April 9th, 2014
09:32 AM ET
4 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. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA - Take Back the House

    I got so much pleasure watching Sec. Kerry throw mud right back at McSenile. I loved how he brought up the FACT that GWB didn't even put sanctions on Russia when they invaded Georgia. Did you hear the crickets in the room?

    April 9, 2014 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  2. bobo

    I do not trust her!

    April 9, 2014 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  3. Bessy

    bobo

    I do not trust her!

    Oh, and which one of the jokers in the Republican Party do you trust ??

    April 9, 2014 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  4. Gurgyl

    Yes, on Hillary16.
    PS: first woman president in American history. Pathetic part is Red-States are not expanding Your Medicaid. Watch out, unseat all Rethuglicans. Period.

    April 9, 2014 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  5. rs

    I think that Ms. Clinton would be smart to hold any decision on her candidacy until the year before the election. The Republicans are already engaging in the circular firing squad to prove who is the most demented for 2016. Let them tear each other apart, and put forward their worst- then announce. No point giving the GOp a different target than themselves.

    April 9, 2014 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  6. Malory Archer

    Holdingmy nose

    The reason Lois Lerner does not talk is that her orders to harass the conservatives and target them came directly from the President.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    And who ordered her to target and harrass liberal groups – AND deny THEM tax exempt status, because ONLY liberal groups were harmed by ms. lerner (who was appointed by the previous occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, BTW)?

    April 9, 2014 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  7. rs

    "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. ..."
    ______________________________
    In itself a fantasy by people like Smith who have since destroyed the Republican Party. There are no truly good Republican candidates only worse ones, and their TEA Party Frankensteins.

    April 9, 2014 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  8. Malory Archer

    rs

    I think that Ms. Clinton would be smart to hold any decision on her candidacy until the year before the election. The Republicans are already engaging in the circular firing squad to prove who is the most demented for 2016. Let them tear each other apart, and put forward their worst- then announce. No point giving the GOp a different target than themselves.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Wouldn't it be hilarious if she let them spin themselves into the dust, only to announce at the very last second that she isn't running, and is throwing her support to Elizabeth Warren and advising her PACS to do the same?!

    April 9, 2014 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  9. rs

    Malory Archer

    rs

    I think that Ms. Clinton would be smart to hold any decision on her candidacy until the year before the election. The Republicans are already engaging in the circular firing squad to prove who is the most demented for 2016. Let them tear each other apart, and put forward their worst- then announce. No point giving the GOp a different target than themselves.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Wouldn't it be hilarious if she let them spin themselves into the dust, only to announce at the very last second that she isn't running, and is throwing her support to Elizabeth Warren and advising her PACS to do the same?!
    _______________________
    I could very much live with that scenario.

    April 9, 2014 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  10. Lizzie

    The Ryan Budget, you don't have to worry, the democrats already have a hold on those who vote for them, keep them slaves, don't ask questions or you will be vilified, called every not so nice name in the book and classified as terrorists.
    So follow the leader and when he says jump, ask how high.

    April 9, 2014 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  11. Hector Slagg

    Who?,
    Oh, more Food Stamps, more unemployment, more National Debt, more mortgages in forclosure, more Welfare, more socalisim, etc, etc, etc. Who could ask for anything more! Ahead with Hillary!

    April 9, 2014 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  12. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    I'm with you rs. Let them rip each other apart, then announce and slaughter them all!!

    April 9, 2014 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  13. The Republican Party Is Dead To Me

    It's doubtful the republicans have a possible winner, even if she decides against running. All of them so far, suck like there's no tomorrow.

    April 9, 2014 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  14. rs

    Lizzie

    The Ryan Budget, you don't have to worry, the democrats already have a hold on those who vote for them, keep them slaves, don't ask questions or you will be vilified, called every not so nice name in the book and classified as terrorists.
    So follow the leader and when he says jump, ask how high.
    ________________________
    Pretty big words from a representative of a party who:
    Don't believe the poor should get a livable wage,
    or, that women should be paid at the same rate as men,
    or, believe women 's rights are transitory,
    or, believe only the more well-to-do should be able to vote

    meanwhile, explain why even Republicans can't live with Mr. Ryan's fantasy budget? They are already fleeing Mr. Ryan's call to reduce military retirement benefits.

    April 9, 2014 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  15. rs

    Hector Slagg

    Who?,
    Oh, more Food Stamps, more unemployment, more National Debt, more mortgages in forclosure, more Welfare, more socalisim, etc, etc, etc. Who could ask for anything more! Ahead with Hillary!
    _____________________________
    See, the problem with you guys is you actually believe that what Bush did to America never happened, and that giving the rich huge tax breaks accomplishes anything- and it simply doesn't. It doesn't make jobs, it doesn't cause reinvestment in America, it doesn't raise wages. You know what does work? Raising taxes on the rich- and that is how we'll put America back to work. That is how the debt will get paid down, that is how America will reinvest in its infrastructure.
    Sure, cut taxes and destroy government may work I your anti-patriot delusion- the rest of us won't live in your "Hunger Games" fantasy.

    April 9, 2014 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  16. Rudy NYC

    Lizzie wrote:

    The Ryan Budget, you don't have to worry, the democrats already have a hold on those who vote for them, keep them slaves, don't ask questions or you will be vilified, called every not so nice name in the book and classified as terrorists.
    So follow the leader and when he says jump, ask how high.
    ------------------------------–
    According to the CBO, The Ryan Budget does not balance the annual budget in ten years as he claims. Try thirty, at least. And the only reason it would balance is because it would have cut just about all discretionary spending out of the budget.

    Your dirisive name calling doesn't really help make your argument. I'm sure the folks already in your corner love it, but it comes across as manical rants to most everyone else. The Ryan budget has been rejected by voters more than once already. If he keeps putting it out there, then voters will reject Republicans across the board.

    April 9, 2014 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  17. Silence DoGood

    @rs
    Hector Slagg

    Who?,
    Oh, more Food Stamps, more unemployment, more National Debt, more mortgages in forclosure, more Welfare, more socalisim, etc, etc, etc. Who could ask for anything more! Ahead with Hillary!
    _____________________________
    See, the problem with you guys is you actually believe that what Bush did to America never happened, and that giving the rich huge tax breaks accomplishes anything- and it simply doesn't. It doesn't make jobs, it doesn't cause reinvestment in America, it doesn't raise wages. You know what does work? Raising taxes on the rich- and that is how we'll put America back to work. That is how the debt will get paid down, that is how America will reinvest in its infrastructure.
    Sure, cut taxes and destroy government may work I your anti-patriot delusion- the rest of us won't live in your "Hunger Games" fantasy.
    --------------
    Wow – "Hunger Games" – I never thought of that. That is the new pretend-libertarian conservative platform:
    "I got mine. The rest of you are on your own. I can run faster – you starve – too bad."

    April 9, 2014 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  18. Sniffit

    "See, the problem with you guys is you actually believe that what Bush did to America never happened, and that giving the rich huge tax breaks accomplishes anything- and it simply doesn't."

    To be fair, yes it does: it redistributes all of the nation's wealth upwards to a tiny tiny percentage of the population, where it stays put.

    THERE IS NO ECONOMIC GRAVITY: WHAT GOES UP, DOESN'T COME DOWN.

    April 9, 2014 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  19. Hector Slagg

    Oh, Sorry
    rs.
    Don't like the Liberal Ajenda over the last 100 years? Re Build America? Why do we need that? The Nation was in Dutch long before G.W. got elected. Raising Taxes on the Rich? Didn't you know Liberal's want to do great things, the just want to do it with other peoples money. Straight out of Vaudville. WITH YOUR MONEY AND MY BRAINS, WE WILL GO PLACES. Most likely to the poor house. Just read where businesses have 2.1 Trillion stached off shore. The Liberals want them to bring it back so they can steal it. The Liberals have all ready blown 18 Trillion. And you want to hand them more money. Why?

    April 9, 2014 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  20. Rick McDaniel

    The coyness is silly. of course she is running. I simply oppose her as a candidate, because I think she will be even WORSE than Obama.

    April 9, 2014 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  21. Sniffit

    "The Liberals have all ready blown 18 Trillion."

    Sorry, but the $17T debt is almost entirely from the Bush tax cuts, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Medicare Part D and the recession. The Stimulus and the ACA are tiny tiny slivers in there. The numbers don't lie.

    April 9, 2014 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  22. salty dog

    Quick history lesson Hector, Lizzie, bush ran deficit, Clinton cleaned it up, enter bush 2, unfunded wars, tax cuts for the wealthy, Medicaid part d, record number of government employees, then it gets good, stock market lost over half its value, half a million jobs gone per month. Economy days from total collapse, stimulus needed, that was an additional 5 trillion, never put on deficit, and you seriously think your smart for wanting them back in charge, your like the cat that gets treated rough, but always comes back for more.

    April 9, 2014 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  23. SP

    It doesn't matter who the Dems pick to run- They're gonna be the next President! We'll keep having Dems in the White House as long as the Repubs seem to think the likes of Rand Paul and Paul Ryan are credible candidates! In fact, In Romney's shoes, what I would have said at the infamous 47% gathering is, "There's 20% of the voters that are Tea- Party,Right wing fanatics, they'll never vote for me, let's forget about them!" That's what ANY Repub would have to say to win the Presidency- The Nomination is, of course, a different matter!

    April 9, 2014 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  24. Blunt Talk

    Of course she will run. There has never been any question about it. This will be her last chance and she knows it. She can't wait another 4 years let alone another 8. I personally won't vote for her. I also would not vote for another Bush either. We have reverted to an elected royalty and when only certain families control the government, that is as bad as either political party in total control.

    April 9, 2014 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  25. MICK

    BUSH CLINTON BUSH CLINTON BUSH CLINTON... too bad the other hundred million Americans cant run for office.

    April 9, 2014 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
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