June 4th, 2014
08:00 AM ET
9 years ago

Clinton talks 2016 aspirations, Monica Lewinsky in People Magazine interview

Washington (CNN) – Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told People Magazine in an interview published Wednesday that she believes the United States "certainly" needs "to break down that highest, hardest glass ceiling" of electing a woman president.

In a wide-ranging interview with the magazine, Clinton talks about health, her thoughts on running for president and, for the first time in years, her husband's affair with Monica Lewinsky, a Clinton White House intern.

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"To have a woman president is something I would love to see happen, but I’ll just have to make my own decision about what I think is right for me," Clinton said about the prospect of her running for president in 2016. Clinton is admittedly weighing a run at the presidency and it’s widely believed that she will be the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination, should she run.

Clinton told Sandra Westfall, the magazine's Washington bureau chief who conducted the interview, that she knows she has "a decision to make" on 2016.

"With the extra joy of ‘I’m about to become a grandmother,’ I want to live in the moment," said Clinton, who is expecting a grandchild in the fall. "At the same time I am concerned about what I see happening in the country and in the world. Through the next months, I will think more about what role I can or, in my mind, should play.”

Although Westfall questioned Clinton about Lewisnky, the former senator said she thinks "everybody needs to look to the future" instead of worrying about the affair that defined the last two years of her husband's administration.

"I’m not going to comment on what did and didn’t happen," Clinton said in response to a question about whether she regrets calling Monica Lewinsky a "narcissistic loony toon" in a 1998 private conversation with Diane Blair, a close friend.

Clinton told Blair that Lewinsky was a "narcissistic loony toon," and also discussed in detail why she decided to forgive her husband for having an affair with the White House intern, according to a journal Blair kept before she died in 2000. Her papers – including information about her friendship with Clinton – were made public by the University of Arkansas in 2010 and made big headlines earlier this year.

Lewinsky has been in the news more lately, too. In a Vanity Fair essay published in May, Lewinsky writes about her life after the affair and her reaction to the news that Clinton refereed to her as a "narcissistic loony toon."

"If that's the worst thing she said, I should be so lucky," Lewisnky wrote.

Clinton told People that she did not read the Lewinsky essay. "I've moved on," she said.

People Magazine's interview with the former secretary of state will grace the cover of the magazine due to hit newsstands on Friday. The cover shows a smiling former first lady with the title: "Hillary & The White House.”

Much of the interview revolves around questions that have dogged Clinton for years, in particular questions about her and Bill Clinton's health and her hair.

“He’s had that tremor for years – it’s nothing serious, just some sort of nerve pinch," Hillary Clinton said about her husband’s shaky hands. "People say that he’s too thin. He doesn’t think so, and he has an enormous amount of energy."

Questions and comments about health are a regular for the Clintons. Republicans have made Hillary Clinton's health – and by extension her age – a talking point in the early lead up to 2016. At an event Tuesday night in Denver, Clinton appeared to respond to questions about her health when she told the audience that she has "a lot of resilience and a lot of stamina."

Clinton also commented on her hair in the interview – a topic of conversation that has followed Clinton since she arrived on the national scene in the early 90s.

Asked about her hair strategy for 2016, Clinton said, "I’m at an age where I can pretty much do what I want: Here I am, whether you like my hair or not."

Related: Hillary Clinton to take part in live CNN town hall

Filed under: 2016 • Hillary Clinton • White House
soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. Gurgyl

    --do you think this needless Bergdahl, Benghazi, ACA, Liwinski etc idiocy work in the credit of republican trash? I don't think so. I am glad this Bergdahl is back home safely. We need to interrogate this guy. Muslim world is far, far, far from your so-called democracy. Read India History before you make comment here or hate Obama sheer on the basis of color. Pres. Obama did good job in bringing him home.

    June 4, 2014 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
  2. Name JK. SFL. THE GOP HOWDEE GOWDEE SHOW with special guest ISSA the CLOWN

    I would vote for her no matter what . The GOP has NO quality canadates AND has nothing to offer the American people but backwardness AND no representation . Look at the new EPA air rules that have over 70% support from the American voters AND the GOP is AGAINEST it, and in the pocket of the KOCH JOHN BIRCH SOCIETY CLOWNS, same with minimum wage and unemployment extension and anti healthcare medicad expansion that DENIES healthcare to MILLIONS in the red southern states because of GOP GOVENORS

    June 4, 2014 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  3. Rick McDaniel

    Clinton's aspiration is to complete the destruction of America that Obama has begun.

    June 4, 2014 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  4. Gunderson

    Well, Yes,
    Hillary wants to be president and Bill wants to get back in the White House so bad he can taste it. He thinks you still need your Nanny. And after 100 years of Liberal Politics the country is in no shape to go thru the roof! The floor is more like it. But Hillary is hinting that she should be the one to break thru that "Glass Ceiling" With no jobs to speak of, who will be able to repair that "Glass Ceiling".

    June 4, 2014 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  5. Randy, San Francisco

    The same old dirty personal attacks will be ineffective against Hillary. Republican political operatives and conservative talk show entertainers have used the same old talking points too often. Voters are tuning out the noise. Republicans just don't get it. They have to convince voters that they stand for something and have something to offer. Dirty personal attacks on Hillary appeals to conservative hard core supporters but offer little to the majority of voters.

    June 4, 2014 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  6. Miami Mike

    Hillary vs. Monica... Celebrity boxing match! UFC Mixed Martial Arts match! WWE Steel Cage match!
    Book it and Hillary has my vote!!!

    June 4, 2014 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  7. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    At this point Hillary, Monica and Bill could make a $ex tape and I would still vote for her. I'm sick of the GOP and their 5 1/2 year temper tantrum. They have done nothing except whine, cry and denigrate the duly elected POTUS because they are upset that he was elected. Instead of acting like responsible adults and working with him they vowed from day 1 not to work with him and they have stuck with that. They definitely don't belong in power and need to be voted out as soon as possible. Every one of them. How anyone that isn't a millionaire or completely unhinged can vote for them truly baffles me. But hate is a good motivator....

    June 4, 2014 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  8. Lynda/Minnesota

    People Magazine title: Hillary and the White House

    CNN article of People Magazine title: Hillary talks 2016 aspirations and Monica Lewinski in People Magazine interview.

    "Clinton told People that she did not read the Lewinsky essay. "I've moved on," she said."

    End of story.

    June 4, 2014 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  9. old age voter

    I see; we have to have the historic election of the first women president!
    I think NOT; look at the historic failures of the first black president!

    We need real leadership in the white house!

    June 4, 2014 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  10. Dean

    Too bad Hillary's not qualified to be president.

    June 4, 2014 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  11. Gunderson

    Um, What dirty tricks?,
    Aw, you don't want hear truth? In words of Harry Truman, I Don't Give 'Em, Hell, I just Tell Truth. They Think it Hell! Hillary have enough baggage choke a freight train. Obama missed train and you still want train? With no coal run train what you ride to victory?

    June 4, 2014 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  12. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Republican political operatives and conservative talk show entertainers have used the same old talking points too often. Voters are tuning out the noise. Republicans just don't get it."

    Oh, I agree. They got scads of political fundraising off the back of Barack Obama using every dirty trick they could come up with. Ultimately, it got Obama elected ... twice.

    Hillary isn't going to be an easy target for the trash talking underbelly of Republican politics. This stuff has been hashed over, re-hashed over, and hashed over again and again and served up ad nauseum nationally.

    June 4, 2014 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  13. TxGran

    Well, Monica is/was a "narcissistic looney toon." I admire Hillary's maturity over all of it. A strong woman she is.

    June 4, 2014 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  14. Chris-E...al

    Must be bad to have billys and 0bamas sloppy 2nds 1st loser all the time . She is not a wise at all at anything .

    June 4, 2014 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  15. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    I have to laugh when reading many of the comments from the right denigrating The POTUS, FLOTUS and Hillary. People can't even string a coherent sentence together but have the nerve to question their intelligence. 😃😃 I refer to it as the Rosewood Syndrome. I see it right here daily. Carry on PWT. Carry on.

    June 4, 2014 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  16. Bingo

    Secretary Clinton is an enabler for a serial sexual predator. She has an undistinguished career as a Secretary of State, highlighted by her total incompetence is responding to the "3 a.m. phone call" that was Benghazi. Everything she has done in life is directly attributable to her father's money or her husband's name. Unethical, incompetent and unqualified.

    June 4, 2014 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  17. rla

    NO MORE CLINTONS OR BUSHES- They are both arrogant DC types and out of touch with America- Time for some new faces and ideas.... These people and their parties got us to the state we are now in and failed!!! NO MORE

    June 4, 2014 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  18. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    A serial sexual predator?? Give me a break. I don't recall Monica having a broken neck while under the Presidents desk. Many Presidents were unfaithful starting with Jefferson on to Kennedy and even St. Ronnie, because if I remember right he had another wife before he married that scarecrow.

    June 4, 2014 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  19. Lynda/Minnesota

    "I refer to it as the Rosewood Syndrome. I see it right here daily"

    Uh-oh. Coffee on the keyboard ... but very appropriate, Wake Up !

    June 4, 2014 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  20. Gurgyl

    -GOP, do a favor before you collapse altogether, raise the MINIMUM WAGE. At least nation excuses you. Well, some states raised to 15/ an hour. Raise it.

    June 4, 2014 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  21. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Time for some new faces and ideas..."

    Well, if you're talking about Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Scott Walker, Mike Lee, Paul Ryan ... I'm going to have to give your "new" faces a thanks, but no thanks pass.

    June 4, 2014 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  22. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Clinton said, "I’m at an age where I can pretty much do what I want: Here I am, whether you like my hair or not."
    Liberating isn't it?
    Love me, love my weave I say!

    June 4, 2014 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  23. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Clinton told People that she did not read the Lewinsky essay. "I've moved on," she said.
    Point of fact is that we've ALL moved on....all of us except the Rethugs that is.

    June 4, 2014 10:35 am at 10:35 am |