Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Friday she'll start thinking "seriously" about a White House run sometime next year.
"I will think about it because it's something on a lot of people's minds," she told a group of business and political leaders on Long Island, Newsday reported
. And it's on my mind as well."
The former first lady said she'll weigh her options regarding a second presidential campaign — she lost her primary bid in 2008 against Barack Obama — based on whether she feels tough issues like education, housing and healthcare can be solved.
"I am not going to begin to think seriously about it until sometime next year," she said, adding the constant speculation on 2016 presidential candidates is distraction and "bad for the country . . . People have been elected to do a job now."
Jay Jacobs, the former state Democratic Party chairman who is a Clinton supporter, told Politico
Clinton's ultimate decision on a run "is going to be not so much the issues of the campaign … but issues of how someone, anyone who’s elected, would govern in the future."
In her speech, blamed House Republicans for the four-day-old government shutdown, saying they wanted "to cause a crisis to bring attention to their priority. And their priority has been to defund and derail the Affordable Care Act."
Instead, she said, the GOP lawmakers ought to pass a temporary spending bill and then have "good-faith negotiations" with the White House about the healthcare law.
During the 1995-96 federal government shutdown, she said House Speaker Newt Gingrich was willing to negotiate with her husband, President Bill Clinton.
This shutdown, she said, may be more difficult to resolve because some House Republicans fear a backlash from the right.
Clinton also touched on the controversial Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attack on the American diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya, that ended in the death of four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens.
Clinton, who was Secretary of State when the attack occurred, called it "very difficult" to have American outposts in conflict areas without proper levels of security provided by the host government, and "no easy answers" in deciding to shut down missions based on security risks.
"We need to do a better job of evaluating all of the factors and making the best decision we can," Clinton said.
She and President Obama have come under withering criticism for initially pinning the blame for the attack on an anti-Islamic movie
— and for failing to provide adequate levels of diplomatic security.
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