Hillary Clinton spoke Thursday about her “hypothetical” desire to see a woman president “in my lifetime,” the latest scrap of data fueling the will-she-run-in-2016 chatter about the former senator and secretary of state.
Clinton, whose language is always parsed for changes from speech to speech, said at a Canadian speech, video of which was posted on YouTube, that such an election would be important for the country.
“Let me say this, hypothetically speaking, I really do hope that we have a woman president in my lifetime,” Clinton said in Toronto, before a women-centered event Thursday. “And whether it’s next time or the next time after that, it really depends on women stepping up and subjecting themselves to the political process, which is very difficult.”
She added that President Barack Obama’s election was historic, and said, “I hope that we will see a woman elected because I think it would send exactly the right historic signal to girls, women as well as boys and men. And I will certainly vote for the right woman to be president.”
It was a crowd that was receptive to such a message, even if she gave no hint — beyond the playful “hypothetical” and “right woman” remarks — that she was talking about herself.
Friends and supporters of Clinton say she is genuinely undecided about whether to run again, even if some of the moves she is making now, immersing herself in domestic policy on issues affecting women and children that have been the core of her life’s work, would certainly be helpful if she launches another national campaign.
Yet that argument — the historic nature of a female president, combined with a pent-up desire among women voters to break that barrier — is the one most often espoused by Clinton backers.
Clinton spoke at the “Unique Lives and Experiences” conference. She was interviewed by the head of a non-profit helping kids in war-torn areas.
“I think there is still truth to that, so you have to step up, you have to dare to compete, you have to get into the process and then the country, our country, has to take that leap of faith,” Clinton said, invoking fellow former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt, as she often has over the years.