Clinton hints she's ready for 'office without corners'

2014-07-16 19:12
Former Secretary of State Hillary  Clinton addresses the American Jewish Committee (AJC) Global Forum closing plenary in Washington. (Cliff Owen, AP)

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton addresses the American Jewish Committee (AJC) Global Forum closing plenary in Washington. (Cliff Owen, AP)

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New York - Hillary Clinton playfully dodged a barrage of questions about her presidential ambitions, but opened the door a little wider to a future White House run.

With a nod and a wink, the former secretary of state played along with television host Jon Stewart's efforts to get her to declare her candidacy - a scoop he had promised viewers during the opening minutes of his late night comedy show.

Clinton, however, failed to take the bait.

"I was going to make an announcement, but you kind of spoiled it for me," she joked, to applause and laughter from the audience during her outing late on Tuesday on The Daily Show.

"The Big Spoiler. I'm just going to have to reconsider where I go do it," she jibed.

During the interview, she artfully eluded more traps meant to trick her into declaring her candidacy, including a career "aptitude test" administered by Stewart to help determine "if you even want to do this job".

First question: Whether the former first lady preferred commuting, or working from a home office?

"You know, I've spent so many years commuting, I'd kind of prefer a home office," Clinton said brightly. "That works."

"Do you have a favourite shape for that home office? Would you like it to have corners? Would you like it not to have corners?" Stewart asked in his followup - a sly reference to the Oval Office where the president carries out a great deal of his daily duties.

"You know, I think that the world is so complicated, the fewer corners that you can have, the better," was Clinton's rejoinder, to thunderous applause and cheers from the audience.

Asked whether she preferred "to sit in traffic, or cause it", Clinton modestly said that she disliked putting members of the public through the inconvenience of official motorcades that can leave motorists idling at Washington intersections for several minutes.

"I really hate to cause traffic, and sometimes I do," said Clinton, who said that "I sometimes have to scrounch down" to remain out of the public view in her security detailed car, rather than inconvenience the public while on the road.

Finally, Stewart wanted to know, does Hillary Clinton enjoy the "constant, non-stop criticism" endured by the occupant of the White House?

"Enjoy is probably the wrong word. Expect. Survive. Live through," Clinton replied, smiling broadly.

"It just comes with the territory."

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