Hillary Clinton: 'You have to be a little bit crazy to run for president'

Dylan Stableford, Yahoo News
Yahoo News
Clinton reacts to a question as she discusses her new book "Hard Choices" at George Washington University in Washington
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Hillary Clinton, who lost in the 2008 Democratic primary to eventual President Barack Obama, insists she hasn't decided whether she'll seek the nomination again in 2016.

Why?

“Well, you have to be a little bit crazy to run for president, let me just put it like that,” Clinton said during an interview on PBS' "NewsHour" on Wednesday. “You have to be so totally immersed and so convinced that you can bring something to that office.”

The former secretary of state, on a nationwide book tour for "Hard Choices," says she is being inspired by Americans she's meeting on the road.

“I’ve had people come through the line who tell me their stories about losing their job, about what’s happened since they got health care that has helped them," Clinton said. "So I know that my life of service is the biggest reason why I would consider doing this, because I would want to continue serving. But I also know that it’s a very hard job, and it’s a job that, you know, you have to be totally consumed by, and that’s kind of the definition of being a little bit crazy, I think.”

 

Clinton says she knows she'll be opening herself up to scrutiny about the attack on a U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya, her health and her life in the White House as the former first lady if she chooses to run. Her book tour has given her a preview of that.

In an interview with ABC earlier this month, Clinton made what some called the first error of the 2016 election cycle by saying she and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, were "dead broke" when they left the White House.

In her interview with PBS, Clinton acknowledged she was "inartful" in her word choice.

“Well, I shouldn’t have said the five or so words that I said, but my inartful use of those few words doesn’t change who I am, what I’ve stood for my entire life, what I stand for today," she said. “Bill and I have had terrific opportunities. Both of us, you know, have worked hard, but we’ve been grateful for everything that we’ve been able to achieve, and sadly that’s just not true for most Americans today."

On Tuesday, Bill Clinton defended his wife.

"It is factually true that we were several million dollars in debt,” he said at a Clinton Global Initiative conference in Denver. “Everybody now assumes that what happened in the intervening years was automatic — I’m shocked that it’s happened. I’m shocked that people still want me to come give talks.”

Hillary, he added, is “not out of touch, and she advocated and worked as a senator for things that were good for ordinary people. And before that all her life — I remember when we were in law school, she was out trying to get legal assistance for poor people. I remember she was working on, trying to — believing in paid leave for pregnant mothers in the 1970s.”

The former first lady told PBS she appreciated him standing up for her, but it was unnecessary.

“My husband was very sweet today,” she said, “but I don’t need anybody to defend my record. I think my record speaks for itself.”

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