Hillary wrestles with second presidential bid decision

Former first lady says she is pragmatic and realistic when considering running again

Hillary Clinton, wife of former US president Bill Clinton, said she is "wrestling" with the idea of running for president in 2016 but that she is pragmatic and realistic in considering a bid for the White House.

The one-time first lady told New York magazine in her first interview since stepping down as US president Barrack Obama's secretary of state in February, said that she was not rushing to decide about another potential bid to be the Democratic presidential candidate as it was a decision she had to think about it seriously.

“I’m not in a hurry. I think it’s a serious decision, not to be made lightly, but it’s also not one that has to be made soon,” she said.“This election is more than three years away, and I just don’t think it’s good for the country.”

Constant speculation
The former New York senator likened the constant speculation about her possibly running to be America's first female president to "when you meet somebody at a party and they look over your shoulder to see who else is there and you want to talk to them about something that's really important.


“In fact, maybe you came to the party to talk to that particular person, and they just want to know what’s next. I feel like that’s our political process right now. I just don’t think it is good,” she said.

While still siting on the fence on a second presidential bid, Mrs Clinton fanned the flames of speculation, hinting at her credentials as a possible candidate.

“I’m both pragmatic and realistic. I think I have a pretty good idea of the political and government challenges that are facing our leaders, and I’ll do whatever I can from whatever position I find myself in to advocate for the values and the policies I think are right for the country,” she said.

“I will just continue to weigh what the factors are that would influence me making a decision one way or the other.”

Opinion polls make Mrs Clinton a strong favourite to be the next Democratic candidate in 2016, which would be eight years since she last ran for the party's nomination against the junior senator from Illinois, Mr Obama. Mr Clinton will be 70 years of age in November 2016 when the next election is held.

A CNN survey last week showed that 65 per cent of Democrats and Democrat-leaning independents said they would support Mrs Clinton as the party's nominee, putting her well ahead of vice president Joe Biden, who received 10 per cent support.

Simon Carswell

Simon Carswell

Simon Carswell is The Irish Times’s Public Affairs Editor and former Washington correspondent