Hillary Clinton is 2013’s ‘most fascinating’ person of the year.
“I haven’t made up my mind,” Clinton said of her presidential aspirations. “Obviously, I will look carefully at what I think I can do and make that decision sometime next year.”
Clinton has already snagged some high profile endorsements—including Sen. Chuck Schumer (“run, Hillary, run!”) and Sen. Claire McCaskill—and electrified her supporters, who have formed a pro-Clinton super PAC, Ready for Hillary.
“And I don’t think we should be looking at the next election,” she added. “I think we should be looking at the work that we have today. Our unemployment rate is too high. We have people getting kicked off food stamps who are in terrible economic straits. Small business is not getting credit, I could go on and on, so I think we ought to pay attention to what’s happening right now.”
But she certainly makes a good case for herself—as a woman and as a passionate public servant.
“If I look at my friends and former colleagues who are now in the Senate, it was the women senators on both sides of the aisle who finally broke the fever over the government shutdown and the debt limit debate. They have been working across party lines and we need more of that,” she remarked.
Walters encouraged her to run and Clinton laughed it off, saying that progress and public service are just her passions.
“This is what gets me up in the morning. I care so much about what will happen to this country because I’m a beneficiary of all the sacrifice that my parents’ generation and generation before me,” she said. “I sure don’t want to be part of a generation that sees America’s dream be depreciated when I don’t think that is necessary. There is so much more we can do.”
No one knows the burdens of campaigning better than Hillary, though—in addition to her husband’s two presidential campaigns, Clinton ran in 2008 only to be defeated by then Sen. Barack Obama—and it’s clear she’s enjoying the time off.
“It’s such a difficult decision, and it’s one that I’m not going to rush into,” Clinton told Walters. This year is the first time in a decade where neither she nor husband Bill are in public office—and it’s a “relief,” she said.
“I knew that I wanted to get off this high wire that I had been on for so long,” she said. “To spend time just doing things that give us a lot of joy, playing with our dogs, going to movies, just hanging out.”
And what does Bill think?
“He wants me to do what I think is right,” she said.
Walters then asked what we’d call Bill if he were to reenter the White House, this time in a secondary role.
“I have no idea,” Clinton said with a laugh. “First mate, I don’t know.”