June 9, 2014 -- In an exclusive interview ahead of Tuesday’s release of her new memoir “Hard Choices,” Hillary Clinton opened up about her failed 2008 presidential bid and told ABC’s Diane Sawyer that should she run again in 2016, she’d work as hard as an “underdog.”
“If I decide to pursue it, I would be … working hard as any underdog or any newcomer,” the former secretary of state told Sawyer, when asked if the White House was hers to lose. “I don’t want to take anything for granted if I decide to do it.”
Clinton also dismissed the notion that there have been too many “Clintons and Bushes” in the White House.
“This is a democracy,” she said. “People get to choose their leaders.”
Lessons From 2008
In the interview, Hillary Clinton opened about the huge “disappointment” she felt after losing the 2008 presidential nomination to Barack Obama – and the lessons she learned from the experience.
“It was personally painful,” Clinton recalled. “My mother’s crying, and my husband’s looking very sad, and my daughter’s looking very sad.”
“I felt like I had let people down,” she added.
Looking back, Clinton also said her candidacy came with its own unique challenges: “I don’t think I ever said, ‘Yes, you—you may have known me for eight years. But I don’t take anything for granted. I have to earn your support.’”
But ultimately Clinton told Sawyer what she learned from 2008 was not to care so much about what people say.
“When you’re in the spotlight as a woman, you know you’re being judged constantly. I mean it’s never-ending,” Clinton said, describing how people on both sides will fixate on what she’s wearing or saying.
“You natural tendency is – how do you bring people together so that you can better communicate?” Clinton said. “I’m done that that. I mean, I’m just done.”
Freezing The Field?
A new ABC News-Washington Post poll released Sunday gives Clinton a commanding lead in the 2016 presidential race – with 69 percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents supporting her for the party’s nomination.
But in the ABC News interview Clinton told Sawyer she doesn’t think that her deliberations are hurting the party or affecting other potential candidates. “People can do whatever they choose to do on whatever timetable they decide,” she said.
Even so, Clinton says she has yet to decide whether she’ll run and “probably likely” won’t do so until next year.
Reasons Not To Run
Clinton said the biggest reason not to run 2016 is that she’s simply enjoying her life out of public office.
“I really like my life, I like what I’m doing,” Clinton told Sawyer. “I’m thrilled about becoming a grandmother in the fall. I have lots of hopes – for what that means – to me and my family.”
When asked by Sawyer if she could be both a president and a grandmother, Clinton said: “I want to know how I feel. I mean, we have one life to live. This is -- this is it. It’s not a dress rehearsal.”