Clinton wrestling with presidential race decision

Hillary Clinton missed out on her party's nomination in 2008. Picture: AP
Hillary Clinton missed out on her party's nomination in 2008. Picture: AP
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Hillary Clinton has acknowledged that she is wrestling with the decision over whether to run for the US presidency in 2016, and is well aware of the “political and governmental challenges” she would face if she wins.

The former US secretary of state and first lady said in an interview with New York magazine that she has not decided if she will run and is trying to be “both pragmatic and realistic.”

“I’m not in any hurry,” Mrs Clinton told the magazine in an article yesterday. “I think it’s a serious decision, not to be made lightly, but it’s also not one that has to be made soon.”

Mrs Clinton, who also served as a US senator for New York, ran for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008 but lost to Barack Obama.

“I think I have a pretty good idea of the political and governmental challenges that are facing our leaders,” she said.

“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.”

As she considers her 2016 prospects, Mrs Clinton said, “I will just continue to weigh what the factors are that would influence me making a decision one way or the other.”

Some of her confidants who spoke with the magazine are far less circumspect than she is about a presidential run.

“She’s running but she doesn’t know it yet,” one person told New York, which described Mrs Clinton as America’s most popular Democrat.

“It’s just like a force of history. It’s inexorable, it’s gravitational. I think she actually believes she has more say in it than she actually does.”

One of Mrs Clinton’s old friends said: “She’s doing a very Clintonian thing. In her mind, she’s running for it and she’s also convinced herself she hasn’t made up her mind. She’s going to run for president. It’s a foregone conclusion.”

Since leaving the State Department in February, Mrs Clinton and her husband, former president Bill, have been spending far more time at home together.

“We have a great time,” she said. “We laugh at our dogs. We watch stupid movies. We take long walks. We go for a swim.”

Asked if her husband is nudging her toward a run, she said: “I don’t think even he is, you know, focused on that right now. Right now, we’re trying to just have the best time we can have doin’ what we’re doin’.”

Bill Clinton said his wife’s popularity stems from her successes with different people in government.

“She made a lot of friends in the Senate among Republicans as well as Democrats. People in New York liked her across the political spectrum,” he said in a CNN interview yesterday.

“But these polls don’t mean much now,” he said. “We’re a long way ahead. I think she would be the first to tell you that there is no such thing as a done deal, ever, by anybody. But I don’t know what she’s going to do.”

Mrs Clinton had been leading the race to be the Democratic candidate in 2008 before being overtaken by Obama.

Serving in his cabinet deepened her understanding of the problems a president faces, she said.

“I’ve had a unique, close, and personal front-row seat,” she said in the New York interview. “And I think these last four years have certainly deepened and broadened my understanding of the challenges and the opportunities that we face in the world today.”

She said she is enjoying the first time in decades that neither she nor her husband is either running for or serving in office.

“It feels great because I have been on this high wire for 20 years,” she said. “And I was really yearning to just have more control over my time and my life, spend a lot of that time with my family and my friends, do things that I find relaxing and enjoyable, and return to the work that I had done for most of my life.”