Hillary Clinton: Repeats 'no' for 2016, can't stand 'whining' about life choices
October 18th, 2012
01:15 PM ET
10 years ago

Hillary Clinton: Repeats 'no' for 2016, can't stand 'whining' about life choices

Washington (CNN) – It doesn't matter how many times Hillary Clinton says she won't make another bid for the White House in 2016. There is always someone that a) doesn't believe her b) hopes she will change her mind or c) wants to prevent her from running.

In an interview with Marie Claire magazine, published Thursday, Clinton insists she's done with politics for good. When asked by writer Ayalet Waldman if she will run again for president, she laughed.

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"No, I'm not," she said.

"Why not?" Waldman asked. "Everybody wants you to."

"I have been on this high wire of national and international politics and leadership for 20 years," Clinton said. "It has been an absolutely extraordinary personal honor and experience. But I really want to just have my own time back. I want to just be my own person. I'm looking forward to that."

Clinton said she hoped to see the day when Americans elect a woman as president.

"That would be a great experience for me, to be up there cheering," she said.

Yet Google the phrase "Hillary Clinton for President" and "2016" and you get no less that 4 million hits, including a couple 'Hillary for 2016' Facebook pages. And even if she means what she says, her supporters are hoping after she recharges her batteries after her term as Secretary of State ends, Hillary's political juices will start flowing again. After all, this is a woman who told me in an interview in February that politics was in her DNA.

Although a polarizing political figure before taking the job as secretary of state , Clinton has been immune to the kind of criticism her predecessors have faced for most of her tenure. She remains the most popular member of the Obama administration, and indeed one of the most popular people in the world.

But could the brutal attack on the US diplomatic post in Benghazi, which killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans, threaten to put a cast over Clinton's shining star?

In a CNN interview this week
, Clinton tried to end the political firestorm over the attack, which has quickly become an issue in the presidential campaign and made President Obama vulnerable.

"I take responsibility," Clinton told me. "I'm in charge of the State Department, 60,000-plus people all over the world, 275 posts. The president and the vice president certainly wouldn't be knowledgeable about specific decisions that are made by security professionals. They're the ones who weigh all of the threats and the risks and the needs and make a considered decision."

Although the main target of Republican attacks have been directed at President Obama, I asked Secretary Clinton whether there was a not-so-subtle effort to quash her chances for 2016.

"That is just so far from anything that anybody should be thinking about," Clinton said.

Clinton has had a loyal cadre of staff that she has either known for years or who have worked with her since she was first lady, which is known collectively as "Hillaryland."

Last summer Anne-Marie Slaughter, Clinton's former director of policy planning, caused a stir among the State Department ranks when she wrote a controversial cover story in The Atlantic, entitled "Why Women Still Can't Have It All," about why she felt an obligation to quit Clinton's staff because she found "juggling high-level governmental work with the needs of two teenage boys was not possible."

Once the dean of Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, she is now back at Princeton as a professor.

When asked by Marie Claire about the piece, Clinton didn't hold back, pointing out that she spent her life advocating on behalf of women and tried to make work places, including the State Department, friendlier to women with children.

As the article points out, Clinton said that Slaughter's problems were her own. From the magazine:

"Some women are not comfortable working at the pace and intensity you have to work at in these jobs … Other women don't break a sweat. They have four or five, six kids. They're highly organized, they have very supportive networks." By all accounts, this was precisely the kind of mother Clinton was to Chelsea-hands-on, prioritizing her child, and yet ever committed to work.

Clinton has very little patience for those whose privilege offers them a myriad of choices but who fail to take advantage of them. "I can't stand whining," she says. "I can't stand the kind of paralysis that some people fall into because they're not happy with the choices they've made. You live in a time when there are endless choices … Money certainly helps, and having that kind of financial privilege goes a long way, but you don't even have to have money for it. But you have to work on yourself … Do something!"

Filed under: 2016 • Hillary Clinton
soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. Malory Archer

    Some women are not comfortable working at the pace and intensity you have to work at in these jobs … Other women don't break a sweat.


    Right on sista!

    October 18, 2012 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  2. J

    Well Hillary, for an outstanding woman who has devoted her life to public service? we want and need you for 2016, so we expect you to step up! Go Hill! 2016!

    October 18, 2012 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  3. myviewis

    Clinton said she hoped to see the day when Americans elect a woman as president.

    Not when women said the most important thing in this election is abortion, birth control and NOT JOBS, the ECONOMY

    October 18, 2012 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  4. John, PA

    Hillary won't have a chnace to run in 2016! When Romney wins on Nov 6, 2012; this mark the start of the next multi-decade run for Republicans in the White House, Senate and House.

    October 18, 2012 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  5. Randy, San Francisco

    Hillary should make a run for the presidency. It should make for a more a civil presidential debate because she is a class act.

    October 18, 2012 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  6. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Hillary Clinton's political and personal background of experience is the only woman in the U.S. that measures alongside if not superior to that of the 10 women presidents around the World and it's a disgrace the Republicans were willing to put someone like Sarah Palin in the 2nd command position, they could have done better.

    October 18, 2012 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  7. SN

    It would be ok for her to change her mind. Given her track record and success and integrity, the need for her leadership would far surmount the need for her to explain why she changed her mind. 2016 has more to offer for Americans and the rest of the world.

    Go HC 2016!

    October 18, 2012 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  8. batjones

    Malory Archer

    Some women are not comfortable working at the pace and intensity you have to work at in these jobs … Other women don't break a sweat.
    – – – – –
    And many men – Mario Cuomo did not run for President in 1992, and has not been heard of since on the national stage. Face it, politics is not a pretty life. The burnout can be very quick.

    October 18, 2012 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  9. suzibee

    We LOVE you Hillary!!!!!!
    I would quit my job to work for your campaign if you decided to change your mind.
    It would be awesome for you to be the 1st woman President.
    But I will respect your decision, and we will wait and see... ; )

    October 18, 2012 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  10. Where's the beef?

    Like we said – we hope she changes her mind. She would be an excellent president!

    October 18, 2012 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  11. HopeChangeInAZ

    I could go to my grave without having to ever see or hear a Clinton name or face again. Polarizing puts it mildly and given the latest foreign policy debacle, there is even more reason to oppose this woman. I can only hope she is sincere when she says she is done with politics but given that she is a Clinton, I suspect she is lying.

    October 18, 2012 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  12. Abe

    Never say never! If she continues to be this popular and poll shows her winning against whom ever runs in 2016, I doubt she will continue to say no to her supporters.

    October 18, 2012 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  13. Fact

    "I want to just be my own person. I'm looking forward to that." she said. Yeah, I can imagine being a puppet for the libs gets old, eventually.

    October 18, 2012 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  14. riazzo

    She lost the slightest chance of ever running by being closely associated with the lying obama.

    October 18, 2012 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  15. Fact

    Slaughter was wise; she didn't buy into the feminist agenda. She put family before someone else's agenda. Too bad there are still women out there pushing the lie that your life isn't worth a hill of beans if you are ONLY taking care of your family and helping others with your own charity. Problem with Hillary and the other modern feminists is they think they know what's best for all women. Fact is, I love being a stay at home mom and I did it on a shoestring, below poverty budget. Just didn't see a need for all the frills. Three successful children and a happy marriage plus time to volunteer with helping others.

    October 18, 2012 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  16. Obama Will Win

    I would love to see Hillary Clinton to Run for President in 2016. I would vote for her this time. I think she would be more than qualified. To the Romney Supporters. Wake up. He is a flip flopping Liar. He will not win this presidency. I will guarantee it. I know that you are in a state where he may carry strong. but most part of this country sees for who he is. He is in no way ready for the Presidency. Its a fact that shows time after time again. He needs to go into a binder and wait for another 8 years. Maybe then. He will be ready. But he is not ready now. He will not win. Watch and see. I will love to see when November 6 comes around to see what you have to say when Obama wins. We will see if you are all here and supporting our president. Thank you.

    October 18, 2012 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  17. plain&simple

    Take all the money out of politics and watch the amount of lying decrease. That's all we the public hear nowadays. He / She is lying. The polarizing affect stops when we the public as a unified whole says it should stop and then act like we mean it!!!!

    October 18, 2012 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  18. Muzak

    Hillary had my vote in the 2008 Democratic Primary, and she will have my vote if she runs in 2016.

    October 18, 2012 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  19. truth hurts

    If she wanted a political future she never should have gotten involved with the most incompetent person to ever occupy the Whitehouse, Obama. Now the stench of Obama AND Libya is all over her. Stick a fork in her. She's done.

    October 18, 2012 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  20. Anne

    Hillary, so many of us supported you but I simply cannot understand why you and Bill are doing so much for Mr. Obama. You two should know better than anyone else that he is doing an amateurish job. Why? why? why? and what was the Benghazi story and you taking the blame for this administration. Yeah, we all heard the orchestrated statement at the debate 'I take responsibility" and 'she works for me'. Cowardness followed by arrogance .

    October 18, 2012 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |