12:14 pm Jan. 29, 2013
Hillary Clinton can't escape the big question about 2016, even in a video teleconference with reporters and young people from around the world.
In one of her last acts as Secretary of State, Clinton hosted a "Global Townterview" at the Newseum in Washington on Tuesday morning, taking questions from satellite feeds in London, Lagos, Bogota, Beirut, New Delhi, and Tokyo.
Clinton ignored an early, passing reference to 2016, but couldn't ignore the question when one young woman from the London feed, who identified herself as German, asked Clinton when she'd make a decision about the race, saying her candidacy "would be a really important symbol" to women around the world.
Clinton laughed, and gave a slightly expanded riff on what has become her predictable answer to that kind of encouragement.
"I am not thinking about anything like that right now," she said. "I'm looking forward to finishing up on my tenure as Secretary of State and then catching up on about 20 years of sleep deprivation."
She mentioned that she had spoken to German chancellor Angela Merkel recently.
"I do want to see more women compete for the highest positions in their countries," she said. "I will do what I can, whether or not it's up to me to make a decision on my own future—right now I'm not inclined to do that—to make sure women will compete at the highest levels around the world."
"We have to break down these attitues that pigeonhole and stereotype people," she added.
Earlier, Clinton had listed the killings of four Americans in Benghazi as one of the biggest regrets of her tenure as Secretary of State. She also said she plans to write a memoir, though she's not sure what it will contain.
The interview ended with a couple of surprise guests: two radio hosts from Melbourne, Australia, who were dressed in goofy green suits, and referenced some kind of gravy chips they had given her on a recent visit.
Clinton bantered along, as they asked which title she would like to assume when she gives up Madame Secretary: "The Incredible Hillary? The Artist Formerly Known as the Secretary? Or Hill-Clinton? Though it does sound a little bit like your husband."
"I think we're going to have to work on this list," she said.