April 8th, 2014
06:38 PM ET
7 months ago

Hillary Clinton on 2016: 'I am thinking about it'

(CNN) - Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton divulged politics' worst-kept secret on Tuesday - she's thinking about running for president.

"I am thinking about it," Clinton said in response to question about the 2016 presidential election. "But I am going to continue to think about it for a while."

While the comment is far from surprising – Clinton leads most 2016 polls, is the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination and has a cadre of former advisers orchestrating a shadow campaign for her possible run – it's rare that the former first lady bluntly acknowledges considering a presidential bid.

In January, Clinton told an audience in New Orleans that she was "not thinking about" 2016 and was trying to get other people not to think about it.

"I will think about it in the future sometime, but right now let's think about what we have to do to continue building on our success," she said at the January event.

Last month she told an audience in Arizona that she was "obviously thinking about all kinds of decisions."

During The Marketing Nation Summit in San Francisco, the first stop on a three-state West Coast swing, Clinton said that the reason she is still thinking about it is because she is enjoying her life right now.

"I am not going to make a decision for a while because, you know, I am actually enjoying my life," she said." I am actually having fun doing ordinary things like seeing my friends and going on long walks and playing with our dogs… At the end of the day, it is what really gives joy and meaning to your life."

Clinton acknowledged she sidestepped Marketo CEO Phil Fernandez's question, something she had done many times before.

"I danced around that pretty well, right," she said.

While Tuesday's admission is one of the first times Clinton has publicly acknowledged she is thinking about running for president, her hesitance has not stopped a cadre of former advisers and close confidants from organizing a shadow campaign for her prospective run.

There are over a handful of groups now in Washington that are urging the former secretary of state to run, including Super PACs Correct the Record, American Bridge and Ready for Hillary – all of whom have longtime Clinton advisers in key positions.

Clinton's speech is being put on by Marketo, a company that makes software for marketing departments in all kinds of companies. The conference of around 5,000 people costs attendees upwards of $1,195 to attend.

During the question and answer session, Clinton also seemed to fret about the state of electoral politics in the United States, especially the length in time it takes to campaign for president.

"I wish that our country had the limited campaign period that other democracies have," Clinton said, referring to countries that only allow campaigning a few months before an election. "It is not a marathon, it is a sprint."​

As has been the case with more recent Clinton events, the former first lady waded into domestic and international politics when she was asked about immigration, Russia's annexation of Crimea and the state of women in the workplace.

The former secretary of state continued her tough talk on Russian President Vladimir Putin, calling him "a tough guy with a thin skin" and warned that the Russian leader will "go as far as he can go" in Ukraine.

Russia warned Tuesday that any use of force in Ukraine's eastern region could lead to civil war, as Kiev seeks to regain control after pro-Moscow uprisings in three cities. These threats come after Russia annexed Crimea last month, a previously autonomous region of Ukraine with heavy Russian influences.

Clinton, who dealt with Putin on many occasions as secretary of state, said that she didn't feel "Putin will be satisfied with Crimea if he has any other excuse to go into Eastern and Southern Ukraine."

The former senator was also asked about immigration reform, where she praised comprehensive immigration reform efforts and said she was "very sorry" that a bipartisan effort for reform that passed the Senate was not taken up in the House.

Clinton also backed increasing the number of H-1B visas issued by the United States. The visas, which allow U.S. employers to temporarily hire foreign workers, are an important issue in the San Francisco area, where Clinton was speaking. Many tech firms want to bring in high-skilled workers and engineers from other countries but have found it difficult because of the number of H-1B visas issued by the United States.

In closing the event, Clinton blended her answers on immigration and Russia. After being thanked by Fernandez for talking about visas and Putin, Clinton joked, "Don't give him an H-1B."


Filed under: 2016 • Hillary Clinton
soundoff (131 Responses)
  1. julie

    yes, RUN HILLARYRUN... you can do it just RUN RUN RUN, repubs are already self destructing and looking to the bushes to compete with you ...go ahead girl and RUN

    to all of you poor republicans voters that are against her i feel your fear and I LOVE IT, who does the republican party have a bunch of losers/clowns ...if she runs she will WIN...it is written...sorry repubs this is not you decade

    April 9, 2014 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  2. JJR

    Now many Americans are "thinking" about the vomit in their mouths.

    April 9, 2014 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  3. Beth

    I hope she does run. A woman dragged through life being what she isn't and doing what she can't.

    April 9, 2014 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  4. julie

    .....eeeeeewwwwwwwwwww, I smell FEAR ON THIS site, yes I do take a wiff that wreaks of FEAR all of the Romeny/repub supporters FEAR HILLARY its like BLOOD in the water

    yes repubs losers FEAR HER....she is YOUR NEXT PRESIDENT bow down to her MA'Dam President has a nice ring to it...got the repubs running scared they are full of FEAR and hate

    KEEP HATING repubs it looks so good on you!!.HATERS HATE ON :)

    April 9, 2014 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  5. GaryPfalzbot

    Look, the bottom line is this. Basically the same core group of individuals have been there in power in one capacity or another for many, many years. Hillary is among that crowd. We all talk about term limits and such and this is exactly what I am talking about here. The Clintons have hung around in power, influencing every decision they can. It's time for these people to go! After BjBill was impeached and refused to leave office, it was a good indicator that the Clintons, along with so many other politicians these days – they have no shame. They have no morals. Yet people look to them as if they know it all. Wake up people! These people are responsible for our future. You elect a person that has no morals or no shame, you end up with a country that has no morals and no shame....but then again, maybe there's many of you out there too who prefer having no morals or no shame – unfortunately that seems to be the growing pervasive attitude in our country. The attitudes in our country are a direct reflection of our political leaders and every time something tragic happens, these politicians and the people that voted them in are the first to ask, "where do people learn this behavior from?" The apples don't fall far from the tree do they?

    April 9, 2014 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  6. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Don't be coy HIllary.
    Embrace your destiny Madame President.

    April 9, 2014 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
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