Press Centre

Hillary Clinton on This Morning

Published: Fri 04 Jul 2014

Hillary Clinton on running for Presidency: "I have to decide that it is the right thing for me and it is the right thing for my country at this time"
On her marriage to Bill: "I knew he was trouble from the moment I met him"
On meeting Obama post losing out in the US Primaries: "It was like an awkward first date"
During an interview on today's This Morning programme on ITV, Hillary Clinton explained to hosts Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford how she would normally celebrate Independence day. Hillary said, "We would be at home, we’d probably go to a barbecue or a picnic, we’d go see the fireworks, that’s what we always do and I do miss it but I’m happy to be here” Before praising the British weather.
On her new book, Hard Choices, Hillary expressed some of the hard choices she has had to face during her personal and professional life. She said "Obviously to get married, to stay married, to take care of my ageing mother, she lived with us for the last years of her life. To worry about my child and now my future grandchild... I don’t know any woman who doesn’t worry about the hard choices we face and it is always a challenge to try to make sure that you’re being responsible in making those choices and I respect people who make responsible choices but that doesn’t mean they’re less hard it just means they come at different points in your life and you have to be ready for them.”
Explaining how she balances personal choices and choices up for scrutiny on the world stage, Hillary explained, “I was in a front row seat helping to make some of the hardest choices during the four years I served as Secretary of State. How do you gather information, how do you know it’s right, who can you trust? … You have to make these decisions and you know that you’re an imperfect person and you know that you have imperfect information and you know that no matter what you decide there will be consequences, some of them unintended.”
When asked if she is able to sleep at night when juggling all these things, Hillary admitted, “Yes I can, because what I try to do during the day, which is always very intense and active for me, is to do the best I can… Leaders are like citizens, we have our strengths and we have our weaknesses and I think in a democracy what is so great about our system of government is we pick among the citizenry, there is no ordained leader… each of us who’s given a responsibility has to do the best we can. I fault people who don’t try to do the best they can. I believe that someone in whatever position whatever job, if you’re doing the best you can… I give you my respect.”
Following her confession of enjoying book tours - and Eamonn requesting her to sign his copy - Hillary revealed how enjoyable she found writing the book and the reasons for doing it and what people will learn from it. She said, “I hope that they will see that the curtain has been pulled back on how you make these hard choices or at least how we made them… I have a whole chapter on women’s rights and gay rights because for me, that’s unfinished business, I think we have to do more to make sure every woman and girl has a chance to fully participate and I think we have to end discrimination and other forms of abuse against gay people. I want people to know what my values were, what the United States was doing, what we stand for and see whether there’s any points of identification.”
When pushed on the big question of running for President in 2016, Hillary looked into Eamonn eyes and confessed, "I don’t know. And the reason I don’t know is because I know a lot about the job. I have had the most extraordinary front row seat in the administration of my husband obviously. After 9/11 I had to work very closely with President Bush because I was a Senator from New York, I had to deal with the horror of our being attacked and then serving as a partner and friend to President Obama. It is such an overwhelming job.”
Hillary added, "We have a lot of very capable people, I am absolutely confident that we have in my party, the democratic party, a number of people who are governors, senators, others who could compete and be successful. I have to decide that it’s the right thing for me and it’s the right thing for my country at this time. I am going to become a grandmother, to me, that’s really exciting… I want to fully participate in that experience, I don’t want to be looking over the shoulder of my new grandchild thinking ‘what am I going to be doing next year’ I want to be really focused on what’s important in the here and now.”
On working mother guilt and whether she feels it, Hillary admitted, "I‘m very proud of my daughter and very grateful that I’m her mother but I also invested a lot of time and effort into being the best mother I could be, not perfect by any means, but the best that I could be and I want to do the same for my grandchild and I really feel at the end of the day the most important responsibility that any parent has is to do that.”
Recalling the campaign against Obama and their first meeting post his win, Hillary confessed, "We knew each other before that campaign, and it was a very hard fought campaign. Everything you saw was exactly what was going on."
She added, "We met - it was like an awkward first date between teenagers, just the two of us one on one - after the end of the primaries and we sat and talked and cleared the air between us. We had a glass of wine. Did I swear? Not in that meeting! But what I told him was exactly how I felt. It had been hard fought. He won, I lost. And I was going to do everything I could to get him elected President. He asked for my help, he asked for Bill's help... and we did more than a hundred events to try to help him and we were thrilled and relieved that he won."
Before continuing, "And there were rumours that he might offer me something but I really didn't not believe them because there are always rumours... but I went to see him, he asked me to be his secretary of state. And I said no! I also said no to my husband the first two times when he asked me to marry him, so this is like a pattern that I have with these charismatic men!"
On not taking Bill's name when she first got married, Hillary explained, "He didn't mind at all, it was everyone else that minded. And that's why I became Hillary Rodham Clinton as that covered every ones concerns. But it is a right, it's a choice... and it's one of the choices a woman should make. But when I made the decision to become Hillary Rodham Clinton, I felt very comfortable with that."
Opening up about standing by her husband during difficult times with indiscretions, Hillary revealed, "It is such an individual choice and I have lived long enough to have had close friends go through similar situations. Some have made the choice to continue the relationship and some not to, for me, it was a very hard choice but the right choice to choose forgiveness and to continue what had become such a central part of our lives. I'm very grateful that that was the decision I made, but I'm also very respectful when others make a different decision."
She added, "I believe I would have made exactly the same decision if we had of been Mr and Mrs Smith, but when you're in public and people are throwing their views at you, you really have to be very conscious of listening to your own heart and not being pushed or pulled prematurely in one direction or another... and that was challenging."
When Eamonn said 'as they say in Ireland, do you still fancy him?' Hillary replied, "Yes. Because I knew he was trouble from the moment I met him! That's why I turned him down twice when he asked me to marry him! He is an extraordinary combination of intelligence and charisma, but also of empathy and kindness and sensitivity...he was raised to really try and put himself in another person's shoes, so he's always very aware of what others are going through and I find him incredibly fanciable!"
On what her husband feels about her decision to stand for Presidency or not, Hillary said, "He says very clearly that he will support whatever I decide and that's the right attitude. He knew from a very young age that he knew he wanted to run for public office and maybe some day run for president... but I never thought that. It was not something that I grew up believing. So he's a great guide as he's been through it and understands the various difficulties of the decision making."