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. Steve

    Please do not run Hillary. We do not need more Clinton drama in the White House and we definitely do not need more loosening of business rules and laws that come back a decade later to harm this great country.

    April 8, 2014 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  2. Bill

    Yes, she delt with Putin many times as secretary of state. Badly, and completely ineffectually, much like just about everything else she did as Secretary of State with the exception of racking up frequent flier miles and padding her resume.

    April 8, 2014 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  3. Jonline

    Go Hillary! Go! Go! We are ready!

    April 8, 2014 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  4. Miriam

    OH Please.... disappear.

    April 8, 2014 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  5. Guest 1

    go away !!!

    April 8, 2014 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  6. Scion

    No one cares if she runs. She's so out of touch, bad health, and like 100 years old. Not to mention, she couldn't even handle being Sec of State. Top officials fired over Benghazi, Six billion just missing from her Department, etc.

    April 8, 2014 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  7. marton

    At 55 years old, while usually voting Democrat, I have to take into consideration that a vote for Hillary, could mean a vote of 8 more years of the Clinton family for a total of 16 years. Combine that with the 16 years we've had under the Bush family, and I am none too eager to have far than half my life dictated by the morals, values, and policies of just two American families. After decades of voting for NOTHING but 1%'ers, whose interests bear no resemblance whatsoever to MY interests, I am far past ready to vote for someone – ANYONE – other than status quo. Don't give me anymore wealthy Republicrats; no more wealthy Demolicans, give me somebody with some COMMON FREAKING SENSE that has MY interests, and those of the rest of the U.S. at heart!!! Ventura/Snowden anyone?

    April 8, 2014 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  8. Amazed

    Mrs. Clinton is thinking about what meal to serve for the first state dinner she will host as POTUS. She runs, she wins. By 350+ electoral votes; twice. The GOP can't pander soon enough to enough of the electorate to get into the WH before 2024 at the earliest.

    April 8, 2014 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  9. Neal

    This old witch needs to shut up and.... GO AWAY.

    April 8, 2014 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  10. Robin

    I think it would be wonderful for u too become pre- of the unite state of america.... Iam rooting for u all the way mrs. Clinton.... U well make all the lady in this world stand of for joy..... So iam when u deside too become preadent i well be so happy... I think u would change the world for better..... <3 :) thank u !!!!

    April 8, 2014 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  11. G_Edwards

    She failed at her own "3 am phone call" test.
    She failed with her "reset" with Russia.
    She failed at her attempt at healthcare reform.
    She failed in caring why a US Ambassador was murdered.

    Why do the Dems want her?

    .

    April 8, 2014 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  12. Cheryl Lopez

    I am praying I get to vote for you Hillary! I think many are.... We are ready!

    April 8, 2014 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  13. Mark

    Clinton scandal.. The democrat media is pushing for more of it

    April 8, 2014 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  14. jason

    reason enough to skip NAFTA in 2016

    April 8, 2014 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  15. DanaRi

    You had your chance. Think of the country and let a Dem who can win run.

    April 8, 2014 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  16. Mensaman

    Hillary, you can think about it but please don't do it. Eight years of liberal policies have left us broke, unemployed, without a foreign policy and more racially divided and government dependent than ever, and the chronic lies from this government shock me.
    It's time for some new blood all around. We have 310 million people in America. Certainly there is some talented leader out there.

    April 8, 2014 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  17. pinkie

    no more c;inton's no more bush's no more obama's

    April 8, 2014 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  18. Jerry

    This would be the beginning of the end for our nation.

    April 8, 2014 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  19. grumpy

    Please no no no

    April 8, 2014 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  20. Jneuy

    Success? What more handouts , mandates ? That's not a sign of a strong country

    April 8, 2014 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  21. Mr. Balls

    Of course she is. It keeps her in the game making her speaking fees more lucrative.

    April 8, 2014 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  22. YoonYoungJo

    I hate to say it but love it. The world would tremble if Hillary won the Presidency. She's like S.Koreas current President Park. Tough as nails. I don't know much about President Park but in Hillary's case, its hard to find someone more qualified. She has the knowledge, the skill set, the talents and experience for the job. Furthermore she could finish some of the good things Obama has started. But with so much public service under her belt she could just be worn out too. Its like an article I read the other day about the Oracle of Omaha (Buffet) and people calling him average now. I highly doubt Warren Buffet could ever be average. But he is human and 80 something, and could just be fatigued. Hopefully Hillary runs. At least where Democrats are concerned you got Biden who has vigor for 10 presidents.

    April 8, 2014 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  23. blakenaustin

    What complete and utter nonsense. Hillary would sell her soul to the devil to be the next president. Perhaps she has.

    April 8, 2014 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  24. Vijay

    CNN, please stop putting Hillary and Chris Christie news daily....

    April 8, 2014 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  25. Mark

    Hillary 2016!!!!

    April 8, 2014 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
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