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. omeany

    Honey, let's face it your more than thinking about it! You have all kinds of metrics that are telling you that 2016 is favorable for you to throw your hat in the ring. Personally, I think you'd be a great President.

    My only concern is the GOP lost their minds when we elected a half white/half African American to office, they have demonstrated they are NOT mature enough to handle that Heaven only knows what they'll do to further tear down our country if you are elected.

    April 8, 2014 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  2. stopdrinkingthekoolaid

    don't strain your brain

    April 8, 2014 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  3. globewriter

    Reblogged this on Globewriter's Weblog and commented:
    The future leader of the US and may the force be with her.

    April 8, 2014 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  4. Jim

    Hillary care from the 1990's is the same as Obama care same package different players. When people start getting the Obama care bill, higher prices for medical insurance, and longer waits to get medical attention. Losing a job or hours cut because of Obama care people will not be happy. Hillary is high in the polls now but when the 18-35 year old people who have to start paying penalties because they are young and healthy and don't need medical insurance, a 69 year old woman running for president will not be very appealing.

    April 8, 2014 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  5. RomneyLostIcantBelieveIt

    Please don't run. This nation won't survive another 8 years of Democrats.

    April 8, 2014 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  6. Jeff

    Please no........don't run. You would be a disaster of a president (and no...it's not because you are a woman).

    April 8, 2014 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  7. Jimmyjam048

    As of right now Hillary Clinton is the most qualified person that I know of t be the next POTUS. Right now the Republicans have so many crazy and dishonest people (Like Herman Cain) that I can only fear what would hallened if they regained the white house.
    Maybe 2024 will be better for them.

    April 8, 2014 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  8. reader

    * The preceding has been a paid advertisement by More of the Same, Inc.

    April 8, 2014 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  9. Raylene

    From Obama to Clinton? Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse . . .

    April 8, 2014 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  10. loyalright

    The last thing Americans need is Obama in a pants suit. She can't be trusted for anything.

    April 8, 2014 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  11. Shane

    Hillary is the only logical choice for 2016.

    April 8, 2014 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  12. shimmy

    i'm just surprised shes thinking at all?

    April 8, 2014 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  13. glennrobert

    My only problem in voting for Hillary is I am to old at 84. No way I can vote for her twice!

    April 8, 2014 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  14. DK

    Run, Hillary, run. There will always be a loud, vocal minority with Clinton Derangement Syndrome who hates her, but most of the country either loves or at least respects her. There is no one on the right that can match her in terms of experience, intelligence, strength, and political skill - the only thing she needs to come up with is the vision that she called the "why?" in this video. Her candidacy must have a broader, bold, creative, progressive vision for making life better for Americans, expanding equality, freedom, opportunity, and quality of life for all.

    Republicans got nothing on her besides sexist screeching, whining about liberals and media, and yelling "Benghazi! Benghazi! Benghazi!" I hope they nominate Rand Paul - she would win in a LBJ v Goldwater landslide and bury the GOP for a generation. Conservative Republicans are a joke.

    April 8, 2014 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  15. Logictox

    I hope she runs. It will generate a landslide for the GOP. She has so much dirty laundry they can't hide and overlook all of it.

    April 9, 2014 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  16. Rudy Haugeneder -- CANADA

    The old gal should retire and leave ruling to younger people who actually understand the needs of people and the environment. Hillary has no ideas or imagination that fit the 21st Century.

    April 9, 2014 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  17. Bobby Giddens

    has anyone done the math-Clinton would be near 70 if elected when she took office. does the word " Depends" comes to anyone else. do we want grandma driving the car? Clinton means the past-we need young leaders in order to become a young country again. Or we are relegated to the dustbin of history like the Romans?

    April 9, 2014 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  18. Esteban cortes

    Just another wealthy democrat taking advange of the lowI.Q.

    Liberals

    April 9, 2014 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  19. richard

    What are Hillary Clinton's accomplishments? Anyone?

    April 9, 2014 12:14 am at 12:14 am |
  20. Maria

    She's running

    April 9, 2014 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  21. s

    Dont even try, Hillary.

    April 9, 2014 12:35 am at 12:35 am |
  22. nash

    Chelsea Clinton for next ambassador to Libya. I mean, what difference does it make?

    April 9, 2014 12:40 am at 12:40 am |
  23. Mark

    I will not be voting for her even if she is the last candidate standing with a (D) after her name and frankly the republicans don't have anyone even close to reasonable yet. I may actually vote third party in 2016.

    April 9, 2014 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
  24. Nancy Tice

    Yes that's right Merk pharmaceutical and the Clinton's Support terrorism through the purchases of opium and cocaine that is what has gotten so many of our soldiers killed . Yes she was also as for told by press members all for allowing terrorist to stay in our country. Ever year over a trillion American dollars given to terrorist. Stop getting our children killed. Keep the Clinton's out of politics and others who are like them .

    April 9, 2014 12:50 am at 12:50 am |
  25. Anonymous

    She made up her mind when she stepped down as a secartery of state..

    April 9, 2014 01:03 am at 1:03 am |
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