WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) — House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi believes 2016 will “absolutely” be the year for the first female president.

Speaking at the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University Tuesday, Pelosi said that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will be one of the most qualified people to ever get elected president.

“Hillary Clinton will go into the White House as one of the most qualified people to go into the White House,” Pelosi said.

The California Democrat touted Clinton’s tenure as first lady, senator and President Barack Obama’s secretary of state as credentials for making a good commander in chief.

“She knows the legislative branch. She knows the executive branch. She knows the world,” Pelosi said. “It’s a pretty exciting thing.”

Last Saturday, Clinton told a group of enthusiastic college students that she is “very much concerned about the direction of our country” but was still deciding whether to pursue another presidential campaign.

During a forum at the Clinton Global Initiative University, Clinton fielded a question from Vrinda Agrawal, a student at the University of California, Berkeley who asked, “If you don’t represent women in politics in America as a future president, who will?”

More than 1,000 students roared with approval and applauded while former President Bill Clinton smiled, whispered into TV host Jimmy Kimmel’s ear and clapped along.

The former first lady said she appreciated the sentiment but was still deciding.

“I am very much concerned about the direction of our country and it’s not just who runs for office but what they do when they get there and how we bring people together and particularly empower young people so we can tackle these hard decisions,” Clinton said.

Kimmel playfully interjected, “She wants an answer!” Clinton smiled and asked the woman to “give me your name and number.” The woman responded, “I will proudly run your campaign!”

Clinton said she was “obviously thinking about all kinds of decisions.”

While no 2016 presidential plans were disclosed, the Clinton talked about the importance of perseverance in life and politics. She said many people give up if they don’t succeed right away, but “that’s often the best time for what you can learn about yourself.”

She noted that former President Bill Clinton lost his first political race; she never expected to run for office and then won a Senate seat representing New York.

“But then I had a big loss which we all remember,” Clinton said. “You just have to decide what you really care about.”

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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