2016: Hillary Clinton thinking about presidential run
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (CNN) -- Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton divulged politics' worst-kept secret on Tuesday - she's thinking about running for president.
"I am thinking about it," Clinton said in response to question about the 2016 presidential election. "But I am going to continue to think about it for a while."
While the comment is far from surprising " Clinton leads most 2016 polls, is the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination and has a cadre of former advisers orchestrating a shadow campaign for her possible run " it's rare that the former first lady bluntly acknowledges considering a presidential bid.
In January, Clinton told an audience in New Orleans that she was "not thinking about" 2016 and was trying to get other people not to think about it.
"I will think about it in the future sometime, but right now let's think about what we have to do to continue building on our success," she said at the January event.
Last month she told an audience in Arizona that she was "obviously thinking about all kinds of decisions."
During The Marketing Nation Summit in San Francisco, the first stop on a three-state West Coast swing, Clinton said that the reason she is still thinking about it is because she is enjoying her life right now.
"I am not going to make a decision for a while because, you know, I am actually enjoying my life," she said." I am actually having fun doing ordinary things like seeing my friends and going on long walks and playing with our dogs At the end of the day, it is what really gives joy and meaning to your life."
Clinton acknowledged she sidestepped Marketo CEO Phil Fernandez's question, something she had done many times before.
"I danced around that pretty well, right," she said.
While Tuesday's admission is one of the first times Clinton has publicly acknowledged she is thinking about running for president, her hesitance has not stopped a cadre of former advisers and close confidants from organizing a shadow campaign for her prospective run.
There are over a handful of groups now in Washington that are urging the former secretary of state to run, including Super PACs Correct the Record, American Bridge and Ready for Hillary " all of whom have longtime Clinton advisers in key positions.
Clinton's speech is being put on by Marketo, a company that makes software for marketing departments in all kinds of companies. The conference of around 5,000 people costs attendees upwards of $1,195 to attend.
During the question and answer session, Clinton also seemed to fret about the state of electoral politics in the United States, especially the length in time it takes to campaign for president.
"I wish that our country had the limited campaign period that other democracies have," Clinton said, referring to countries that only allow campaigning a few months before an election. "It is not a marathon, it is a sprint."
As has been the case with more recent Clinton events, the former first lady waded into domestic and international politics when she was asked about immigration, Russia's annexation of Crimea and the state of women in the workplace.
The former secretary of state continued her tough talk on Russian President Vladimir Putin, calling him "a tough guy with a thin skin" and warned that the Russian leader will "go as far as he can go" in Ukraine.
Russia warned Tuesday that any use of force in Ukraine's eastern region could lead to civil war, as Kiev seeks to regain control after pro-Moscow uprisings in three cities. These threats come after Russia annexed Crimea last month, a previously autonomous region of Ukraine with heavy Russian influences.
Clinton, who dealt with Putin on many occasions as secretary of state, said that she didn't feel "Putin will be satisfied with Crimea if he has any other excuse to go into Eastern and Southern Ukraine."
The former senator was also asked about immigration reform, where she praised comprehensive immigration reform efforts and said she was "very sorry" that a bipartisan effort for reform that passed the Senate was not taken up in the House.
Clinton also backed increasing the number of H-1B visas issued by the United States. The visas, which allow U.S. employers to temporarily hire foreign workers, are an important issue in the San Francisco area, where Clinton was speaking. Many tech firms want to bring in high-skilled workers and engineers from other countries but have found it difficult because of the number of H-1B visas issued by the United States.
In closing the event, Clinton blended her answers on immigration and Russia. After being thanked by Fernandez for talking about visas and Putin, Clinton joked, "Don't give him an H-1B."