April 8th, 2014
06:38 PM ET
5 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. Are you kidding me?

    PLEASE run. I am a republican and would gladly vote for you Hillary. The GOP has shown there are not leaders nor deserve to be in office.

    April 9, 2014 07:08 am at 7:08 am |
  2. pete veslocki

    Spare us.
    Indecision is not a presudental quality.

    Your Bengazi statement disqualified you.

    April 9, 2014 07:10 am at 7:10 am |
  3. Miami Mike

    If she can loose track of $6 Billion during her tenure at the State Department, just imagine what she can do in the White House.

    April 9, 2014 07:16 am at 7:16 am |
  4. Chewy

    Dah...What difference at this point does it make?

    April 9, 2014 07:24 am at 7:24 am |
  5. Bev

    just the fact that she is thinking about it tells me she could care less about those poor 4 people that were killed in bengazie if people are so dumb as to elect this liar then you can kiss this country goobye obama has done so much to change this country with her it will be continued wake up people before it's too late

    April 9, 2014 07:26 am at 7:26 am |
  6. george

    If cnn spent as much time on the obozocare failures such as, millions not being able to sign up until January again, then some real news would be reported. Of course she is. The thing she is waiting on is if they will find just how poor of a job she did on Benghazi and what her role was.

    April 9, 2014 07:27 am at 7:27 am |
  7. stupifyery

    Say no to Clinton. She is too old, not an honest person and simply unqualified. Say no to Clinton and get the word out.

    April 9, 2014 07:30 am at 7:30 am |
  8. reggie53

    I could never support Hillary Clinton again. She became one of Obama's croonies when she took the job of Secretary of State. Anyway, we need new faces in the White House not another Clinton!!!!!!

    April 9, 2014 07:48 am at 7:48 am |
  9. carlin123

    This power hungry witch would never let this opportunity slip away. This woman of the people who hasn't driven a car in 20 years will run over your grand daughter to get in this race. And the sad thing is people will vote for this monster.

    April 9, 2014 07:57 am at 7:57 am |
  10. Mike

    It is hard to imagine a person who has had more opportunity and yet accomplished so little.

    April 9, 2014 07:57 am at 7:57 am |
  11. Gregory M. Newbold

    A Hillary Clinton victory will be rooted in a multi-generational coalition that proactively addresses HEAD ON any criticisms that HRC`s thinking, ideas, policies would be old, stale or out dated. She needs to surface more than two 35-something year old leutinents that have real power, real influence in her campaign . . . who is the male Huma; who is the next female Huma?

    Hillary is a candidate that women across the political spectrum can quietly be proud of and in the privacy of the voting booth they can almost universally support. They will want to defend her resume.Her key to winning is to defuse the implied or actual criticism that her administrative strategy would be old/ stale.

    April 9, 2014 07:59 am at 7:59 am |
  12. OHIO MARK

    She has my vote.

    April 9, 2014 07:59 am at 7:59 am |
  13. Name. Graziella Rocha

    Go for it.I will vote for you,

    April 9, 2014 08:01 am at 8:01 am |
  14. BO

    Hillary's approval has dropped 16% since the beginning of the year. American's will not be fooled again.

    April 9, 2014 08:04 am at 8:04 am |
  15. steven stevens

    please run...the country needs you....

    April 9, 2014 08:05 am at 8:05 am |
  16. luckjoe

    We don't need another Clinton or Bush.Period.

    April 9, 2014 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
  17. Jason

    So long democrats...is been nice knowing ya! No one wants Bill as the first lady. He ruined any chance Hilary could have.

    April 9, 2014 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
  18. Willy100

    Go Hillary – We love you !

    April 9, 2014 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  19. Rocket power

    I think you'll be a great Pres. Ms. Clinton. The hope of the world is in the hands of women.

    April 9, 2014 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  20. Anonymous

    Heck why not. She's already more than qualified for the position. She already knows how to cover her tracks when caught up in a scandal. She shares the same political views as NObama so we can continue our rapid downward spiral into the toilet and maybe, just maybe if she becomes President we can finally break the gender inequality issue because we all know that we never allow a woman to become successful in a high level position.

    April 9, 2014 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  21. ShawnDH

    Woooo-Hooooooo! I can't wait to vote for Hillary.

    April 9, 2014 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  22. Freedom Storm

    Regarding her Benghazi testimony, Hitlary lied to congress.
    That is a felony.
    So, a known felon will be seeking her party’s nomination for the presidency of the Constitutional Republic of the United States of America.
    How far have we fallen?

    April 9, 2014 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  23. Madison

    She will be an excellent follow up to President Obama, and if we can get the congress to actually reflect the will of the people and jettison the tea drinkers we can build mightily on President Obama's many successes in rebuilding the nation after the disaster of he who shall not be named.

    April 9, 2014 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  24. AlGoreLies

    Ha!
    After weeks of nothing but the Clinton's in the news by CNN...americans are supposed to believe this snake is not thinking about ruining this country even more??
    Ha! Questions should have been raised since JFK Jr. disappeared misteriously enabling this animal to represent NY.
    Ha!

    April 9, 2014 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  25. TSB8C

    Hey 'Getoverit' – Hillary is also an old white rich politician. And she's been 'thinking about it' since her and Bill left the White House the last time. She is an inexperienced hack with goals for power and a wake of scandals and failures behind. God help us all if she gets elected.

    April 9, 2014 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
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