April 9th, 2014
09:32 AM ET
7 months ago

Inside Politics Speed Read: Madam or Mrs? Hillary Clinton's 'future' is now

Yes, it is news that Clinton is officially “thinking” about 2016 run: Hillary Clinton said two important things about a potential presidential run and then got a sweet question from a little girl that literally left her speechless.

Clinton seemed loose and at ease, even candid, during appearances Tuesday in California and Oregon.

And she acknowledged, when asked whether she’ll run in 2016, “I am thinking about it.”

Duh, right?

Actually, this remark is a development.

Everyone already knows about the nascent campaign launched on Clinton’s behalf by super PACs not affiliated with her. They know that other Democrats considering a run are, for now, sitting on the sidelines waiting for her to fish or cut bait.

Hillary Clinton memoir to release June 10

As recently as January, CNN’s Dan Merica points out that Clinton specifically said she was not thinking about 2016 but would be doing so in the future.

So when she says she’s “thinking about it,” that’s news. The future, apparently, is now.

“I’m not going to make a decision for a while because I’m actually enjoying my life,” Clinton added Tuesday at  the Marketing Nation Summit in San Francisco.

Later Tuesday, during an event at the World Affairs Council of Oregon in Portland, Clinton talked about her life and how it can be “dehumanizing” to be constantly in the public eye.

She said she doesn’t  think such scrutiny “is particularly good for the country because it isolates people in public life. It isolates them by putting them in a public category where people stare at them as if they’re new breeds of human being.”

Without reading too much into a few brief exchanges, Clinton also made it clear she’s also thinking about not running.

"Part of it is because the hard questions are not: 'Do you want to be president? Can you win?' The hard questions are why. Why would you want to do this, and what can you offer that could make a difference?"

Related: Hillary Clinton on 2016: “I am thinking about it.”

Madam or Mrs. President?: Clinton was genuinely caught off-guard and had no answer for a girl whose question was relayed to her during the Oregon event.

“In 2016, would you prefer to be called Madam President or Mrs. President?” asked the child in a letter apparently addressed to “Mrs. H.R. Clinton.”

Clinton laughed, leaning over to tell the moderatorit was a really great question. Then she shrugged and walked off the stage without a word as the audience laughed and cheered.

Snowden as an “imperfect messenger”: Former President Bill Clinton does not apparently view Edward Snowden with the same disdain as the Obama administration.

President Barack Obama has admitted that the debate over privacy following Snowden’s disclosures was important and necessary, but he has said that it was premature and that it began in the wrong way by acriminal act. Neither the President nor his spokesman ever called Snowden a traitor, but plenty of lawmakers from both parties have.

Clinton was a bit more friendly to Snowden when he spoke Tuesday to midshipmen at the Naval Academy, calling the former National Security Agency contractor “an imperfect messenger.” Clinton said Snowden “has raised all of these questions about whether we can use technology to protect the national security without destroying the liberty, which includes the right to privacy, of basically innocent bystanders.”

He also praised changes to intelligence gathering proposed by the White House in the wake of the Snowden affair, but he suggested more can be done.

“We cannot change the character of our country or compromise the future of our people by creating a national security state, which takes away the liberty and privacy we propose to advance,” he said. “On the other hand, we look like fools if we walk away from readily available ways to find patterns of communication which would show us who's dealing with whom to try to plan big incredibly lethal operations.”

Opposition to same-sex marriage “not homophobic,” Huckabee says: CNN’s political unit noticed an interesting moment featuring former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who appears to be testing the presidential waters with trips to early primary states.

Speaking to social conservatives with the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition, Huckabee rejected the idea that he’s on the wrong side of history by opposing same-sex marriage.

Iowa was one of the first states to allow same-sex marriage after a 2009 court decision.

"I'm not against anybody. I'm really not. I'm not a hater. I'm not homophobic,” Huckabee said. "I honestly don't care what people do personally in their individual lives. But … when people say, 'Why don't you just kind of get on the right side of history?' I said, 'You've got to understand, this for me is not about the right side or the wrong side of history; this is the right side of the Bible, and unless God rewrites it, edits it, sends it down with his signature on it, it's not my book to change.' Folks, that's why I stand where I stand."

Related: Huckabee: Opposing same-sex marriage is on ‘right side’ of Bible

Kerry and McCain erupt over foreign policy: John Kerry doesn’t have a big stick, he’s got a little twig, Sen. John McCain told the secretary of state Tuesday at a Senate committee hearing.

Kerry shot back with a little Teddy Roosevelt of his own, pointing out at least he’s “in the arena,” at least he’s trying. (McCainhad campaign ads in the 2008 presidential campaignabout being the "man in the arena.")

Besides the domestic spat between two old Washington bulls, the hearing found Kerry raising alarm bells about whether Russia will venture further into Ukraine after its recent move to annex Crimea.

"What we see from Russia is an illegal and illegitimate effort to destabilize a sovereign state and create a contrived crisis with paid operatives across an international boundary," he said.

Also on our reading list:

First on CNN: Husband on kissing congressman: ‘He has wrecked my life.’

Harry Reid: Democrats would be fine if the election were today - from The Hill: “I think the feeling (is) we’re doing quite well,” he told reporters. “We feel we’re doing OK, that if the election were held today, we would be fine.

The Senate majority leader added, “We’re not going to be boasting with anybody here about which state does what, but we feel pretty good about where we are.”

Scott Walker may get online degree from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who dropped out of college, plans to finish his degree using online courses offered by the state. But he won’t start until the University of Wisconsin System expands itsonline catalog of class offerings, a spokesman told the Milwaukee paper.

Argument: Jeb Bush is a horrible candidate…Ouch, a broadside from Buzzfeed’s Ben Smith: “The notion that Jeb Bush is going to be the Republican presidential nominee is a fantasy nourished by the people who used to run the Republican Party. ... Scorning today’s Republican Party is, by contrast, the core of Jeb’s political identity.

“In that, Jeb is like ex-Republican Mike Bloomberg and like the failed GOP apostate Jon Huntsman: He’s deeply committed to centrist causes…that alienate key Republican groups; and he’s vaguely willing to go along with vestigial conservative issues that Republicans don’t care as much about, like standing up for Wall Street (Jeb was on a Lehman Brothers advisory board before that bank’s collapse and now sits on a Barclay’s board) and opposing marriage equality, a stance he’s sought to downplay by focusing on states’ rights.”

soundoff (80 Responses)
  1. Me

    Dominican mama 4 Obama

    No more Clintons and no more Bush candidates. Time for a change
    -----------------
    The Republicans don't have anybody to change into, for starters.
    I for one am thrilled that someone is paying $50k a plate to listen to her talk as it will give you guys something better to talk about than the $32.5k a plate that people are more than willing to pay to listen to our current POTUS.
    It really, really sucks to be a Republican these days.
    I'm hard pressed to find one that admits to be being one outside of this thread.
    ________________________
    Yep they are hard to find at the welfare office cause all of them HAVE JOBS! LMFAO

    April 9, 2014 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  2. petena

    HILLARY ALL THE WAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 9, 2014 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  3. Rudy NYC

    George Justin

    Rudy, what Obamacare was envisioned to do and it's functionally are two different things. I suspect that after 7 or 8
    years of Obamacare no Democrat will want to stand next to it. If you remember in the early 90's Ms. Clinton was a major
    play in Health Care Reform.The result was a disaster. Ask Ms. Clinton. Premiums were shifted onto employees and
    they sky rocketed.
    ----------------------------------
    Still waiting to hear any specifics about those problems you predict. I don't think Mrs. Clinton's health care reform effort two decades ago was a disaster. it failed to gain sufficient support. If that's your idea of disaster, then conducting well over 50 votes to repeal the ACA ranks as one of the greatest political disasters of all time. What a waste of time and effort.

    April 9, 2014 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  4. atkoa

    I know many women who will not vote for the "Butcher of Benghazi". She is trying to ride Bills coattails.

    April 9, 2014 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  5. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    If RR can be elected twice while having dementia, I'm sure Madam President Clinton will be fine!

    April 9, 2014 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
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