Inside Hillary Clinton's Decision to Run: 'We Need to Break Down the Highest, Hardest Glass Ceiling'
The former secretary of state, 67, announced that she's running for president
Hillary Clinton‘s announcement that she is running for president may not come as a surprise to most Americans, particularly because she’s long been tipped as the Democratic front-runner for the 2016 election.
Before this weekend, the former secretary of state had avoided stating directly if she was considering getting back on the campaign trail again (she first ran during the 2008 election), but in a wide-ranging interview with PEOPLE back in 2014, the politician, 67, dropped hints about her political motivations.
“I am very happy doing what I’m doing right now; at the same time, I am concerned about what I see happening in the country and in the world,” Clinton said when asked about the urge to run one year after she left her position in President Barack Obama’s cabinet. “I’m sure I will think more about what role I can – or, in my mind, should – play and I’ll reach a decision [about running].”
The former first lady also touched on the public support she had received about running, even though she hadn’t confirmed that she would throw her hat back into the ring.
“I wouldn’t describe it as pressure. I do feel it because it is very often what people say to me and how they express their encouragement for me to take the plunge and run again. And I am deeply touched by that, because for a lot of people who come up to me on the street or in a restaurant or in any other setting, it’s so heartfelt.”
As for what forms her political convictions, Clinton said she was motivated by the world events that have unfolded around her.
“I know I have a decision to make,” she said at the time. “But part of what I’ve been thinking about is everything I’m interested in and everything I enjoy doing – and with the extra added joy of ‘I’m about to become a grandmother,’ I want to live in the moment. At the same time I am concerned about what I see happening in the country and in the world.”
“We have to revitalize our political decision-making,” Clinton continued, “and I think if we can begin to try to do that by really focusing on what works and how we can modernize our economy so it includes more people and how we can make sure young people can afford to go to college and not leave with so much debt that they are paralyzed, and on and on.”
She added, “Then I think we can begin to reconstruct a vision of the American Dream.
“Where you had to have a responsive, effective government, you had to have an effective, competitive economy, and you had to have a space where everything else that mattered in life took place – families, religion, civil society and the like,” she continued.
Thanks to Twitter, Clinton has made sure to add her voice to the cultural and political discussion – and it might give insight into her platform as she prepares for the primaries. On April 8, she shared her thoughts on the murder of Walter Scott by a South Carolina police officer.
“Praying for #WalterScott’s family,” she wrote. “Heartbreaking and too familiar. We can do better – rebuild trust, reform justice system, respect all lives.”
On March 26, she weighed in on Indiana’s controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which would allow businesses to refuse service to the LGBTQ community.
“Sad this new Indiana law can happen in America today. We shouldn’t discriminate against people because of who they love,” she Tweeted.
Being in the political spotlight has made Clinton extremely aware of the fact that many believe she has a chance of becoming the first female president of the United States.
“I’m certainly in the camp that says we need to break down that highest, hardest glass ceiling in American politics,” she said. “I think we’ve seen with President Obama’s election how powerful a message it can be to have elected the first African-American president. It sends a really important message to children, to young people everywhere, and I think that the same is true when it comes to women.”
“To have a woman president is something I clearly support and would love to see happen, but I’ll just have to make my own decision about what I think is right for me to do.”
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