Student to Hillary Clinton: If you don't represent women as president, who will?
March 23rd, 2014
01:03 PM ET
8 years ago

Student to Hillary Clinton: If you don't represent women as president, who will?

(CNN) - It's inevitable at every event. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been asked about running for president so many times that The New York Times did a story earlier this month on all the different ways the question has been posed.

But until Saturday night, it hadn't been asked quite this way.

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The moment came during the closing session of the Clinton Global Initiative University conference at Arizona State University in Tempe. Clinton was sharing the stage with husband Bill and daughter Chelsea, in a forum hosted by late-night host Jimmy Kimmel.

Minutes before the end, a student from University of California-Berkeley approached the microphone. She noted that Manal al-Sharif, the women's rights activist from Saudi Arabia, had been on stage the night before and had been encouraged during the session to run for office there some day, with the question: "If you don't represent women in Saudi Arabia in politics, who will?"

The student then turned the question on Hillary Clinton, saying, "Mrs. Clinton, if you don't represent women in politics in America as future president, who will?"

Clinton beamed and laughed as the crowd cheered loudly.

She first responded, "You have done your education well. That was very well asked and presented."

"I appreciate the sentiment," Clinton said, telling the student, "I am very much concerned about the direction of our country.” She added, "It's not just who runs for office, but what they do once they get there."

Pushed by Kimmel for a more direct answer, Clinton said she was getting to it. But the best the crowd got was, "I'm obviously thinking about all kinds of decisions."

When Kimmel jokingly asked if the decisions included another child for her and the former president, she said, "I wouldn't mind one of those grandchildren I hear so much about."

Chelsea Clinton immediately chided her mother: "Shameless. Unapologetic pressure in public and private."

Hillary Clinton's public remarks are always closely watched for any signs of her decision-making or just her thinking. And in Tempe, there was an interesting exchange earlier in the session as the Clintons discussed the importance of trying hard and being involved.

"Too many people think somehow if they don't get what they worked for right away, that either they have failed, or it wasn't meant to be. Or they give up because they can't bear the energy and the disappointment of going on - when in fact that is often the best time to learn about yourself and what you're capable of doing," Hillary Clinton said. "Certainly, the first time Bill ran for office, he lost ... and he could very easily have drawn a different conclusion. Instead, he thought, OK, what did I do wrong, what should I do more."

She added, "I never thought I would run for office, but when I started to, I was elected to the Senate twice."

Kimmel interjected, "You won!" and then said to her husband, "See that? She won right off the (bat). It's called rubbing it in."

Hillary Clinton responded, "But then I had a big loss that we all remember."

CNN's Conor Finnegan contributed to this report.

Filed under: 2016 • Hillary Clinton
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. Tommy G

    Interesting... I wasn't aware that women weren't being represented. Isn't that what the Democrats claim they do by protecting a woman's right to murder their baby? I guess men are just complete idiots and don't know how to treat women and known their concerns as they don't have mothers, sisters, daughters, wives, granddaughters, etc. This statement is a total insult to men.

    March 23, 2014 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  2. Tampa Tim

    I am not sure any republican can represent women, poor, seniors, veterans, minorities, workers, or students.

    March 23, 2014 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  3. John Q Public

    Hillary is the perfect representative for women!
    If your husband cheats on you and has power, stay with then for the power.

    March 23, 2014 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  4. Gurgyl

    Yes, Hillary16.

    March 23, 2014 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  5. Tampa Tim

    I have to laugh when I see someone defending ACA. When the costs are up and coverage for premium payers is down. The biggest benefactors of ACA is big Pharma, the AMA, and the insurance industry. NOTHING has been done to bring to light where our health care dollar goes and for what! Oh, and don't forget the expansion of medicaid that didn't happen. This was chicago community organizing (tax grabbing) politics nothing more.
    The cost of health care has increased 3% for each of the last 4 years, which is half of the annual increases for each of the previous 8 years. Fox is wrong.

    March 23, 2014 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  6. Tampa Tim

    It appears that some people actually believe the Fox and Koch lies. Wow.

    March 23, 2014 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  7. JL

    Yep. This is what it will amount to. A vote based on gender and not ability. Our country needs ability. We are falling as a nation and we need substance over style and political correctness.

    March 23, 2014 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  8. king

    Clinton realize that this is the next generation, this and the next generation is what drive this country's pathway, the previous generation has done their job already. they need to step out the way and let the next generation decide their own future. the repubs wants this country to stay in their generation, but the next generation is not having it. they want healthcare to ensure they dont go bankrupt. they need to know that the ubber rich wont take their jobs to china for slave wages just to boast their bankroll. they need investment and modernization in our country to compete and attract new investment in the modernized world. what does repubs have to offer. healthcare that grows 20 percent yearly, let them die, and send them to the bankruptcy court, mid evil time infrastructure, pushing tax breaks to big oil, big insurance companies and companies that are investing in china to suck more money from the middle class. this trickle down crap the repubs love to shove down the american people throats, have not work before and it certainly wont work in the future, especially when the market is getting more and more together where economic is concerned. why should the rich boys invest here when they can make the same product for half the price if they make it in china. we need to force them to invest here by drawing them in with big item jobs, like obamacare, and rebuilding our crumbling country. madam president clinton seems to have that covered.

    March 23, 2014 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  9. ThinkAgain - Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.

    "It's not just who runs for office, but what they do once they get there."

    Very wise words – and what all Dems need to remember come November 4, 2014. The Koch brothers and their ilk are flooding the airwaves with lies, fear, hatred and division in an attempt to elect their candidates – and if they win, the last four years of obstruction since the last midterms will look like the good ol' days.

    Get out and VOTE out the gop/tea bag majority in Congress and secure a solid, 60+ Dem majority in the Senate. It's the only way to keep our country moving forward.

    March 23, 2014 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  10. ThinkAgain - Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.

    Wendy Davis, Kirsten Gillibrand and Elizabeth Warren also come to mind when I think of women I'd like in the White House (or, in the case of Davis, in the Texas governor's mansion). That said, if Hillary gets the nomination, I will vote for her.

    March 23, 2014 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  11. Randy, San Francisco

    The Republican Tea Party have no answers to the support of women voters that Hillary enjoys. Not one person on the Republlcian presidential hopeful list is committed to the advancement of women's rights.

    March 23, 2014 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  12. Unslick

    Dear Mrs. Clinton. Yes it's time for a female in the White House but the job will demand more "life's Force" than you really have. Please support another Canidate. Only because we are in a position of weakness and facing aggressive violence on multiple fronts. Here at home we have the poor dieing in the streets, lack of housing, cash flow, basic needs are not being meant. Government needs a change of direction and 10 years ago, you had game, not today. We all have to admit when we are past our prime. I'm trying to be disrespectful Ma'am, but truth cannot be ignored.

    March 23, 2014 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  13. Gurgyl


    March 23, 2014 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |