April 9th, 2014
09:32 AM ET
6 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. rla

    EX Mrs Clinton should be the title for Hillary but she will put up with anything in order to run... Sorry - NO CHANCE!

    April 9, 2014 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  2. rs

    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."
    ___________
    Well, sure- how else can the GOP claim not being able to get health care insurance (and hence, health care) somehow equates "freedom"? Same with food subsidies, starvation="freedom".
    They are quite ill in their lack of humanity.

    April 9, 2014 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  3. rs

    The Liberals have all ready blown 18 Trillion.
    ___________________
    Sorry Hector, you can run but you can't hide. Bush ran two wars with no government funding- in fact he's the first President ever in American history to not RAISE taxes to pay for wars. Not only that, he then cut the top tax rate by almost a third for the richest Americans, doubling down on building debt in America. Then the economy crashed- and well you ought to remember that.
    Check your facts: the only president s to reduce the deficit sine Reagan are the two Democrats- Clinton and Obama, and until we put the top tax bracket back to where it was under Eisenhower, or maybe Nixon (north of 80%), we'll all get to live with the Republican built debt.

    April 9, 2014 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  4. George Justin

    The American Public would be very foolish to vote for nepotistic oligarchy for the oval office even if it is a gender vote. The
    same for Jeb Bush. This could be the major reason why the US keeps producing terrible laws and policies. Through the
    eyes of the same limited minded people or political leaders that are connected by family that keep recycling old ideas that
    have failed. Both parties have better to offer. If gender is an issue, both genders have better to offer.

    April 9, 2014 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  5. Heimdall

    The foreclosure crisis largely occurred in a pool of mortgage-secured loans booked during the Bush presidency.

    April 9, 2014 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  6. John in WNY

    Maybe if Hillary runs she will finally tell us what her "healthcare taskforce" spent $200 million dollars on, without any receipts, when Bill was President?

    April 9, 2014 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  7. Silence DoGood

    @Hector Slagg
    "Don't like the Liberal Ajenda over the last 100 years?"
    ------------
    Actually, I like the liberal agenda. Thanks for making me be thankful many things, for example:
    The 8-hour workday, overtime pay, and the federal minimum wage
    The G.I. Bill of Rights
    The Civil Rights Act of 1964
    The Social Security Act
    The Clean Water Act
    The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993
    The Rural Electrification Act of 1936

    Thanks Hector – you did ask.

    April 9, 2014 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  8. Heimdall

    Does the $18 trillion include money spent on two wars (one at least of which was declared on a sovereign nation guilty of essentially nothing), started by conservative hawks occupying the white house for 8 years?

    April 9, 2014 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  9. sly

    These are very good times for America – our economy has crawled out of the Bush Economic Meltdown, our deficit is down 30% in 2014, and we have the first President in 30 years who has not started a war or invaded another nation.

    President Obama has led us well to the path of prosperity – 401K's at record high, Stock Market at record high, housing prices up almost 50% in 6 years.

    Hillary Clinton is a very wise leader, and would make a great sucessor to our President.

    Enjoy these good days Americans: the world is tricky, and it's taken everything we have for President Obama to prevent any foreign terrorist attacks on our soil.

    April 9, 2014 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  10. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Embrace your destiny Madame President.

    April 9, 2014 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  11. Silence DoGood

    @John in WNY
    Maybe if Hillary runs she will finally tell us what her "healthcare taskforce" spent $200 million dollars on, without any receipts, when Bill was President?
    --------
    If there was were no receipts or records how do you know it was $200 million?
    Antidote to Conspiracy Theorists: Just let them talk in circles.

    April 9, 2014 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  12. The Mel

    Agreed, Blunt Talk! Out with the old (i.e., Bush, Clinton). Why, WHY can't there be a viable third party?! I'm an independent voter because BOTH parties have gone too far in opposite directions. However, the left scares me slightly more than the right – mostly as a result of the last few years. No, I'm NOT a GWB fan!!

    Why are the libs on here continuing to bring Bush into the conversation? At what point do you take responsibility for the last 4-5 years? No, you continue to blame Bush – and that's one of the biggest problems in this country today!! NOBODY wants to take responsibility for anything – unless it's to THEIR benefit.

    Until BOTH parties learn to play fair and work TOGETHER – for the good of our country, nothing will ever get done. And don't even BEGIN to point fingers – that's the problem!!

    April 9, 2014 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  13. George Justin

    In a country of 312 million people that is suppose to be a democracy it is insanity to have the same families control a huge
    segment of political power over and over and over again. It makes the US election system appear rigged.

    April 9, 2014 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  14. George Justin

    I am certain that I am not the only person to raise the issue.

    April 9, 2014 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  15. Jerry

    Dominican mama 4 Obama
    Embrace your destiny Madame President.
    --------------------
    Oh goody! Sure!!! Continue The Clueless One's (0-Bama'S) idiotic/destructive policies and the deterioration of our beloved América. América, doe NOT need more liars!!!We have enough with 0-Bama, Bobble Head Pelosi and Senile Reid.

    Thanks, but NO thanks!

    April 9, 2014 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  16. just someone

    rs
    Well, sure- how else can the GOP claim not being able to get health care insurance (and hence, health care) somehow equates "freedom"? Same with food subsidies, starvation="freedom".
    They are quite ill in their lack of humanity.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    My son got Obamacare and with government assistance he only has to pay $100 a month. The problem is he has to choose between the obamacare bill, his use car loan, his rent or something else. There was a trip to the hospital for him. I asked, did your Obamacare help? He said no, I had to pay everything out of my pocket. His Obamacare policy has a $7000 deductable. How many young people will need $7,000 of healthcare in a year? He still has to pay $100 a month for nothing he will be able to use. Does that make sense to you?

    April 9, 2014 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  17. Rudy NYC

    George Justin wrote:

    In a country of 312 million people that is suppose to be a democracy it is insanity to have the same families control a huge
    segment of political power over and over and over again. It makes the US election system appear rigged.

    I am certain that I am not the only person to raise the issue.
    ------------------------------------
    Are you talking about the people running for office, the donors behind the folks running for office, or both?

    April 9, 2014 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  18. Dr veruju

    If she runs, Jill Stein will get my vote.
    I hope none of the business as usual candidates get in.

    April 9, 2014 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  19. j fox

    so the only people able to run the country are bush and clintons... sad state of affairs!!

    April 9, 2014 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  20. Rudy NYC

    The Mel

    Agreed, Blunt Talk! Out with the old (i.e., Bush, Clinton). Why, WHY can't there be a viable third party?! I'm an independent voter because BOTH parties have gone too far in opposite directions. However, the left scares me slightly more than the right – mostly as a result of the last few years. No, I'm NOT a GWB fan!!

    Why are the libs on here continuing to bring Bush into the conversation? At what point do you take responsibility for the last 4-5 years? No, you continue to blame Bush – and that's one of the biggest problems in this country today!! NOBODY wants to take responsibility for anything – unless it's to THEIR benefit.
    ------------------------–
    Pres. Obama and the Democrats were dealt are terrible hand, but Republicans deny it.
    Pres. Obama and the Democrats try to deal with the issues, but Republicans block it.

    True enough, there is a philosophical difference on how to approach the problems, but right wing agenda seems to be to block any and everything possible, no matter what it is. You really should dread Republicans being in power. I do. They do not represent my best interests, not in the least.

    Republicans have only one priority, one agenda, and that's do what is best for big money. They demonstrate their agenda every time that they object to something. They complain that "it hurts business" so much that that it hurts my ears.

    April 9, 2014 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  21. George Justin

    I think that the motivation for Obamacare is a great idea. Overall is is a good idea. But it does not function as advertised. When the insurance companies collide with the law or profit v.law there will be infinitely more problems. Then there is the little problem of the federal government seizing 17% of the GDP. The worst is yet to come. Obamacare may one day be a good thing but not in our life time.

    April 9, 2014 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  22. Denise

    Bobble Head Pelosi and Senile Reid? Did the Donut/Drug Czar come up with those?

    April 9, 2014 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  23. Monomachos

    Do America a favor and don't run. Ms Clinton did nothing of note as senator and her greatest achievement as Secretary of State was setting the record for number of countries visited. Her one experience at managing – at the State Department – led to the department being rebuked by the Democrat led Senate Intelligence committee for its failure to heed warnings and provide adequate protection at the compound in Benghazi and to the discovery that $6 Billion went missing during that time. A vote for Ms Clinton s a vote for continued divisiveness in our government. Its time for both Democrats and Republicans to present some fresh faces with fresh ideas.

    April 9, 2014 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  24. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    I'm getting sick of hearing no more Bush's or Clintons. First of all there have been two President Bush's and only one President Clinton. From where I stand we're owed at least one more Clinton....

    Hillary2016!!

    April 9, 2014 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  25. Brian

    She will be 69 in 2016 which is only 2 years younger than John McCain in 2008. According to liberals at the time, McCain was too old. Using their same criteria, Hillary is too old. She is out of touch and lives in a different era..

    April 9, 2014 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
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