrats questioned saying they would be very or somewhat likely to support Vice President Joe Biden if he runs. Other possible 2016 candidates mentioned in the survey trailed Biden by at least 10 points.


Filed under: 2016 • Hillary Clinton
soundoff (93 Responses)
  1. Joe

    2016 is already old hat. Let's speculate about 2020 candidates now! lol. the media is a real piece of work. :)

    January 29, 2013 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  2. lB Colorado

    After the Benghazi ordeal, the fact that she did not do "the right thing" tells a lot about her strength and how she was soooooo obedient to the party as it was very close to election and her standing for the right would have jeopardized her party. So much for strength, integrity, character – right out the window. I would vote for her husband – she is not a fluffy soft, but she does not have the strength to stand up against the "big" boys in Washington. Biden either.

    January 29, 2013 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  3. Anne Sardina

    I would have voted for her in 2016, if she would have stuck to her convictions, what she said about Obama in the 2008 campaign was true.. Now she has lowered herself to be his patsy and fall girl for Benghazi, I have lost all respect because of that..

    January 29, 2013 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  4. End the two parties

    Folks no matter who wins the Middle Class will lose. Neither party
    has any real plans to reduce the size of Government, they will do nothing to
    stop the out of control spending, our health care costs will continue to rise,

    We are a long way off the path set by our founding fathers. The conditions we live under today are far worse than that of England when we first rebelled for our freedom.

    These people think they are our rulers not our representatives.

    January 29, 2013 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  5. Dean

    with two-thirds of Democrats questioned saying they would be very or somewhat likely to support Vice President Joe Biden if he runs. ...................................Wow! Biden make Dan Quayle look like a genius.

    January 29, 2013 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  6. amf140

    The LEFT made a big issue of John McCain's age and his "cured" skin cancer. I wonder whether the media will make HRC's age and health a similar issue. I guess a blod clot to the brain (possibly recurring), feinting and resulting concussion is no big deal.

    January 29, 2013 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  7. WorryAboutToday

    Can't we just worry about the 2016 elections, oh I don't know, like, in 2016?

    January 29, 2013 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  8. Name lynn

    Hillary answer the question would you run for president in 2016 if you be alive. If mccain got palins to be his vice president then you can think about it or you can run for president sit.

    January 29, 2013 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  9. Jyothi, St.Louis, MO

    Hillary as she is known, may change her answers by 2016. We cannot predict what would be her final answer until it is time. Hillary would be a lot more qualified presidential candidate in 2016 than she was in 2008. But in 2016, she will have to face lot more challenges than she did in 2008.
    Joe Biden's answer is more predictable right now. It would be a 'Yes' for 2016 bid.

    My prediction is that neither Hillary nor Joe Biden would win democratic nomination.

    January 29, 2013 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  10. Bob Thompson

    Hillary Clinton is NOT running for President. Never again! Get over it. The reason she will not run is because of her serious health conditions. Sec. Clinton has a right to her privacy when it concerns her health, but she has a serious medical condition which she may or may not have provided total disclosure on. Either way, regardless of health, she's not running nor is Vice President Biden. Hillary Clinton would be as old as Ronald Reagan when he took office should she choose to run. Vice President Biden is already 70 today. Instead of looking at younger politicians for new ideas, the press insists on rhetorical tabloid journalism about these dinosaur politicians. Why don't we talk about Deval Patrick? Or Corey Booker? Or Booby Jindal? Or Chris Christie. Or anyone else who is under 60 years old now who doesn't have a chance in dying in office if they were to be elected in 4 years.

    January 29, 2013 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  11. Paul

    I would vote for her in a HEARTBEAT. I wanted her as far back as the 08 Primary.

    January 29, 2013 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  12. Heywood

    Her adversary need only look at her actions during her husbands administration. The staff reffered to her as "ice woman" and she screwed up the health care system so badly that we are still paying for it. This person would not be good for this country.

    January 29, 2013 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  13. jag

    Clinton will be a formidable contender and if Chris Christie runs Dems will need her.

    January 29, 2013 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    She'll be too old- remember McCain was thought to be too old in 2008. She;s marked by Benghazi- could protect her ambassador. She accomplished little as Secy of State. NK, and soon Iran will be nuke ready. Mideast is a shambles. Egypt is run by a new dictator. Other than frequent flyer miles, what did she get done?

    January 29, 2013 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  15. freedom

    "Was it because of a protest, or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided they'd go kill some Americans? What difference – at this point – does it make?"

    January 29, 2013 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  16. Jack

    Mrs. Clinton's political career is over – if only because of the President's 'damning with faint praise' statement about her tenure as secretary of state, calling her 'one of the finest secretaries of state...' while leaving the category of 'finest' open to interpretation. All the secretaries of state could fit into the 'finest' category, and she is only one of them. She is done, and if she does run she will be crucified over this Benghazi scandal, with t-shirts that say 'What difference does it make' being sold on every street corner.

    January 29, 2013 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  17. grams

    ..The voters need to stop thinking left vs right & start thinking the common man vs the politicians...They have created such a machine in washington that they've lost sight of the fact they represent us...for We as voters have been kicked to the curb for so many years that we have no representation any longer..Get rid of those old men that rule us & vote in the new..Also make them abide by the same rules they vote in for us..No excemptions for them..

    January 29, 2013 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  18. tinykhan

    I lean Democratic in my voting (just cannot get a grasp on Republicans social policies) and wanted Hillary to win 8 years ago, and would love for her to run...but if Christie runs, I can't help myself, I would vote for a Republican this time around because he doesn't put up with anyone's crap...regardless of party policy. Have to admire a person like that.

    January 29, 2013 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  19. hmmmm........

    It's just that she fell for being a true Washington Politician, especially when Benghazi happened. She will be 69 and it's time for some new thinkers. Biden is an old man with deep roots in Washington, he needs to go home and get out. Both HRC and Biden will be lobbyists.

    January 29, 2013 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  20. mike

    This is 4 yrs away and Hillary will be 69 yrs old by then. Only 1 President has won at that age Reagan and who know what fresh face will appear. Hillary and Bill are old news and they will have problems in 4 yrs especially after Odumbo gets done with us.

    January 29, 2013 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  21. jschm

    She'll be too old- McCain was said to be too old in 08. She's marked by Benghazi- she couldn't protect her ambassador. She accomplished little except run up the airplane bill. Mideast is a shambles. US turned on Israel. Egypt is run by a dictator threatening Israel. Iran will get the nuke and NK is testing delivery vehicles. She will have done better than Kerry who is a complete disaster.

    January 29, 2013 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  22. Elle

    I'd vote for Hil.

    January 29, 2013 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  23. Roberto

    Christie for president

    January 29, 2013 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  24. blake

    Duh. You are not paying attention if there was ever any doubt in your mind that Hillary would run again in 2016. What is disgusting is how CNN and the rest of the far left media is already actively promoting this compulsive liar's candidacy.

    January 29, 2013 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  25. grams

    ..The voters need to stop thinking left vs right & start thinking the common man vs the politicians...They have created such a machine in on the hill that they've lost sight of the fact they represent us... We as voters have been kicked to the curb for so many years that we have no representation any longer..Get rid of those old men that rule us & vote in the new..Also make them abide by the same rules they vote in for us..No excemptions for them..

    January 29, 2013 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
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