Hillary Clinton Still Says She Doesn’t Plan On Running In 2016

With no more than a month or so left in her tenure at Foggy Bottom, Hillary Clinton is once again batting down the idea of running for President again:

When Hillary Rodham Clinton steps down from her post as secretary of state as expected early next year her political career will have spanned over two decades. ABC’s Barbara Walters sat down with the secretary to discuss just what makes the secretary so fascinating to so many people around the world, and what the cultural and political icon finds fascinating herself.

Clinton is by far the most popular official in the Obama administration, and is already the leading candidate should she choose to run for president again in 2016. So is this really goodbye for the former first lady, senator and secretary of state? Or will Hillary Clinton, who recently turned 65 years old, re-invent herself once again?

Clinton said that while “all doors are open” for her future, one thing is for certain: She is definitely leaving the cabinet as soon as a new secretary is sworn in and a smooth transition occurs.

It sounds so simple, but I’ve been, as you know, at the highest levels of American and now international activities for twenty years, and I just thought it was time to take a step off… maybe do some reading and writing and speaking and teaching,” said Clinton.

She told Walters that she doesn’t have a plan for what she’ll do immediately after leaving political life but that she wants to continue contributing to society in some way, perhaps in philanthropy or academia. But when pressed on whether that her future includes a widely-speculated 2016 run for president, Clinton maintains that she still does not plan to run.

“I’ve said I really don’t believe that that’s something I will do again,” she said. “I am so grateful I had the experience of doing it before.”

When pressed, however, the secretary does admit that if she did choose to run she would not be concerned about her age. Recently having turned 65, Clinton would be 77 years old if she were to be in office for two terms.

“I am, thankfully, knock on wood, not only healthy, but have incredible stamina and energy,” she said. “I just want to see what else is out there. I’ve been doing, you know, this, this incredibly important and, and satisfying work here in Washington, as I say, for twenty years, I want to get out and spend some time looking at what else I can do to contribute.”

Make of that what you will. Frankly, I think Clinton is at least leaving the option of running in four years open for now.  Whether she actually does depends on what happens between now and then, both to her and to the country.

FILED UNDER: 2016 Election, US Politics, , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Tsar Nicholas says:

    I doubt it’ll have much if anything to do with that happens to “the country.” The country is headed towards the crapper. But that’s no bar to Hillary being elected president. The public truly has been dumbed down nearly to a state of catatonia, and politics by pure racial identity now is so entrenched it’s irreversible. Plus in a general election Hillary would have the national mass media carrying her water for her.

    I still say Deval Patrick poses the most grave risk to Hillary’s ambitions. Hillary-Patrick both literally and figuratively would look a lot like Hillary-Obama.

    In any case, three-plus years is an eternity in politics, so I guess we’ll have to wait and see. Could be Hillary basically unopposed. Could be deja vu all over again with Hillary-Patrick. Could be a New York state of mind, with Hillary, Cuomo and Schumer all running. Maybe those three plus Patrick. That would be good news for Patrick, given in that event that the white vote would be split.

    Or maybe Hillary doesn’t run. Hard to believe she won’t, but stranger things have happened.

  2. Barfour says:

    Hilary Clinton will run for president in 2016. This is a woman whose ambition in life is to be President of the United States. I find it hard to believe that she have given up that ambition. What could possibly stop her from running is health reasons or if democrats are unpopular by 2016. In 2008, there was only one man who could stop her from winning the presidency and she happen to ran into him. That is unlikely to happen again. Hilary Clinton will most likely be the next President of the United States.

    I wonder how republicans will react to someone they absolutely loathe succeeding another person they loathe as president. Maybe that’s the medication they need to bring back their sanity.

  3. James in LA says:

    @Tsar Nicholas: The country is headed towards the crapper.

    Nice rapture goggles. Perhaps it is only YOUR world that is ending. Perhaps it should. The rest of us will be just fine without you.

  4. Tony W says:

    @Tsar Nicholas:

    politics by pure racial identity

    Hillary-Patrick both literally and figuratively would look a lot like Hillary-Obama

    Who’s obsessed with racial politics again?

  5. stonetools says:

    I’m going to take Hilary at her word and believe that she is not running. Its really time to stop obsessing about 2016. For one thing, there is an important election in 2014.

  6. An Interested Party says:

    The country is headed towards the crapper.

    Oh if only more Republicans were elected last month, particularly as president, then everything would be just fine…

    The public truly has been dumbed down nearly to a state of catatonia…

    Funny you should type that, as you often act very dumb regarding the identity of many of the people you comment on…

    …and politics by pure racial identity now is so entrenched it’s irreversible.

    Perhaps if the GOP wasn’t so hostile towards minorities, more of them would vote for Republicans…

    Plus in a general election Hillary would have the national mass media carrying her water for her.

    Ahh of course any of your comments wouldn’t be complete without the obligatory victimization…

  7. Kylopod says:

    When it comes to dramatic turnarounds of one’s stated intention as to whether to run for president in the next race, it’s hard to beat the man who currently occupies the office:

    “Obama says he is ‘absolutely positive’ he will not run for president in 2008.” — USA Today, Jul. 24, 2005.

    There’s a tradition of future presidential candidates initially denying any intention to run. (I suspect it’s a holdover from the early days of the Republic when candidates acted like they had no interest in the office up to the day they won, when they would claim to be accepting the position only out of a sense of civic duty.) But usually they leave some wiggle room. Obama proved even that wasn’t necessary.

    So I think we can agree that Hillary’s words, which sound considerably less definite than Obama’s in 2005, don’t tell us much if anything about whether she will seek the 2016 nomination. Maybe she really doesn’t want to run (which I doubt) or she’s not sure (quite possible) or it’s exactly what she wants to do (also possible). Identifying by that first category is virtually a default position for politicians in the second and third category.