April 8th, 2014
06:38 PM ET
8 years ago

Hillary Clinton on 2016: 'I am thinking about it'

(CNN) – Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton divulged politics' worst-kept secret on Tuesday - she's thinking about running for president.

"I am thinking about it," Clinton said in response to question about the 2016 presidential election. "But I am going to continue to think about it for a while."

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While the comment is far from surprising – Clinton leads most 2016 polls, is the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination and has a cadre of former advisers orchestrating a shadow campaign for her possible run – it's rare that the former first lady bluntly acknowledges considering a presidential bid.

In January, Clinton told an audience in New Orleans that she was "not thinking about" 2016 and was trying to get other people not to think about it.

"I will think about it in the future sometime, but right now let's think about what we have to do to continue building on our success," she said at the January event.

Last month she told an audience in Arizona that she was "obviously thinking about all kinds of decisions."

During The Marketing Nation Summit in San Francisco, the first stop on a three-state West Coast swing, Clinton said that the reason she is still thinking about it is because she is enjoying her life right now.

"I am not going to make a decision for a while because, you know, I am actually enjoying my life," she said." I am actually having fun doing ordinary things like seeing my friends and going on long walks and playing with our dogs… At the end of the day, it is what really gives joy and meaning to your life."

Clinton acknowledged she sidestepped Marketo CEO Phil Fernandez's question, something she had done many times before.

"I danced around that pretty well, right," she said.

While Tuesday's admission is one of the first times Clinton has publicly acknowledged she is thinking about running for president, her hesitance has not stopped a cadre of former advisers and close confidants from organizing a shadow campaign for her prospective run.

There are over a handful of groups now in Washington that are urging the former secretary of state to run, including Super PACs Correct the Record, American Bridge and Ready for Hillary – all of whom have longtime Clinton advisers in key positions.

Clinton's speech is being put on by Marketo, a company that makes software for marketing departments in all kinds of companies. The conference of around 5,000 people costs attendees upwards of $1,195 to attend.

During the question and answer session, Clinton also seemed to fret about the state of electoral politics in the United States, especially the length in time it takes to campaign for president.

"I wish that our country had the limited campaign period that other democracies have," Clinton said, referring to countries that only allow campaigning a few months before an election. "It is not a marathon, it is a sprint."​

As has been the case with more recent Clinton events, the former first lady waded into domestic and international politics when she was asked about immigration, Russia's annexation of Crimea and the state of women in the workplace.

The former secretary of state continued her tough talk on Russian President Vladimir Putin, calling him "a tough guy with a thin skin" and warned that the Russian leader will "go as far as he can go" in Ukraine.

Russia warned Tuesday that any use of force in Ukraine's eastern region could lead to civil war, as Kiev seeks to regain control after pro-Moscow uprisings in three cities. These threats come after Russia annexed Crimea last month, a previously autonomous region of Ukraine with heavy Russian influences.

Clinton, who dealt with Putin on many occasions as secretary of state, said that she didn't feel "Putin will be satisfied with Crimea if he has any other excuse to go into Eastern and Southern Ukraine."

The former senator was also asked about immigration reform, where she praised comprehensive immigration reform efforts and said she was "very sorry" that a bipartisan effort for reform that passed the Senate was not taken up in the House.

Clinton also backed increasing the number of H-1B visas issued by the United States. The visas, which allow U.S. employers to temporarily hire foreign workers, are an important issue in the San Francisco area, where Clinton was speaking. Many tech firms want to bring in high-skilled workers and engineers from other countries but have found it difficult because of the number of H-1B visas issued by the United States.

In closing the event, Clinton blended her answers on immigration and Russia. After being thanked by Fernandez for talking about visas and Putin, Clinton joked, "Don't give him an H-1B."

Filed under: 2016 • Hillary Clinton
soundoff (131 Responses)
  1. Sarah

    Clinton is just about the only person in the country that would make me vote Republican.

    April 9, 2014 01:04 am at 1:04 am |
  2. Duh

    id vote for her if she got the government to do something about russia (and i don't mean help them or stand still)

    April 9, 2014 01:17 am at 1:17 am |
  3. Mike

    Whoa! I thought we had a democracy in America, not an inherited monarchy. We have 350 million people in this country. Can't we find a candidate without the surname BUSH or CLINTON?

    Come on, America!

    April 9, 2014 01:17 am at 1:17 am |
  4. JED


    April 9, 2014 01:20 am at 1:20 am |

    Maybe she is waiting for someone to give her a reset button before she goes on the offensive.

    April 9, 2014 01:28 am at 1:28 am |
  6. mike

    What will it do to a lot of folks if she decides to never run for president and enjoy the life she has? That would be interesting.

    April 9, 2014 02:02 am at 2:02 am |
  7. Spanky

    She has my vote.

    April 9, 2014 02:17 am at 2:17 am |
  8. Fed Up

    There may be hope for this country yet. 🙂

    April 9, 2014 02:18 am at 2:18 am |
  9. binary

    Youve got to be kidding me.....No more Bushes, no mpre Clintons.

    April 9, 2014 02:38 am at 2:38 am |
  10. Getoverit

    "No more old, rich, white politicians! Vote Hillary!"

    – liberals

    April 9, 2014 02:58 am at 2:58 am |
  11. bitty31985

    Don't think about it, please just leave. We are sick and tired of our "leaders" being 'selected' for us to vote on. No to Jeb, No to Hillary and down with the Presidential Dynasties.

    April 9, 2014 03:49 am at 3:49 am |

    I like her courage. And believed she can do better since she had been in the system,but really need to think as she has explained earlier.

    April 9, 2014 04:18 am at 4:18 am |
  13. Madex

    CNN seems to have started campaigning for her long since she was still Sec of State. I don't see her as being statesmanly enough for US at this time which has seen the popularity of its leaders plummet across the world.
    The Russian leaders (Putin and Lavrov) have done better than (Obama and Kerry) about their image around the world despite whatever the MSM says about Putin annexing Crimea.

    April 9, 2014 04:31 am at 4:31 am |
  14. Name. willard

    No vote support clinton hillary right now cause she lied her story what happened about benghziana

    April 9, 2014 04:37 am at 4:37 am |
  15. croaton

    Republicans hopes she decides to run as well. It will be easy to discredit her.

    April 9, 2014 05:19 am at 5:19 am |
  16. JimfromBham

    A little plastic surgery, perhaps? Either she has had some, or the time off has been good for her.

    April 9, 2014 05:46 am at 5:46 am |
  17. acsj

    the horrible liar will only win if the votes are as miscounted as 2012

    April 9, 2014 05:50 am at 5:50 am |
  18. jjjscott

    The liberals can only hope that enough people with enough money will show her the way and that there are enough people with no money to carry the vote.

    April 9, 2014 05:58 am at 5:58 am |
  19. Dean Kazel

    How can she think about it with her lapses in memory about anything important?

    April 9, 2014 06:00 am at 6:00 am |
  20. larry

    No Clintoons, No Bush's, No black Socilaists. It's time for a change.

    April 9, 2014 06:01 am at 6:01 am |
  21. hkiwin

    The only good thing that could come from a Hillary win is more access to intern's for Wild Bill.

    April 9, 2014 06:25 am at 6:25 am |
  22. Prophet

    what difference does it make. The first crisis and she'll resign.

    April 9, 2014 06:25 am at 6:25 am |
  23. Marie MD

    The only one they have right now is randy from KY. He might not like wars and we are sick and tired of being the police of the world but that is NOT enough to get him elected.
    The third bush has no chance. His stand your ground law in Florida has failed miserably and we are also tired of the courts allowing murderers to get away with killing unarmed children.

    Hillary 2016!

    April 9, 2014 06:29 am at 6:29 am |
  24. BO

    Did you see Hillary's "deer in the headlight " look when asked what she has caccomplished as senator and as secretary of state?

    April 9, 2014 06:32 am at 6:32 am |
  25. Dirk

    Really... is this news? Everyone knows she intends to run. Everyone knew it since she lost the nomination to OB in 2008. Are there really people out there that don't know. This has been her goal for years.

    April 9, 2014 06:55 am at 6:55 am |
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