Clinton says women need to 'step up' to political roles
June 21st, 2013
06:39 PM ET
5 years ago

Clinton says women need to 'step up' to political roles

(CNN) – Another day, another round of will-she-or-won't-she parsing of Hillary Clinton's remarks about politics.

Speaking in Toronto, Clinton said she wants to see a woman elected president of the United States before she dies – but didn't specify if that woman would be her.

"Hypothetically speaking I really do hope that we have a woman president in my lifetime," Clinton said. She was speaking as part of a women's lecture series in Toronto, and video of her remarks was posted on YouTube Thursday.

"Whether it's next time or the next time after that, it really depends on women stepping up and subjecting themselves to the political process, which is very difficult," Clinton continued, recalling a quote from fellow first lady Eleanor Roosevelt warning women entering public life to develop "skin as tough as rhinoceros hide."

In 2008, Clinton made an unsuccessful bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, though she made it further in the primary process than any previous woman running for the White House.

That year's contest, she said Thursday, was nonetheless an historic occasion for America with the election of the country's first African-American president.

"We did have a historic election with the election of Barack Obama, which was incredibly important for all the obvious reasons given our past, and I hope that we will see a woman elected because I think it would send exactly the right historic signal to girls and women, and to boys and men. And I will certainly vote for the right woman for president," Clinton said.

"You have to step up, dare to compete, get into the process, and then the country has to take that leap of faith," she continued.

Since leaving her post as secretary of state earlier this year, Clinton has embarked on a busy speaking schedule and officially joined the foundation set up by her husband, former President Bill Clinton. Initially she'll focus on domestic policy for the group, helping advance scientific research into the first five years of children's lives.

Filed under: Hillary Clinton
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. Gurgyl

    Women need to come forward. Yes, Hillary16.

    June 21, 2013 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  2. Amy

    I hope we have a competent president in my life time.

    June 21, 2013 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  3. Data Driven

    She sounds a little valedictory, here.

    June 21, 2013 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  4. Rick McDaniel

    Only GOOD ones, need to step up. The bad ones need to go away!

    June 21, 2013 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  5. Pete

    Again, she's right. The country would run better if there were more women in positions of power. Except for one big nut from Alaska, and the other nut from Minnesota.

    June 21, 2013 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  6. Lionel

    Go Hillary! 2016

    June 21, 2013 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  7. FastFrankie

    There are plenty of women in politics. How about glorifying one that is not dishonest and anti-American. Everyone knows that Hillary Clinton is the mastermind of the "motor voter" scam of the 1990's which was a blatant attempt to get illegal immigrants onto American voting lists. She and her husband BS Clinton knew perfectly well that thousands of illegal immigrants had driver's licences and so tying licence renewal with voter registration would be a great way to get Mexicans voting in America. It was not the first time or the last time she would work for the interests of a foreign state over those of America. People who pay good money to go to these Clinton love-ins are first class morons.

    June 21, 2013 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  8. The Elephant in the Room

    When a woman or a minority achieves a lofty position in business, politics, the military, law or medicine. they tend to be overachievers that have higher/ better qualifications as compared to the AVERAGE qualifications of the remaining aggregated predecessers in that position.

    The Republican Party ran someone like Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann. The Democrats would never disrespect women by running such a low-caliber candidate.

    Women everywhere are hoping that Hilliary runs. She is someone women can be proud of even if they decide not to vote for her.

    June 21, 2013 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  9. maggie

    it's a matter of support, the problem is women have always been shoehorned into the supportive roles. Men need to pick up the slack and realize that being in the role of the one who is being supportive (as opposed to being the one who requires support). So I say it's time for the men to step sideways and allow the women to come forward because there are so many brilliant, qualified women. Cheers, Maggie

    June 21, 2013 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  10. Thomas

    They are !

    June 21, 2013 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  11. shane

    there are only 93 woman out of 535 members of congress, yet ther are more woman in the nation than men. something is seriously wrong here. im not saying it has to match the ratio in the general pop exactly, but to be this far off is a real problem.

    June 21, 2013 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  12. just sayin

    yes, what really matters is symbolism, sending a message, making history, putting on a good show for the adoring crowds. competence? qualifications?? experience??? leadership ability???? knowing how to deal with, not demonize your political opponents????? naaaahhhhhhh.... after all, it has worked out so well with obama and his celebrity bases presidency. if we truly want to wreck what is left of this country, we'll vote in another inexperienced non-leader like obama just because they wear s pants suit.

    hillary clinton has already proven she is not up to the job of president with her bungling of benghazi. the 3am phone call came and she blew it big time. then lied about it. and now more and more is coming about all the other garbage going on in the state dept. under her "leadership".

    June 21, 2013 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  13. djdeez1211

    this is what happens when a man doesnt treat his wife right, now she wants acceptance from the world.

    June 21, 2013 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  14. ArchieDeBunker

    Hillary needs to step down, away and out of sight! This woman is not qualified to lead a Girl Scout Cookie sale, let alone a nation!!!!!!

    June 22, 2013 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  15. Jim

    Please Hillary make sure the women are born in the USA before they run!!

    June 22, 2013 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  16. Michael Benjamin

    Clinton will never be president. A rookie mixed race junior senator from Illinois cleaned her clock. This time the Republicans will have a compelling ticket like Rick Santorum/Akin as an example.

    June 22, 2013 02:23 am at 2:23 am |
  17. Spartacus

    Let's elect a intelligent strong woman. One we know has the experience to lead..........................Let's elect Condoleezza Rice.

    June 22, 2013 03:11 am at 3:11 am |
  18. M.A.P.

    Absolutely 100% agree with Hilary! More women needed, and not just these Palin, Bachmann crazy types that give female politicians a bad name with their fact free mud slinging.

    June 22, 2013 05:37 am at 5:37 am |
  19. Minnie Mouse

    Women do and are stepping up. The country needs to be willing to go outside the box and except a change in our presidency. A change will be for the best interest of the American people but if country won't vote the opposite way, we will never get to know what the change feels likes, looks like and what a difference it will make our country becasue we have never had a woman president to find out. Most people do not adapt well to change. My saying is this "If things are broken, someone is not working ect.. regardless to who or what the situation is", you have to make a change in order to fix things or make any situtation better.

    June 22, 2013 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  20. don in albuquerque

    And we hope to have a woman president in our life times too. Step up to the plate Hill...your that woman.

    June 22, 2013 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  21. Donkey Party

    If not Hillary, at least we know the first female President will be a Democrat, since every GOP woman is either too subservient to men, or too ignorant to be an effctive leader. That's just the facts.

    June 22, 2013 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  22. J Robinson

    "And I will certainly vote for the right woman for president," And I will too. But she is not the right one.

    June 22, 2013 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  23. Randy, San Francisco

    America would be well served if Hillary Clinton was elected president.

    June 22, 2013 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  24. J Robinson

    Why should there be a woman president in anyone's lifetime? The person most capable of leading the country should be elected, regardless of gender. To lobby for a woman president just because you want to see it your lifetime is selfish and unpatriotic.

    June 22, 2013 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  25. jeff

    Hillary: Women need to 'step up'

    Women: Hillary needs to 'step down'

    June 22, 2013 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
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