Hillary Clinton Hasn't Confirmed She's Running For President In 2016, But She's Dropped These 8 Hints
Hillary Clinton continues her "will she or won't she?" narrative this week as the Hard Choices book tour kicks off at the Union Square Barnes & Noble bookstore in New York City. The former Secretary of State's memoir is slated to hit shelves Tuesday after months of public readings, appearances, and even leaked excerpts. The 656-page memoir, a follow-up to her 2004 book Living History, documents Clinton's time as Secretary of State under the Obama administration. Early reports confirm that the book addresses numerous political issues Clinton faced during her tenure, including the assassination of Osama bin Laden, peace negotiations with Palestine and Israel, and the Great FOX News Talking Point, Benghazi.
What's still up in the air, however, is Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign. Since leaving the Obama administration about 16 months ago, Clinton has been careful with her words when discussing her future plans — and the future plans of the United States. Although Clinton hasn't confirmed her candidacy for 2016, she hasn't really denied it, either. And now that she's embarking on a months-long, coast-to-coast book tour that includes televised interviews, stops at large retail stores, and a chartered bus of supporters, it seems like running for president in 2016 is another "hard choice" Clinton has yet to publicly make.
As Maeve Reston and Mark Z. Barabak write in The Los Angeles Times:
Clinton's months-long book tour, combined with other stops, appears unprecedented in the annals of both publishing and politics, bearing many of the trappings of a full-fledged presidential campaign. A strike team, to push back Clinton critics, has been stocked with family loyalists and others practiced in aggressive political communication.
The LA Times added that conservative lobbyists have even established a "counter-operation" to Clinton's book campaign: Republican PAC America Rising is releasing an e-book called "Hillary Clinton's Failed Choices" next week.
But before we speculate more about Clinton's presidential (or non-presidential) future, let's take a look at the hints she's already dropped...
The (Not So) Wishful Thinking Of U.S. Senators, January 2013
The biggest hint may just come from Clinton's former colleagues. When Diane Sawyer sat down with the women of the U.S. Senate at the start of 2013, Sen. Kelly Ayotte told a story of how her young daughter didn't want her running for president because her daughter wants to be the first female president. That's when Sen. Barbara Boxer chimed in, "Well, she better call Hillary."
It's also worth noting that when Sawyer asked if there'll be a female presidential nominee in 2016, all of the senators raised their hands.
The Chelsea Clinton Endorsement, January 2013
Another eyebrow-raising clue came not from Clinton, but her daughter Chelsea. Following Clinton's hospitalization for a blood clot, Chelsea endorsed her mother's health on the Today show to quell any fears or criticisms about Clinton's age:
She is exuding the energy, the vibrancy and certainly the mental acuity that she always has. I’m so grateful that she is not only fine, but healthy and vibrant and strong and, God willing, will be for the next 65 years of her life.
Twitter-Gate, June 2013
Hillary Clinton joining Twitter was already a big deal on its own — if there's any celeb Twitter to follow, it's hers. But it wasn't Clinton's first tweet that made headlines — it was her mysterious Twitter bio:
Glass ceiling cracker? TBD (to be determined)? That elusive ellipses? Don't keep us hanging, Hill.
Still Considering All Her Options, March 2014
While participating in a public discussion with Chelsea and late-show host Jimmy Kimmel at a Clinton Global Initiative event at Arizona State University last March, Clinton again dropped some clues when asked if she was the future of women in politics.
I am very much concerned about the direction of our country. And it's not just who runs for office but what they do when they get there and how we bring people together ... I'm obviously thinking about all kinds of decisions.
OK, I'm Thinking About It, April 2014
During an address at a marketing summit in California, Clinton again discussed her 2016 presidential bid. She framed it this time around in more concrete terms:
I am obviously … deeply honored to have some people ask me and people encourage me … and I am obviously thinking about [running for president]. The hard questions aren’t ‘Do you want to be president?’ or ‘Can you win?’ The hard questions are ‘Why? Why would you want to do this? And what would you offer that could make a difference?’
That Little Joke At The White House Correspondents' Dinner, May 2014
At the 2014 White House Correspondents' Dinner, President Barack Obama let it slip that he believes Clinton will be the one replacing him in the Oval Office in 2016 — not once, but twice.
Let’s face it, Fox, you’ll l miss me when I’m gone. It will be harder to convince the American people that Hillary was born in Kenya. ... It is strange to think that I have just two and a half years left in this office. Everywhere I look there are reminders that I only hold this job temporarily. But, it is a long time between now and 2016. And anything can happen. You may have heard the other day that Hillary had to dodge a flying shoe at a press conference.
Monica Lewinsky Tells-All, May 2014
Monica Lewinsky's first-person confessional essay in Vanity Fair was a head scratcher for many political pundits: Why would Lewinsky speak now? While it's about time Lewinsky buried the blue dress, so to speak, the timing of her essay was suspect.
Meanwhile, Clinton addressed the recent essay, bluntly stating that she has "moved on."
Her People Magazine Cover... Again, June 2014
This month, Clinton landed her 16th cover of People, and it's anything but discreet — just on the cover alone, there are references to the White House and the presidency. It's also Clinton's first cover since she 2000, the year she was elected to the U.S. Senate.
Clinton said in the interview:
I know I have a decision to make. But part of what I've been thinking about, is everything I'm interested in and everything I enjoy doing – and with the extra added joy of "I'm about to become a grandmother," I want to live in the moment. At the same time I am concerned about what I see happening in the country and in the world.
So... what's your next moment, Hillary?