Former President Bill Clinton spoke to NBC News Chief Medical Editor Nancy Snyderman at the Clinton Foundation’s annual Health Matters conference. Inevitably, the conversation took a turn for what’s in store for Hillary Clinton when she resigns from her post as Secretary of State. If Clinton’s recent hospitalization took you by surprise, there’s a reason. Her husband could think of only one previous occurrence: when their daughter Chelsea was born.
So for the former president said he has confidence that she’ll recover completely. In fact, he predicts she’ll outlive him, and many of the rest of us too. “She’s always been very, very healthy and she has very low blood pressure, very low standing heartbeat. I tell her that, you know, she’s still got time to have three more husbands after me,” he said on Tuesday. “I think she’ll live to be 120.”
He sees himself as First Husband–but not necessarily because Hillary will be president. “I always know that she’s thinking about that whenever I’m, you know, stubborn about something, in her constant quest at my self-improvement. She refers to me as her ‘first husband’. Because I told her once she’s going to live to be 120 and have time for plenty more.”
As for whether she will throw her hat into the ring come 2016, the former president deferred to his wife. “My advice is that she should rest up and decide what she wants to do with the rest of her life. And whether she thinks this is the right thing for her and for America and for the world. And if she does, she should do it, and if she doesn’t, she shouldn’t,” he says.
It seems like more than a power nap might be in order after the past four years. According to the State Dept., Clinton has clocked over 2,000 hours of travel time as Secretary of State, spread out over 401 days. Secretary Clinton has covered 956,733 miles during her stint. On the plus side, an aide tells The New York Times that his boss has been able to sleep through many of those miles. “We’ll get on a plane somewhere and land to refuel, fly another seven hours, land and refuel and you won’t even see her. It’s possible we left her behind and we don’t know it,” says Phillippe Reines, Clinton’s chief spokesman.
It’s far too early for 2016 presidential polling to mean much, but a recent survey from Public Policy Polling shows Clinton dominating among a group of nine other potential contenders for the Democratic nomination, with 57% saying Clinton would get their support. “She’s the most gifted public servant I’ve ever known–and whatever she decides to do is fine with me,” he said last night.
Take a look at the Hardball Sideshow for more.