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. Brian

    talk about shameless. America deserves to fail if they are so blind. Unfortunately, the 51% will drag the other 49% into failure with them.

    January 29, 2013 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  2. jj

    Hillary 2016 and 2020!

    January 29, 2013 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  3. Tony

    Clinton needs to run, I don't know anyone Democrat or otherwise that plans on supporting Biden.

    We need to keep a Democratic president, Biden cannot win!

    January 29, 2013 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  4. Pepinium

    When you consider that the Republican prospects for '16, are people like Ryan, Rubio, and Jeff Bushhhhhhhhhhhm , well, it doesn't take a genius to conclude that the Republitards will be in for another ass-whipping, :). I think the situation with Immigration reform is hilarious, :). The repubs have no choice but to support it because this last election showed that if you can't get at least 30% of the latin vote, you cannot win a national election. On the other hand, by supporting it, they are also hanging themselves because 3 out of 4 dreamers are going to register as Democrats, :))). Good luck trying to win with your coalition of the White !!!!!

    January 29, 2013 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  5. Beenthere

    I admire and (almost) revere Hillary Clinton's contributions to women's rights, our country, and our world. I supported her candidacy eight years ago and would be honored to have her as POTUS. However, for HER health, safety, and personal fulfillment, I hope she will choose to take a hiatus from public service and enjoy some time sleeping, smiling, spending time with her daughter and husband, and enjoying the fruits of her labors. Those "who are out to get her" will not respect her wisdom and her history, but will do all they can to override her historic contributions and destroy her both politically and personally. She has given enough to a country that has been less than supportive and appreciative of her efforts.

    January 29, 2013 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  6. Lynda/Minnesota

    Well, if she does get the nomination, I may just end up voting for her in the same manner in which all you fools voted for Mitt Romney.

    January 29, 2013 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  7. guest

    and you called Mitt a flip-flop

    January 29, 2013 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  8. SLNH

    To 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?"

    If you are going to quote, use the whole quote
    “What difference at this point does it make? It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again, senator.”

    January 29, 2013 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  9. Dan

    The democrats want to enslave us to the state.

    January 29, 2013 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  10. The_Mick

    Considering that everyone "knew" in late 2007 that Hillary was the certain Democratic nominee for President in 2008, it's beyond imbecility to suggest she's THE candidate for 2016 now. Consequently, the reader would be wise to ask WHY we're seeing so many articles about it now. We don't hear anything about new faces, just the same rehash about Clinton, Ryan, etc. Free press? More like "Pravda."

    January 29, 2013 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  11. A need for Change

    She needs to pick Bill Clinton as her VP. Vote for the 2016 Clinton Clinton Ticket

    January 29, 2013 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  12. Saboth

    Not as if Repubs have a chance anyhow. They stand for nothing. Lower taxes on the rich, more spending (GW outspent Obama 5 to 1), corporate subsidies. They are against equal rights, against science and knowledge, for big government (see how much government expanded under GW and Repubs...TSA, Homeland Security, etc.) They talk a big big game about fiscal and moral responsibility, while their actions demonstrate anything but.

    January 29, 2013 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  13. Wake up People!

    Just the mere mention of Hillary's name brings the fear out of the RWNJ's. Look at them, they are practically foaming at the fingers!!

    Go get em Hillary!!!

    January 29, 2013 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  14. The Truth Hurts

    Hilary does not look healthy at all. I don't think the American peopel will vote for someone who looks that ill...

    January 29, 2013 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  15. Rudy NYC

    lB Colorado wrote:

    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. ....
    ----–
    That's rather vague. Would you mind telling us what "do the right thing" means? Thanks.

    January 29, 2013 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  16. Whatever

    What good is this information now?

    January 29, 2013 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  17. cs

    I hope she does made a bid in next election!

    January 29, 2013 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  18. madmax

    Enough with the Clinton's. Time to retire.

    January 29, 2013 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  19. freedom

    @SLNH
    And that makes it any better? Tell that to the families of the abused, tortured, and murdered vicitms on 9/11 at Benghazi. She's callous, shameless, and disgusting. Not worthy of her position. And the president is no better.

    January 29, 2013 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  20. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    I was at the inauguration last week and I had a close up look at Ms. Clinton and I have to admit she looked pretty well and healthy. I got alot of photographs, cried when I say President Obama and had to get rid of some of my pictures when I advertently snapped McConnel and Cantor. Hehe.

    January 29, 2013 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  21. Colin Morgan

    She needs to make up her mind because if she says she is going to run, I'm going to become a US citizen just so I can vote for her. 2016!

    January 29, 2013 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  22. MTP

    I'd vote for Gov. Christie over Hillary if the election was today.

    January 29, 2013 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  23. Tom

    As someone who supported Obama over Hillary in 2008, Hillary has my support in 2016. After Obama was elected she could have been a sore loser and refused to join the Administration, but she put her country first and did everything she could to help the President. Plus Bill Clinton's enthusiastic support and campaigning in 2012 earned a lot of good will toward the Clinton's. If she runs we could have 16 years of Democrats in the WH. Run Hillary Run!

    January 29, 2013 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  24. TSB8C

    Another inexperienced, scandal-ridden, do-nothing politician – she'll fit right back in. The only reason she resigned is to avoid anymore "Obama stink" before she runs in 2016. That's been her plan all along. She just didn't want anymore Benghazi, Fast and Furious, or other scandals to taint her anymore before then.

    January 29, 2013 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  25. Smeagel4T

    Hey, Clinton v. Palin. I won't have to worry about donating to Clinton's campaign. She won't need it.

    January 29, 2013 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
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