Here’s Hillary Clinton Dodging a Question About Running for Office … in the ‘80s

As first lady of Arkansas, Clinton was just as cagey as she is today.

Hillary Clinton is interviewed and photographed in Chicago on March 16, 1992, during the presidential campaign for her husband, Bill Clinton. Hillary Clinton served on Wal-Mart's board of directors for six years when her husband was governor of Arkansas, resigning in May 1992 two months after this photo was taken, and now is feeling political heat over her deep ties to Wal-Mart. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia, File)
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Emma Roller
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Emma Roller
June 26, 2014, 12:06 p.m.

Halfway in­to 2014, many polit­ic­al junkies are already weary of Hil­lary Clin­ton’s re­peated eva­sion of the ques­tion: Will she or won’t she run for pres­id­ent?

Turns out, Clin­ton has been dodging this type of ques­tion for more than 30 years.

The Wash­ing­ton Free Beacon has just re­leased the second batch of what it’s call­ing “The Hil­lary Tapes” — re­cord­ings of a 1983 in­ter­view between journ­al­ist Roy Reed and Clin­ton, who was then the first lady of Arkan­sas. The first in­stall­ment of “The Hil­lary Tapes” in­cluded a clip of Clin­ton talk­ing (some say flip­pantly) about de­fend­ing a rap­ist as his court-ap­poin­ted at­tor­ney.

In the most re­cent re­lease, Reed asks Clin­ton if she has her own as­pir­a­tions for high­er of­fice. It may well be the first time Clin­ton dodged such a ques­tion from a re­port­er:

When Reed asked Hil­lary Clin­ton if she ever thought about run­ning for pub­lic of­fice, she said, “No. But, I don’t think about the fu­ture much.”

“I’ve nev­er had any great game plan, or [thought], ‘Here’s where I’m gonna be in 5 years, 10 years’,” she said. “I’m not mo­tiv­ated that way. So no, I nev­er — I mean, people ask me that all the time.”

The in­ter­view also provides a glimpse in­to the first spec­u­la­tion about a Clin­ton White House:

“How would you feel about liv­ing in Wash­ing­ton?” asked Reed.

“I don’t know,” Hil­lary Clin­ton re­spon­ded. “I like Wash­ing­ton. I think Wash­ing­ton is an in­ter­est­ing city “¦ it’s not a place I’d prefer to live.”

“How about if a job opens up there?” Reed asked.

“It would de­pend on the job,” she replied.

Reed may have even been the first journ­al­ist to pre­dict a Clin­ton would be­come the first fe­male pres­id­ent — Chelsea Clin­ton, that is.

Reed said that he had ex­pec­ted Clin­ton to say she wanted her daugh­ter to be the first wo­man pres­id­ent. 

“It’s a hard thing to plan for,” Clin­ton answered. “A lot of luck, a lot of oth­er things may enter in.”

People likely won’t stop ask­ing Clin­ton if she’s run­ning for pres­id­ent un­til she fi­nally de­clares her can­did­acy, or it’s Novem­ber 8, 2016 — whichever comes first. But with all that prac­tice, it’s no won­der she’s an ex­pert at cir­cum­nav­ig­at­ing those ques­tions.

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