WASHINGTON (CBS DC/AP) — Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says she won’t make a decision about whether she will run for president until next year.
“I haven’t made up my mind,” Clinton told ABC News’ Barbara Walters for “The 10 Most Fascinating People of 2013” in which the former first lady was named the “Most Fascinating Person of 2013.” “Obviously, I will look carefully at what I think I can do and make that decision sometime next year.”
Clinton said that the final decision about running or not will be a difficult one.
“It’s such a difficult decision, and it’s one that I’m not going to rush into … and I don’t think we should be looking at the next election,” Clinton told Walters. “I think we should be looking at the work that we have today. Our unemployment rate is too high. We have people getting kicked off food stamps who are in terrible economic straits. Small business is not getting credit, I could go on and on, so I think we ought to pay attention to what’s happening right now.”
Several polls have Clinton as the odds-on favorite to win the Democrat Party’s nomination if she decides to run, but that hasn’t stopped other potential contenders from making stops in Iowa.
Former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer, who served as governor from 2005 through early 2013, spoke in front of about 100 people at an event hosted by a liberal advocacy group Wednesday night. While the popular, outspoken ex-governor has been mentioned as a possible presidential candidate, he did not directly mention the 2016 election during his remarks, though he did express concerns about further military conflict in the Middle East.
“The reason I’m in Iowa in part is because I’m asking you to pick the leaders that are going to say we’re not going to make those mistakes,” Schweitzer said during the keynote address at the 2013 Progress Iowa Holiday Party.
After his speech. Schweitzer auctioned off his bolo tie, belt buckle and a children’s book about his dog to raise nearly $800 for the group.
Iowa is expected to be the leadoff nominating caucuses ahead of the 2016 presidential election.
Schweitzer told The Associated Press in a phone interview this week that he has not made any decisions about the race.
“That’s a long ways out. I’ve got a lot of things I’m doing. I’m enjoying being away from politics for a little while,” said Schweitzer, 58.
But he noted that his rural roots may appeal to Iowa voters: “If I did run for president, I’d be the first one who came to Iowa who could tell you how many kernels of corn to plant per acre.”
Iowa Democrats said that even if Clinton runs, voters will want to consider their options, possibly providing an opening for someone like Schweitzer, who has little name recognition in the state.
“Secretary Clinton is obviously very popular among Iowa Democrats. But at the same time, Iowa Democrats I can’t imagine are looking for a coronation,” Democratic political consultant Jeff Link said.
Vice President Joe Biden visited Iowa in September, and a number of potential Republican presidential candidates have held events here this year.
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