What would cause Hillary Clinton not to run for president?
July 17th, 2014
10:45 PM ET
6 years ago

What would cause Hillary Clinton not to run for president?


Washington (CNN) – Hillary Clinton told Charlie Rose on Thursday that if she does run for president in 2016, she would have "a very specific agenda" about the future of America.

But with polls showing her as the favorite for the Democratic nomination and a cadre of groups already organizing for a prospective campaign, what would cause the former secretary of state to not run for office?

"It would be wholly personal," Clinton said, according to a transcript of the PBS show. "Because I know so much about the job and how hard it is, I am very struck by the historic nature of a campaign that I might, in the future, undertake."

The job, Clinton added, has also "gotten even bigger and more difficult."

"You've got to get the money from the Congress to really improve what you're doing, personnel policies, and all the rest," Clinton said. "So the job is as challenging as it's always been, but I would say almost to a degree of amplification that's hard to imagine."

At the same time, Clinton, who unsuccessfully ran for president in 2008, said that the possibility of her becoming the first woman president makes her decision a bit different than other prospective presidential hopefuls.

"Hard choices are not necessarily the same for everybody. You know, for some people, running for president seems like the next step on a career," Clinton said, contrasting her decision as a possible signal for female power and encouragement.

Clinton's interview with Rose, who admitted at the top of the interview that he considers the former senator a friend, is part of the former first lady's ongoing "Hard Choices" book tour.

During the tour, Clinton has become more open about admitting that she is considering a presidential run in 2016. While she was coy with questions for months leading up to the book tour, Clinton now occasionally answers 2016 questions without caveats.

"We have to make a campaign about what we would do," Clinton said about a possible 2016 run. "You have to run a very specific campaign that talks about the changes you want to make in order to tackle growth, which is the handmaiden of inequality."

Later in the interview, though, she said she was "not going to, you know, jump the line and start talking about 2016 right now."

Hillary, Bill and love

When Hillary Clinton's marriage was stretched to its thinnest, the former first lady said, she and President Bill Clinton had "love."

"I mean, it had really at bottom a very strong and consistent sense of love in a very deep way," she said.

Hillary Clinton's marriage was stretched thin in the late 1990s when the nation's attention was captivated by the sordid details of Bill Clinton's affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. The relationship and grand jury investigation led the House to impeach Clinton on two charges in December 1998. In February 1999, the Senate acquitted him.

In her 2003 memoir, Clinton described herself as "dumbfounded, heartbroken and outraged" when her husband told her about his relations with Lewinsky. "Gulping for air, I started crying and yelling at him," she wrote. "'What do you mean? What are you saying? Why did you lie to me?'"

While her marriage with Bill Clinton is something Hillary Clinton rarely talks about, when she does, she regularly refers to her closeness to her husband.

"I don't know how you describe it," Clinton said about her relationship with her husband. "You certainly can't bottle it."

She later added: "You know, we just have this deep profound connection that is love and companionship and support and intellectual rapport. I mean, it just is all of that rolled up into one. ... It's a tremendously fulfilling and reinforcing experience all the time. I just can't describe it any better."

Filed under: 2008 Election • 2016 • Bill Clinton • Hillary Clinton • White House
soundoff (64 Responses)
  1. luke, AZ

    Don't fool yourself Hillary, you don't have what it takes to be President. But your not alone, there isn't anyone on the Republican side who has what it takes either. Joe Biden for President and Elizabeth Warren as his Vice Presidential running mate.

    July 17, 2014 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  2. yolanda

    No, you can't bottle it, but you can save it on a blue dress for later examination.

    July 17, 2014 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  3. freedom

    nothing – that's the only reason she ever married Bill – and then stayed with him after all his affairs – and it goes on....
    she's ruthless to the core.

    July 17, 2014 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  4. Winston Smith

    Nothing. I hope.

    July 17, 2014 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  5. Patriot

    The main thing that would cause Hillary to decide to NOT run in 2016 would be an unforeseen health issue. Another thing would be if something genuinely scandalous became public knowledge. Right now, there's no evidence of either of those problems – unless of course you listen to right-wing Republicans desperate to manufacture some issues out of thin air.

    July 18, 2014 12:40 am at 12:40 am |
  6. Thomas

    "'What do you mean? What are you saying? Why did you lie to me?'"


    July 18, 2014 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
  7. fredricwilliams

    I was disappointed to find that the question posed really wasn't answered. I guess that means we have no way of persuading her that another dimwit with high self-esteem is NOT what the country needs.

    July 18, 2014 01:17 am at 1:17 am |
  8. Caughtyoupeeping

    Ms clinton is a strong and a very
    respectful woman whom I admire
    her personal life has nothing to
    do with the duties she would have
    to perform and if she accept it I

    July 18, 2014 02:37 am at 2:37 am |
  9. rick

    Specific ?agenda?. Interesting she would quote from Adolf Hitler. He had a SPECIFIC AGENDA in his eyes also.. Wonder if it entails the words HEIL HILLARY in the future???

    July 18, 2014 03:28 am at 3:28 am |
  10. rick

    Hillary will talk to anybody for that stupid book. I have NEVER in my life seen a person who had to tour for MONTHS trying to get people to buy a book thats not selling. Most places I have been to in last couple of months. Have pulled the book from shelves and stacked them on the bargan tables. And still not selling.. Even seen them at the Goodwill stores in shelves.. Cheap.. Thats fast for any streach of imagination. And tell the truth for a change.. If she would have divorced Bill Clinton.. Would have totaly killed any possible future in politics for her.. Her ego deflated faster than the Hindenburg burned.. Reality check time..

    July 18, 2014 03:39 am at 3:39 am |
  11. J.V.Hodgson

    The media and CNN are not interested in whether Clinton will run or not for the presidency'
    Its the whole media sickness of the " scoop mentality" we got it right first or the CNN version of " be the first to know"
    Hello media, I and voters next job is to elect House representatives and some Senators and some Governors in November this year i.e. the here and now of our lives and how it will be for the next two years for each of us as individuals.
    As individuals party as such is meaningless, policy/ ideology of electable candidates is what matters.
    QED Hilary, Rand Paul, Chris Christie Warren , Biden Jeb Bush, is pure waffle that a very small minority of voters are even considering.. they ( voters) might when Mr or Mrs X says I am running AFTER THE 2014 ELECTIONS.
    You might then improve your viewer numbers by addressing who will or who wont run!?

    July 18, 2014 03:44 am at 3:44 am |
  12. Tyrone Thigpen

    If we want a smart, accomplished woman with a track record of success in actual governance rather than a failed has-been with no record of accomplishment the choice is clear: Governor Sarah Palin, not Mrs. Clinton. And before you start shouting or laughing, go and do some research on Sarah Palin's accomplishments, not what you've heard from the Uniparty or the talking heads of the media.

    July 18, 2014 04:20 am at 4:20 am |
  13. gthog61

    They don't call it the clinton news network for nothing.

    July 18, 2014 05:55 am at 5:55 am |
  14. enajerodavid

    Like har statement futrue of America. Come 2016 she will be the first American woman President.

    July 18, 2014 06:12 am at 6:12 am |
  15. old age voter

    Just being Hillary Clinton is enough of a reason NOT to run for president.
    All of America knows the baggage that comes with the Clintons and there is not enough room on this page for the complete list. However if Hillary does run; we will have to live thru all the media reports on Hillarys' long list of failures and well known character flaws.

    July 18, 2014 06:53 am at 6:53 am |
  16. kerrypenn49

    Distillery Hillary is a professional politician. And we all know that modern political politicians lie, cheat, steal and are immoral. I believe Clinton would just continue to destroy the U.S. as much as Tinkerbell Obama has done.

    July 18, 2014 06:54 am at 6:54 am |
  17. old age voter

    And the most important fact; Hillary Clinton is NOT qualified to be president. Just like Obama is not qualified to be president. All of America is now well aware of how bad things can get; how bad things are if you have an ill equipped; incompetent person in the White House.

    July 18, 2014 06:58 am at 6:58 am |
  18. Minnie Mouse

    Our congress and becoming a grandmother soon are two great reasons not to run for president. Kids grow up to fast and you don't want to miss out. It's hard to get things you want done for our country when your working with people who don't want to cooperate, takes extensive time to make decisions to where the government is shut down, and the fact that they take extensive time just away from work makes matters even worst. She's put her time in and is 100% qualified and I feel she could possibly be the first woman president. I hope she really does run but I don't blame her in the end if she says no.

    July 18, 2014 07:08 am at 7:08 am |
  19. Max Conrad

    Absolutely nothing would stop her quest for the crown. If she had to stand on her mother's shoulders to stick a knife in her father's back to gain more power she would quickly put on her hobnail boots and start sharpening her knife.

    July 18, 2014 07:09 am at 7:09 am |
  20. Gurgyl

    It is Hillary16. First woman president.

    July 18, 2014 07:27 am at 7:27 am |
  21. larry

    Easy. Her age and her brain damage and her drinking problem.

    July 18, 2014 07:28 am at 7:28 am |
  22. Motza

    what would cause the former secretary of state to not run for office?

    A broken leg? Hah! LOL

    July 18, 2014 07:49 am at 7:49 am |
  23. Gunderson

    Eh, Well,
    Franklin Roosevelt got Social Security passed and still the problems persist. Lyndon John did the war on poverty and still the problems persist. John Kennedy said, Think not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country, and still the problems persist, Obama got "Obama Care" passes and still the problems persist. Now Hillary says, No Surprise, I would need much more money from Congress to do, er, uh, repeat the uh, er, failures of the past. Ain't it time the Liberals threw in the Towel and realized people need to fix their own problems. Government can't fix it.

    July 18, 2014 07:50 am at 7:50 am |
  24. mjloehrer

    Does anyone in their right mind believe what she says?

    July 18, 2014 07:50 am at 7:50 am |
  25. johnp40

    Blah ... blah ... blah ... CNN has ALREADY anointed her as Queen Hillary.

    July 18, 2014 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
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