Somebody may know if Hillary Rodham Clinton already has decided to run for president in 2016, but her husband says it's not him.
"We're a long way ahead," former President Bill Clinton told CNN's Fareed Zakaria
on Sunday, noting that polls showing that 70 percent of Democrats support her "doesn't mean much right now," given that the 2016 race is still so far off.
"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."
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The former secretary of state is keeping mum about her plans. She says in a new interview with New York Magazine
that she is wrestling with running for president but is "pragmatic and realistic" as she considers another potential White House bid.
Clinton said he believes his wife's political influence has grown over the years because "she served well as secretary of state, and because people across the political spectrum finally got to see her the way those of us who know her see her."
He said his wife made friends among Republicans and Democrats when she served as New York's first female U.S. senator. As secretary of state, he said, people saw in her that "what you see is what you get.
"She shows up for work every day, gets stuff done, and is very strong about it," he added.
Clinton said he doesn't know if his daughter Chelsea, who said last month she wouldn't rule out a political career, will end up running for public office. But he said he won't discourage her if she leans in that direction, Politico reports
"If there ever came a time when she thought she could make a unique contribution, she would consider running," he said.
A political life is not easy, but it's a "noble calling," Clinton said.
"Politics is like pro football. It's a contact sport," he told Zakaria. "If you don't want to get hit, you should stay on the sidelines.
"But you can't complain when you get into an arena where you know, particularly in the modern age, the power and influence — or it's widely diffuse, and there's so much static in the air it's hard to establish a common basis of just facts. But it's still an incredibly rewarding thing to do."
Either way, Clinton isn't worried about the Democratic Party's future, even though he gives Republicans credit for their determined approach to politics, The Hill reported
, citing the Zakaria interview.
"You've got to give it to the Republicans: They have a much more reliable media base and they just say 'no,'" Clinton said. "They know what they want. They want power to cut taxes, eliminate regulation, take government down except for what they like, and they can fill the atmosphere with a lot of static."
"It's a little tougher for [Democrats]," he said. "But I feel pretty good about where we are and where we're going. Demographically, the country is moving toward not liberal but communitarian solutions. We're all in this together solution."
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