April 8th, 2014
06:38 PM ET
6 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. Chris Asking Question

    Who thinks she hasn't thought about it? How much money have the Pro Hillary Clinton/Special Interest Groups/Super PACs raised for her campaign if she wasn't going to run for President? I sometimes wished she stayed in the race in 2008. I think she would have been a better President than Obama.

    April 8, 2014 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  2. elucidated1

    It' s been hilarious watching the angry right wing old guys calling Hillary an "old hag" and discounting the role US women will play in the next election. They haven't figured out that every single time they use the double standard and call out Hillary for being old or for her looks, it is going to inflame women's groups everywhere. Need evidence? Well, in 2012 when Darrell Issa refused to allow Sandra Fluke to speak at an all male forum on FEMALE contraception, questioning her "qualifications" .. .what do you think was the reaction? After Rush, Akin and Mourdock doubled down on it, Rush lost 30 major sponsors and Akin and Mourdock lost. And in the swing states, women put Obama over the top in IA, OH, PA, VA, WI, FL, CO, NV. Women's groups are already mobilizing for the election and Haim Saban, arguably the weathiest man in Mexico is also supporting her. If one thinks that the latest SCOTUS decision just favors the Republicans, they had better put both oars in the water because they are about to be taken for a ride.

    April 8, 2014 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  3. Chris-E...al

    N0 ! Bush Huck Chritie Rubio Clinton ! Please go away with all that jibba jabba . We need Col. West !

    April 8, 2014 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  4. Sam

    Great, keep thinking about it. When you do make up your mind, we will be ready! Oh, it won't be pretty.

    April 8, 2014 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  5. Getoverit

    "No more old, white, rich politicians! Vote Hillary!

    – liberals

    April 8, 2014 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  6. jesse

    Do the country a favor and retire Hillary

    April 8, 2014 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  7. ChrisM

    Well Hillary, considering the American women is the largest voting block in America you should announce next year

    April 8, 2014 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  8. J Anthony

    I know you Dem voters are all excited about Hillary, but she is not right for the job.

    April 8, 2014 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  9. Gurgyl

    Time to stop H1-B, tighten immigration.

    April 8, 2014 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  10. greg

    "I'm thinking about it" that installs a lot of confidence atleast her minds in it

    April 8, 2014 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  11. Name

    hillary lied, people died

    April 8, 2014 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  12. just saying

    "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.
    ----

    exactly what 'success' is that?!!! the record unemployment for record time? the record debt and deficits? or maybe getting people killed and then abandoning them when they need help? or maybe its that russian reset that is going so well? or maybe obamacare that were all lies to about and most people want gone? or all that peace in the middle east she brought? the only 'success' that has been had is by this countries enemies and adversaries that want to see this country weak and/or destroyed. democrats are being very successful at that.

    April 8, 2014 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  13. dwayne

    that woman whether you like her or not, is going to be tough to beat if she runs, and that's how it is. Black and White.
    Especially with what the republicans have to offer.
    she will get every minority vote and most of the educated

    April 8, 2014 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  14. MikeinMT

    I have it from a well placed source that CNN is considering a name change to the Clinton News Network. Apparently, the decision has not been finalized because there is a faction within CNN that prefers the new corporate name to be Clinton Now or Never. Even more baffling is that there was not even a single story or mention of Chris Christie on the CNN site. What is happening to the world when CNN can't find anything to slam Christie with today?!

    April 8, 2014 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  15. john

    please run!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 8, 2014 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  16. smitty

    Keep thinking Hilly, think about Ben Ghazi, and your lameo excuse of a video. Hows Billy boy and Monica doing ??
    More than 4 dead from your ineptness.

    April 8, 2014 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  17. Stone Cold Steve Austin

    It's probably going to be Bush vs Clinton. I don't care if you're a Dem or GOP, please support someone else. America needs new blood in politics, not a third term of a Clinton or a fourth term of a Bush.

    April 8, 2014 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  18. tess

    hope she continues 'thinking' about it and NEVER puts it into actual running. she is a lying, coattail-riding, power hungry, unaccomplished ,OLD and worn-out pig.

    April 8, 2014 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  19. Shelly

    Team HIllary!!!

    April 8, 2014 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  20. Larry L

    She's exactly what America needs! No more right-wing crazies and corporate lackies!

    April 8, 2014 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  21. mew

    Oh yeah, it's so rare, like every six weeks for years on end "I'm not running I'm not running" – What a liar.

    April 8, 2014 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  22. Used to be a republican but never Again

    Please Run Hillary ! It's your time ! I would be happy to cast my vote for you !

    April 8, 2014 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  23. McBob79

    The last thing our country needs is Hillary Clinton. While almost anyone would be an improvement over our president today, Hillary would be as divisive and likely not able to get much done.

    April 8, 2014 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  24. callinfiresupport

    I'd vote for the devil himself before EVER letting this person in the WH...

    April 8, 2014 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  25. are122

    Clinton also backed increasing the number of H-1B visas issued by the United States. <~~ Bull, they want cheap labor (but are probably big contributors).

    April 8, 2014 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
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